Ben Watt first appeared in 1981 as a young nineteen-year-old experimental songwriter-singer-guitarist. 1982’s 5-track EP Summer into Winter featured Robert Wyatt. His early work culminated in his sparse atmospheric debut album North Marine Drive (1983, UK Independent Album Chart, No 9).
In 1983 he put solo plans on hold to perform and write full-time with Tracey Thorn in their recently-formed duo Everything But The Girl. The band stayed active until 2000. They delivered twelve UK Top 40 singles and seven UK Top 20 albums. 1995’s global hit Missing reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Top 100.
As Everything But The Girl quit on a high at the end of the nineties, Ben moved into record production, DJing and clubland. He launched his own award-winning electronic record label Buzzin' Fly (see Best of Buzzin' Fly Records) in 2003 and was was nominated for Outstanding Contribution to Dance Music at the DJ Magazine Best of British Awards 2009, and as Best Deep House DJ four years running (2008-2011) at the global DJ Awards held in Ibiza.
In 2013 he put Buzzin' Fly on ice and returned to his earliest roots in folk, jazz and art-rock to record the award-winning solo album, Hendra (2014). It was included at No 27 in Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2014. Rolling Stone (Germany) made it their No 2 best album of 2014. Japan's Music Magazine made it their No 3 best album of 2014.
2014 also saw the publication by Bloomsbury of Romany and Tom - Watt’s second memoir, a searing and tender portrait of his parents, nominated for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Non-Fiction Prize 2014. 'Neither sentimental nor savage, yet often wise, moving and entertaining within the same paragraph, Romany and Tom is a major achievement to rival any of Watt's recordings,' said The Guardian. 'Watt captures what real life feels like, and he captures it with breathtaking clarity, beauty, and precision,' said the Los Angeles Review of Books.
It followed his acclaimed 1996 memoir Patient - an account of his near-death experience with a rare illness in 1992. “An astonishingly assured anatomy of his ordeal, by turns terrifying, mordantly funny and intensely moving. Many people suffer the pain and indignities of intensive medical treatment; but few have written about it with quite such alarming vividness or clarity”, wrote Mick Bown in The Daily Telegraph. Patient was listed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Sunday Times Book Of The Year chosen by William Boyd and a Village Voice Literary Supplement Favorite Book of the Year, and was also a finalist for the Esquire-Waterstones Best Non-Fiction Award in the UK.
His third solo album Fever Dream came out in 2016. The Guardian commented: ‘In his earl