Joe Gamp on 2/11/12
It's been a long time since the days of Big Apple Records in Croydon. Benga (and also production partner and all round friend Skream) has gone on to transcend a London-centric sound, becoming a figure for a new generation of music fans.
It's been a number of years since Benga first released his debut album, a benchmark for the ensuing years after. Since then Benga has conquered the popular music charts as part of Magnetic Man and ramped his tour schedule up to the maximum, including festivals such as next week's I Love Techno event in Belgium and constant US touring. His elusive second album - some four years after the debut - is due to drop in Feburary so Pulse got some further details out of the UK bass-music figure.
What's been taking up your time of late? I've just been working on my album again really man. I've mostly been working out the singles and making sure I'm clear in my own head of what I'm doing.
It's been a few years since your debut album Diary of An Afro warrior...Did you want to take a lot longer on this album? I'm into being honest man and it really ant planned, like plan to do something in this way.I got caught up in making the Magnetic Man album and it took me longer than I wanted. That added a lot of pressure on me. It took a while to get back into it. But once I got over it I thought 'what took me so long?'
The general pressures for both you and Skream must be immense now, considering how known you've become... You know what? I tended to neglect the pressure but i think the best thing is realising those pressures are there and just getting on with it. If you get on with things and deal with the real issues at hand.
Tell us a little bit about the album (if you can)...To be honest I can only say a couple of things but I'm going to keep it to the fact I've worked REALLY hard on this album. Obviously, people aren't gonna like anything I haven't put my heart and soul into. I've gone to a lot of lengths here. Also you have to realise what's expected of you - It's taken a little while for me to realise what's expected of me. But I've done what's expected of me - and in that aspect, in my eyes, it's a great album and I wouldn't change it one bit.
The London crowds are very picky these days and can often be hard to please... do you find them the most difficult to please? Yeah man I take it for granted because outside of London all the time, but London is still my home man, I played a show not long ago and I couldn't believe the energy there man, it was still unreal for me.
And the next stop is the mammoth one night event I Love Techno in Belgium.... Don't forget about that wwwwwaaayyyy. ha ha. I like that event man. I've played there for three years on the trot. the best thing about the festivals is they're catered for me. Liek this festival here - as they keep changing, i also keep changing too. The very first year I did Magnetic Man. The second, Skream and Benga. Third year, Benga Live, something totally different. I've progressed at the same time as this festival has.
Your live show, what does it entail at the moment? It's all stem based, and I have them on screen. It's all brand new tunes off my album and just fresh tracks. I can go in and out of the tunes on my album. I can mix I Can Never Change into another track. I can go from the bass of Never Change into the topline of Open Your Eyes for your example, It used to be 'oh if only I could take these drums out or do this at this time...'. Actually, I can now just do that and its opened up everything for me.
Finally, before you run off, anything to say to fans of Benga? Pleaseeee people; stay tuned, my album is coming soon in February. Im touring the music alot at the moment and it means a lot if you come to my shows and check me out. i love what I do - peace!
I Love Techno takes place on Saturday 10th November at Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium. Click here for tickets.
start selling tickets with ease
start sharing your music for free