20 Questions with Ben Sharkey

20 Questions with Ben Sharkey

Jazz Crooner Ben Sharkey is a Science Nerd

By Rachel Schostak

Ben Sharkey is a local treasure. The classic looking crooner with velvety vocals, romantic standards and jazz renditions has us swooning. Not only does he write, sing and perform, but he is also an accomplished painter and self-proclaimed science nerd. And did we mention handsome?

20 Questions with Ben Sharkey

Ben Sharkey wearing 1701 Bespoke.

We recently caught up with Ben, who can be seen performing all over the Detroit area, to learn a little more about what is behind that beautiful voice (and face)!

  1. 3 words to describe yourself? Creative, Ambitious, Inspired.

  2. Theme song if your life was a tv show or movie? This is a decision that would take some serious R&D.. but I think a good placeholder would be “Sunny Side of the Street” Sinatra does a great rendition.

  3. The first song you ever performed? I performed a mash up between Harry Connick’s “You didn’t know me when” and Ladae’s “Party 2 nite” at my High School talent show. I dressed up in “nerd” costume and as soon as the jazzy intro turned into an R&B song, I threw in some choreography and took off the glasses and jacket to reveal a more hip hop look. haha.. I was a new student at the school and everybody knew who I was after that.

  4. Who inspires you in the creative or business world? (or in general) I could name off a bunch of well known celebrities who inspire me, but what I think is more important is looking to your peers for inspiration, even if they are not in your own field of business.  A lot of my friends, and acquaintances, inspire me every day. I know quite a few people who are making a lot of impact in and around Detroit. It’s always good to surround yourself with people who are motivated because it makes your goals and dreams seem more attainable.  

  5. Who or what inspires your style? I pull my inspiration from various different places. Musicians, Movies, Street Style from various travel destinations. Bloggers on Instagram and Pinterest help.

  6. Favorite song that makes you happy when you hear it? Oh.. that’s a tough one. There is so much music out there that makes me happy, I have a playlist on Spotify called “Easy Sunday Morning” that include songs to celebrate my one day off and at the top of the list is “San Francisco Street” by Sun Rai.

  7. Favorite musical? The one that really inspired me was Selma’s Songs which starred Bjork. It was incredibly dark and at times saccharine. The production of the music was facinating. It’s one of my favorite soundtracks.

  8. Favorite movie (of all time)? Great Expectations with Ethan Hawke, Gweneth Paltrow, and Robert De Niro. I feel like I can really relate to Finn.  

  9. Currently reading? (book, magazine or online publication?)  Currently, a LOT of news.. and we all know who is the hot topic lately.

  1. Best jingle if you’ve ever heard? “Hot Pocket” it’s the most catchy, with the least amount of effort. lol

  2. Favorite spot in Detroit? Why? Detroit Institute of Arts, It is filled with wonder for me. All the different eras of expression of the human condition. It’s endlessly fascinating to me.  

  3. Favorite spot for cocktails? (can be anywhere in Michigan) Standby, Wright & Co, Bad Luck Bar.

    20 Questions with Ben Sharkey

    Standby Detroit, photo by Sal Rodriguez

  4. Cocktail of choice? Don Julio Reposado and Margarita mix with a muddled jalapeno.

  5. Morning OR Night person? (rooster or night owl) Both, I can’t get enough out of the day.  

  6. Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the morning, afternoon tea.

  7. Your go to spot for the above? Commonwealth in Birmingham, Atomic in Royal Oak, and Astro Coffee in Corktown.

  8. Favorite food? Anything made with loving hands.

  9. If you had a free ticket to anywhere in the world – where would you go? I would love to go to Rome again, the air is thick with history.

  10. One thing most people don’t know about you (fun fact)? I’m a bit of a science, nerd. Specifically planetary science. Neil deGrasse Tyson is my hero.

  11. Favorite quote or “words to live by”? Carpe Diem – Sieze the day. I have it tattoo’ed on my left arm.

Sigh. He is dreamy.

You can catch Ben Sharkey performing on the following dates:

Mar 11 – Tipping Point Theater, Northville  BUY TICKETS

Mar 24 – Axis Lounge MGM Grand Casino

Mar 30 – Cliff Bell’s, Detroit

Apr 22 – Axis Lounge MGM Grand Casino, Detroit

Ben is wearing a custom suit from 1701 Bespoke.

1 comment

  1. Tee C

    I’ve followed Ben on YouTube since 2007, when I first moved to South Carolina. 10 years later and I still think he’s fab. Keep it up, Ben; your work is still loved by many.

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