AN Ammanford musician is excited about releasing his biggest project to date – after filming a music video in New York!

Daniel Garland, who performs under the stage name Hollywood Benedict, has been working on his music for the last three years, building up momentum and reputation in the local area with 10 music videos and will be releasing his third album later this year.

Daniel began his musical journey with a video filmed on Trapp Mountain in 2020, and just three years later, he was in the United States of America filming in front of a large crowd at Times Square.

“I have been writing music for years,” said Daniel, who has worked with a fellow Ammanford native in producer Richard Morris, who was also lead singer of Welsh rock band Trobwll.

“My first music video was a cheap and cheerful piece which was done up Trapp Mountain.” After the release of the first video, Daniel began work on his debut album and after a few months of work, released it to the public. “It was hit and miss,” Daniel said of his debut. “I just decided to keep on going and did my second album last year but I had a bit more money so I invested in a music video for [single] Priest and it was a high quality video.” The video had success in America after it was picked up by Heavy Hitters who provide opportunities for music in film and TV.

A chance encounter led to him heading out to New York this summer for the video for Dancing with Nobody.

South Wales Guardian: Hollywood Benedict's latest music video was filmed in Times Square, New York. Picture: Hollywood

“I knew Oliver [videographer] was travelling with his girlfriend and he was in Canada at the time but was going to be in America, so I got in contact with him and asked if he would be up for filming the video, he said yes, so I was on a plane.”

It didn’t all go smoothly however, Oliver was only in the USA for three days and they had to rush to get a camera as the one they had booked for the final day was double-booked.

Hollywood Benedict’s music is ‘unapologetically pop’ says Daniel, and his appearance in Times Square drew in a crowd. “In NYC, Oliver was a bit scared about what I was wearing but although I am very adventurous I am also quite aware and so I did put on a thong but with tights and a denim jacket.

“The people were very welcoming, although I thought one woman was angry but she was like “This is why I am in New York. I want to see more of this!”"

Daniel wants to highlight that it doesn’t matter where you come from, whether it’s a big city with a lot of opportunities such as London or New York, or a small town in west Wales like Ammanford, you can always find and take the opportunities you want, and hopes his story shows that. “Being creative in a small town has its own type of struggles but it’s about not quitting because people will see you have not given up.

“I’m not known outside of Ammanford but all those people who saw us filming and turned up and were taking photos was incredible.”

Hollywood Benedict’s single Dancing with Nobody will be released in October with album Green Book coming later this year.