BenjiFlow Reveals Debut Single 'Deep End'
North-London born producer and multi-instrumentalist BenjiFlow reveals his first ever single DEEP END. With a highly contemporary sound, Deep End is the sound of an artist articulating his emotions via distinctive instrumentation and lyricism.
Growing up in London with Jamaican parents and a musical family, Benji started playing classical piano aged 7 then was forced to play in church by his dad. Having initially resented it, he now realises how beneficial it has been to his musicality, most significantly it has enabled him to play by ear. He then developed his musical talents moving on to learn the bass guitar, drums and electric/acoustic guitar, giving him the tools to evolve into the artist he is today.
Being heavily influenced by African culture and rhythm evident in his production work for UK artists Avelino, Sipprell, Wretch 32 and his co-production work with Deep End Ragz (Skepta), although just releasing his debut, BenjiFlow is no stranger to the music industry, and he’s primed to show the world what he is truly capable of.
Watch the video for ‘Deep End’ here:
Below is our exclusive interview with BenjiFlow where he speaks on his musical background, his inspirations and his top 5 albums of the year:
Coming from a producing background where you’ve produced for artists such as Skepta and Wretch 32… what has inspired your move to now recording your own music?
I’ve kinda always had it in me to record my own music, it was just about kinda taking that step to really do it. I’ve kinda always had like a creative mind, you know when you’re producing for other people you have to be in their world, you have to step into how they would feel and their emotions.
You started playing the piano when you were 7 years old, your dad forced you to play in church. What was that like and has it had an impact on your musicality?
It’s funny like right now I’m by a piano and the radio was just playing a Stevie Wonder song and I just played along to it. That’s one of the perks growing up, when I was forced to play by my dad. He used to sing and one day we were waiting for a keyboard and it didn’t turn up and he was like “You know son, it’s time” and I was like, I just wasn’t ready but he just try and pick it up with your ears, try and try and hear the melody that I am singing, play around because you’ve already learned the classical notes. So that kind of installed in me to always use my ear to listen to the melody and listen to the music. And from then, it’s impacted so greatly because when I can express myself creatively, I have a whole world of melodies to choose from which I’m accessible to now at this age from going through that whole process. I’m kind of thankful for it in the end.
Yeah it definitely paid off.
Yeah, yeah yeah…for real.
Sometimes it’s completely down to a beat that makes a song fire. Do you ever feel that producers don’t get as much credit and recognition as they should?
Ummm, it’s a tough one that question is because you know in some cases as a producer it’s just your job to make the artist the greatest version of themselves, the greatest artist they can be. So we’re kind of like the unsung heroes, I mean it’s not our job to be praised and we don’t produce the music for the praise, we do that merely to bring out the emotion and the feeling that the artist needs to bring out in order for them to shine. And so in a way you know, as long as the peers around us are happy, well that’s how I see it, as long as the peers around me are happy, I don’t really mind about the praise from the outer world. It’s not really the job.
So following on from that, which producers do you look up to and which artists do you look up to? Who inspires you?
Producer wise, I have quite a lot of producers who I like.
Could you give us your top 3?
Hmm let me think, I like Quincy Jones, he’s one of my favourites. Not just because he’s a legend. It’s because I used to love all of the stuff that he used to compose, even for Frank Sinatra, who’s one of my favourite artists. You know, doing the composition for his stuff was mind-blowing to me. Umm so Quincy Jones… there’s quite a lot of old producers and composers that I like. I’m really into Hans Zimmer, which is quite weird and some of my favourite artists, I love the old school music like Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Nora Jones (one of my favourite artists). Lianne La Havas, I love Lianne La Havas. And obviously we’ve got like the Kendrick Lamars, the Skeptas, you know all of those, so I’ve got quite a wide range of artists that I really like. If you listen to my playlist it switches to any mood.
We want you to tell us your top 5 albums of the year so far.
My top 5 albums of the year… wow, okay, okay let’s really do this. I’m gonna go into my Spotify playlist right now. I call my playlist “Half chicken, chips and rice”.
That’s a funny name.
So let me see.. my top 5 albums this year.
Yeah, specifically rap, R&B, Urban albums.
Ok cool. Travis Scott, that’s my favourite album this year. Did A$AP Rocky’s album come out this year?
That’s one of my favourite albums this year. Umm, jheeze.
You’ve got 3 more. And don’t forget that Beyoncé and Jay-Z came out this year.
Oh yeah I hear you but the Beyoncé and Jay Z album, it was a weird one for me. I either wanted to hear Beyoncé or Jay-Z, I didn’t really get the mix between the two. Um, but yeah, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, my friend Rags Original, that might be biased because I was on it *laughs* but that’s my third one. Umm, ah man this is actually quite tough.
Yep it’s a hard question.
Yeah. Anything that Kendrick came out with this year, I’ll just put that in there.
The Black Panther Album, is that what you’re choosing?
Yeah did that come out this year?
It did, yeah.
Ok, yeah anything Kendrick is on, without a doubt that came out this year will go in the top 5. And then erm… boy, I’m gonna have to give top 4 man because that was a really hard one.
Ok if that’s your top 4, can you give a bonus album? You don’t have to call it your top 5.
Does it have to be urban?
It does, you know we cover black culture over here *laughs*
Ok I can give you a bonus album. Let me look at my playlist right this second. It’s probably Burna Boy’s album actually. That’s my bro, representing Nigeria. His album came out as one of the top of the year.
We finally got there in the end! What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have anything exciting coming up?
My second single will be coming out at the end of January and then that’s going to follow up with an EP. So the whole of next year, you can expect to hear a lot of music from me, and vibes and waves. I’m just really trying to bring back something great into how I view music.