Thursday, September 21

NPWI instructor Benji Cowart talks about his YouTube fame

By Sophie Green

A few months ago a great tune with a terrible message got stuck in Benji Cowart’s head.

What came next was a very unexpected, yet a pleasant surprise.

Cowart, a songwriter instructor in the National Praise and Worship Institute at Trevecca Nazarene University, recently wrote a response to Magic’s hit song ‘Rude.’ His “dad’s side of the story” has more than 13 million views on YouTube.

Cowart’s parody of the song includes lines like, “You say you want my daughter for the rest of your life, well ya gotta make more than burgers and fries. Get out your momma’s basement boy and get you a life. Son, you’re 28, don’t you think it’s time?”

Cowart, who has two daughters, thought the tune was catchy.

“It was only after listening to the song a couple of times before I started catching the story in the lyric and more specifically the line that says, ‘I’m gonna marry her anyway.'” he said.

Something rose up in him when he heard that lyric, he said.

“But I couldn’t get it out of my head and I started singing it around the house but started messing with the lyrics to make my kids laugh,” Cowart said.

From there he decide to buy the song and rewrite the entire song lyrically. He said had to channel his inner redneck to do so and he had to comically exaggerate how a dad might respond to this young boy saying “I’m gonna marry her anyway.”

He tested everything on his wife and kids. After it was polished and recorded, he put it on YouTube and titled it “MAGIC! Rude Cover (The Dad’s Side of the Story)”

Since he posted it on July 10, the video has nearly 13 million views. The song was also released on iTunes as a single.

This video went viral with thousands of posts on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

“It was really cool seeing really random people retweet the song, especially the guys from Magic who did the original version of ‘Rude,’ “he said. “Another notable retweet was Justin Bieber’s mom.”

Fame has not been the result of this video and its success.

“I think I’ve had a grand total of three, count em, three people have actually recognized me out in public from the video,” he said. “Beyond that not much has changed.”

On top of writing a viral song Cowart’s main success has been in songwriting. He has co-written a couple of songs for Big Daddy Weave such as ‘Redeemed’ and ‘The Only Name.’ He has also written songs with Vertical Church band, Selah, Ben Cantelon, Meredith Andrews.

“My greatest achievements though are my marriage to my wife and our four kids.” Cowart said.

His current dreams are to continue to write music for the church and through artists be able to touch people’s lives.

“There is nothing like hearing a story of how God used a song you co-wrote to really change someone’s heart in a dark time. Those stories are the best reward.”

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