Heavy percussion and boundary pushing bass-lines… it could only be Benga!
Hailing from Croydon, contemporary musician Adegbenga Adejumo is an innovative, banterous, boundary-pushing record-producer who for the past decade has been at the forefront of his art. Where we are now and where we were when Benga first started out on his journey is a vastly-changed electronic music landscape and his latest offering, forthcoming album Chapter 2, due for release 27th August on Columbia Records, is true to form.
The lead single from the album, ‘Icon‘, featuring the vocals of Bebe Black, holds more pop sensibility than would normally be associated to the dark, guttural bass-lines and heavy percussive, reverberant riffs found in a lot of Benga’s earlier work. It’s not something that scares the artist. He’s ready to embrace being called ‘a mainstream producer’, demonstrating a mindset that is still clearly hungry to achieve more. Benga knows that for this to truly happen, his music needs to start infiltrating clubs across the UK and further afield and he has the willingness and talent to make it happen. As much as Benga can be genre-shifting, the new record still has appeal to old school appreciators of his music. Chapter 2 is jam-packed with deep bass, synth motifs and excitable bleeps and squeeks. It is to his credit that he can create such a polished album that works well on a commercial level without ever feeling too far removed from what is expected from him. i-D online caught the badman to chat about the album and scoop the ultimate recipe for how to make a Benga beat.
‘How to make a Benga beat’ by Benga
“When I first set out to make music I use Logic. I use VST’s and also I play keys into my Logic. First thing I do is look for a sound either in Massive or Sylenth, I’ll flick through and look for a lead noise then try to make a bass, try and get it all sounding a bit gritty. Then I’ll use loads of bus channels and send to like reverbs and filters; just to make it sound a bit beefier and a bit bigger. From there-that’s the heart of my track-so I start applying drums, drums for me is like percussion, which is one of the biggest points of my track-everyone knows me for my percussion-so then I will search for my kicks and snares and the little percussiony sounds for a couple of hours, because I know it’s a big part of my track. Then I just layer it up, have a lovely time and voilà, you got a Benga sounding record!”