Find out more
It was around the same time that the sound of the underground was changing. The Big Apple family Benny Ill, Artwork, El-B DMZ collective: Loefah, Mala and Coki, were exploring tempos and bass weight closely linked to garage, grime, dub and drum and bass. The sound was dark, bass driven and set to make a huge impact on dance music.
With Wookie as his muse and aged just 14, Benga created grimey hard knuckle joint Skank/Dose that was released on the Big Apple label run by prolific dubstep selector Hatcha. After Skank Beni went on to make grime beats for Crazy Titch and Ghetts, whilst collaborating with the dubstep crew crafting beats with ally Skream, Loefah, Coki and Mala. He started releasing a variety of dubs on the Big Apple imprint and on his own (Benga Beats volume 1 and Newstep) before hooking up with fellow Croydonian Walsh to work on tunes Military and Bingo for Scuba’s Hot Flush label. In 2008, Benga released Diary of an Afro Warrior, which included addictive dubstep anthem Night (Tempa) co-created with Digital Mistikz Coki. Night received airplay on Radio One and is documented as one of the first dubstep crossover tracks.
Since the Big Apple days Benga has toured the globe, made tunes for Rhianna, Eve, Katy B and continues to work with Artwork and Skream as chart topping trio Magnetic Man. Benga is a frequent visitor at Red Bull Studios London staring in The Producers and his own six-part documentary series I Am Benga. Tracks from his second solo release Chapter II were also recorded at the studios with an array of talented vocalists.