Today we reveal one of many talents behind South African music success: The talent of RJ Benjamin! Here is a singer, song writer, producer, performer and vocal coach. That is what I call a “package!” – And this particular package of RJ has been educated and polished.
Most people study music to benefit themselves, but for Benjamin it is not all about him; it’s all about others – passing knowledge, skills, passion and professional guidance to up-and-coming artists.Some of the nation’s best singers, award nominees and winners such as: Lira,Vicky Sampson, Danny K, and Tumi are amongst the artists who have benefited from Benjamin’s coaching skills to keep their singing talent flourishing – which is why South Africa is thankful for the unselfishness
and individual talent of Benjamin!
“I actually didn’t like the song, everybody kept telling me how big it was and I was like, aargh! Whatever!”
He burst into the competitive South African music industry with his debut album – Who I Am – the album that defined South African Neo-Soul. In addition to this genre he also does: Funk, R&B and Acid-Jazz.
The country that has many histories, South Africa, has added more exciting history, that of a man known as the first ‘White Man With A Black Man’s Voice’. Subsequently, this won him the multiple admirers in the music businesses who were craving for his attention.
Six years on, he is the nation most inspiring musician as far as the public is concerned. He was the Head Vocal Coach on the reality TV show Project Fame. As far as results, he was voted the ‘Most Popular Teacher’ by viewers.
His comprehensive experience and knowledge got numerous musicians, of all genres, heading in his direction – to share his unique touch, making sure the
quality stays with music, for example: DJ Cleo (House DJ-Producer), HHP (Hip Hop artist) and Kabelo (Kwaito artist).
Metro FM Award winner RJ Benjamin has proved with his second offering -Swimming in the Soul of Music – that his music and quality will always
be cherished by his cult fans whenever he performs.
Writing love songs might have been his usual cup of tea, as he admits: “Generally I would always write songs about how I felt sorry for myself; a girl broke my heart – and all that kind of crap!”
But all that changed when he penned the House Jam – Change The World – the hit track that has been included in the best songs ever produced in South Africa.
RJ agrees: “It was more than anything I’ve ever written or recorded.”
Change the World – Master Jam ft RJ Benjamin (Dr Duda mix)
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C054xU29Src /]
Surprisingly, the song was big beyond his belief, he said:”I actually didn’t like the song, everybody kept telling me how big it was and I was like, aargh! Whatever!”
This was the time for him to believe in the change of the world.”The reaction that I got from people, I was shocked! I had never seen that reaction before.”
Still on the vocals – recently, the World has seen the French version of the South African National Anthem, during the rugby game between South Africa vs France, in France, sang by debatable South African, Rus Dumisani.The entire country was bemused by his version – watching it for a vocal
coach, Benjamin, would’ve been unbearable, knowing that if Rus had considered taking RJ’s vocal lesson, he would have nailed it!
“Oh my God! I think I had the same reaction that a lot of South African had, this man doesn’t have to come back to this country.”
RJ continues: “You are in on a big Rugby field with people who wanna sing along to the melody. I wasn’t very impressed.”
Lets face it, as much as we enjoy the annual SAMA (South African Music Award), there are always some controversial winners that get us talking. For any artist, it is not that pleasant to see a controversy that could wreck the image of the music business in the country. This doesn’t impress Benjamin either – he is one of the countable artists who don’t rely on the SAMA’s popularity, but on the people. This was confirmed by the evidence of some Kwaito artist who was once nominated for Best Hip-Hop artist.
“It was kinda like weird, to top it off, he won it and he couldn’t believe it!”
Is just doesn’t feel right not to mention the 2010 World Cup if talking to a fellow South African. RJ is waiting patiently for the world to come and see what South Africa is all about. “As a musician, there is no doubt, in my mind that it’s gonna expose the world to a lot of great talent and I’m really looking forward to that.”
South Africa will be hosting the World cup next year; South African artists are now being signed internationally; South Africa has attracted world stars to come and perform in the country; South African movies are topping Hollywood. This is an indication to declare that the world has already changed as far as South Africa is concerned. As RJ Benjamin’s hit song says – Change The World!
- Keep up with the latest South African Music and listen to artist interviews on the Mzansi Show