For an artist whose song catalog includes a track that chronicles an arsonist torching his car (yes, seriously — give “That’s Alright” a listen), EBEN certainly knows how to play it cool. The 23-year-old Cincinnati native, who has released two EPs (FINALLY, Past Hundred Days) and a string of earworm singles in the past year alone, is hardly an overnight success. After an early tenure in musical theater, a four-year venture as boy-band member and a heartbreaking elimination from a reality TV competition series in 2012, it seemed as though a career as a musician had been anything but fated. But, resolved as he is genial (you can almost hear him smiling when he speaks), the singer and self-taught producer pressed on. And it’s at least in part a testament to his skill for keeping a sense of humor: “LAMBO” for example, a proud-to-be-pop decree that rests on falsetto quips and video-game basslines, underscores EBEN’s comedic chops like a thick Sharpie. Having already amassed a global following – partly thanks to his sync-up with pop supergroup Why Don’t We as the fan-favorite opening act on their past two North American and international tours – EBEN is quickly rising to the ranks of today’s top new artists. Existing somewhere between Billie Eilish and Shawn Mendes on the pop-spectrum, he has managed to funnel that breadth into what he calls “fun pop with some hip-hop influence in there, and a sense of something alternative.” Or, to distill it even more simply: “Always good beats and good vibes.” So where does a proud Ohio boy go from here? EBEN says ultimate success is a little bit less black and white.