Ben Rist was born on the 18th September 1993 at Maidstone Hospital. He was bought up on a housing association/council estates. He first remembers living in Tovil, known to be a "rough" area around Maidstone. His father left when he was just three years old and for eight years was bought up by his mum Sarah.
When he was seven, he became a member of the boys and mens choir at All Saints Church, Maidstone and was taught how to sing, read music and understand music by Peter Richards (who was unfairly suspended from his role in 2013 after false allegations were made against him). He sang treble until he was sixteen (nearly seventeen) and then joined the bass section of the choir. He sand in the choir until late last year singing Tenor and Bass under Peter Richards successor Charlotte O'Neil and is still a keen advocate for protection of the choral tradition of all male choirs.
He has been in a choir since the age of seven. Music has helped him with his mental health since the age of 13. He was introduced to rock music by his best friend Kim Hargreaves at the age of 12 and this was 30 Seconds To Mars who are a rock band led by actor and singer Jared Leto. When he was 13 he started self-harming and was helped through this and many other dark periods by My Chemical Romance - a rock and roll band formed in New Jersey and led by singer Gerard Way they split up in 2013.
When he was 17, he created a hip-hop band called GRB with his friends Lauren Blackston and Connor. Connor was then dropped from GRB and replaced by Rebecca Delaney. The group was set up at Walk Tall Performing Arts Acadamy the band broke up after six months. Ben sites former Walk Tall Arts Teacher (now an artist) Leon Hudson as the greatest mentor he's ever had.
Ben then went on to do a solo project called "Bendubz" the nickname was given to him originally by Performing Arts Tutor Sophie Turner (who mothered the GRB crew when they were all at Performing Arts and encouraged them to do their best.
Ben, at 23 now has released two full length album and one EP. His first album 'I Made You Think, You Stole My Love' a pop-rock, alternative album in 2015, he then released 'A Little Hope' EP in 2017 a pop concept record called 'Image of Revolution' and is due for another album this year called 'Bulletproof City' and in September 2017 will be releasing his first Christian Pop album called '1:16'.
Ben first started politics when he joined Medway Youth Parliament at the age of 13. He represented his school New Brompton College and youth club GYFC (Gillingham Youth For Christ). He later became a cabinet member of youth parliament for the Community Issues sub comitee and then represented the youth parliament on the Medway Youth Trust Youth Forum. Whilst at the youth forum he became one of the first youth trustees at Medway Youth Trust.
In 2010 he joined the Liberal Democrats Party and composed and sang one song for them produced by Peter Cook (Acadamy of Rock) and sang on a song called "Democracy" written and produced by Peter Cook. It became the 2010 campaign song. He later defected from the Liberal Democrats and joined the Labour Party.
In 2014 during the Rochester & Strood byelection he worked hard campaigning for the Labour candidate Naushabah Khan. During the byelection he opposed a far-right anti-Islam movement called Britain First. He was exposed on Facebook by the group as a 'Labour Party Thug' and recieved death threats from supporters of the group.
In August 2016, Ben is a member of the left wing socialist movment supporting Jeremy Corbyn called Momentum and also a member and activist of the Labour Party.
Ben was bought up Anglican (Church of England) but never believed until August 2013 when he first started attending Kings Church in Chatham where he gave his life to Jesus. He was baptised by full emmersion in water in December 2013. In April 2014, he moved into Kings Church Comminity and shared a dorm with five other males and lived on a bunk where he learned more about Christianity and the Bible.
He backslid in October 2014 and moved out of Community. In December 2014 he re-joined All Saints Church Choir and attended church at All Saints as he realised that Jesus means more to him than political party ever could.
He is now back at Kings Church in Chatham, a Conservative Evangelical Church.
Ben has always enjoyed working with young people and continues to to this very day.
In 2012, he volunteered on the National Citizens Service which was a pilote programme at the time with Catch 22. He has been Assistant NCS Team Leader ever since at various youth organisations such as Medway Youth Trust and CXKltd.
In 2016 Ben used to volunteer at Switch Youth Café and support Maidstone Youth Forum. He then moved on to be one of Lead Mentors on Catch-22's National Citizens Service.
Ben started working at Burger King, Crossways, Dartford in October 2016 and then left due to travel distance in March 2017 where he started working for McDonalds Medway Valley Park. He then resigned with immediate affect on the 28th April 2017 after being bullied by management.
Ben is diagnosed with schizophrenia, psycosis, anxiety and depression. Ben is an advocate for mental health issues and spends his tine working for Improving Mental Health Provision CIC.
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