Benga Diary of An Afro Warrior

Benga Diary of An Afro Warrior
Dubstep veteran Beni "Benga” Adejumo has been making music in Croydon, London for nine years, and yet he’s just 21 years of age. Releasing his debut album/compilation, Newstep, in 2006, the last few years have seen the DJ/producer championed by a number of high profile names, largely in part to "Night,” his incredible collaboration with Coki last year that earned the title of "best-selling dubstep single of 2007.” Where as peers like Appleblim, Burial and Kode 9 have crafted their own distinct downbeat style, Benga has shaped his dubstep sound using a wider, more energised range of influences. Gathering everything from rave and house to grime and techno, Diary of An Afro Warrior is arguably the most danceable record yet in the sub-genre. "E Trips” is downright progressive, with its blizzard of kick drums and scuzzy bass lines; it’s almost as much an adrenaline kick as the synth-led, drum & bass chaos of "The Cut.” Meanwhile, the melodies of "Night” and "Emotions” are strong enough to make him a household name. While this could easily be the first album to have that major breakthrough for dubstep, it could also be a polarising one for fans looking to stick with tradition. But evolution is the key to music, and Benga is set to lead the way.

Many artists don’t like being assigned to, or pigeonholed in, genres. Why is dubstep different?
People don’t want to be part of a genre because they think it will backtrack their music and make them limited. But dubstep’s so universal, because there are already so many kinds of music in it, so there is less limitation.

How do you feel your music differs from other dubstep artists?
If you look at what me and Appleblim do, we sit down to write totally different things. I try to write energy; he tries to write… I can’t really explain how he writes. But when I sit down to write, I think, "What would I like to hear at a rave?” Or sometimes I just sit down and write, and the music comes out.

When you were making the album, was there any sort of reaction you were envisioning the listener having when they put it on?
Yeah. If you listen to the way I intro with "Pleasure,” it’s like, you know when you’re at a festival and everyone puts their hands up? I want them to feel the same way with their headphones on and you feel that massive build-up and then it kicks in. Yeah, think about that! (Tempa)