Benga (musician)

Last updated

Benga @ Wellington Square.jpg
Benga in 2012
Background information
Birth nameAdegbenga Adejumo
Born (1986-09-01) 1 September 1986 (age 35)
Clapton, London, United Kingdom
Origin Croydon, South London, United Kingdom
  • Record producer
  • DJ
Years active
  • 2002–2014
  • 2015–present
  • Big Apple
  • Benga Beats
  • Tempa

Adegbenga Adejumo (born 1986), known as Benga, is a British musician from Croydon, known for being a pioneer of dubstep record production. [1] He has been featured on a variety of compilations including Mary Anne Hobbs's Warrior Dubz , Tempa's The Roots of Dubstep and the BBC Radio 1Xtra anniversary mix.



Adejumo is of Yoruba Nigerian descent. [2]

Inspired by UK garage producer Wookie, Benga would produce tunes on a PlayStation, and subsequently FruityLoops. As a teenager he would visit the Big Apple record shop in Croydon where he was introduced to Skream, and together they would help forge the sound of dubstep emerging in the early 2000s. [3] [4] His productions caught the attention of DJ Hatcha, who worked at the shop, and, by the age of 15, Benga had made his first record, "Skank", released on Big Apple's own record label in 2002. [5]

Benga's second release was a collaboration with Skream, called "The Judgement". [6] Further releases followed on Big Apple Records, Hotflush Recordings and Planet Mu, before Benga self-released his debut album Newstep in 2006. [7] As dubstep garnered mainstream attention, Benga continued to release singles, including a collaboration with Coki of Digital Mystikz called "Night", that reached 98 in the UK Singles Chart in 2008. [8] Diary of an Afro Warrior , Benga's second album, followed in the same year with Resident Advisor describing it as "one of the most anticipated LPs in dubstep yet." [9]

In 2007 Benga along with fellow producers Skream and Artwork, formed the dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man. [10] This resulted in the release of an EP and eponymous studio album in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Benga also produced Katy B's debut single "Katy on a Mission", which peaked at number 5 in the UK Singles Chart in 2010. [11]

From January 2011, Benga joined BBC Radio 1 with Skream as part of 'In New DJs We Trust', [12] and presented a weekly Friday night show. [13] Skream and Benga performed together at Field Day music festival in Sydney on New Year's Day 2012. [14]

Benga generated controversy in July 2012 after reportedly saying he wished to remove himself from dubstep, insisting that he no longer wanted to be a part of the genre. He went on to clarify his comments saying "For me to remain creative, I've kinda not got to call my music dubstep and for me to keep pushing boundaries and moving around, making songs... I can't call myself dubstep." [15]

In 2013, he released his third album Chapter II on Sony Music, which included the single "Forefather" featuring Kano. He also created an official remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love", which features on the tribute remix album Love To Love You Donna, [16] and co-produced Dominique Young Unique's 2014 debut single "Throw It Down" with DJ Fresh.

On 2 February 2014, Adejumo announced on social media that following his engagement to Holly-Jae Treadgold, he was retiring to focus on raising a family. [17] [18] [19] However, in May 2014, he announced plans to complete a new album. [20]

In September 2015, Benga revealed via his Twitter account that mental health issues had been the reason for his retirement announcement. [21] In an interview with The Guardian, he explained that he noticed issues in late 2013 and was subsequently sectioned in March 2014. He stated that drug use from the age of 17 had caused bipolar disorder, whilst excessive touring led to schizophrenia. [22] In an interview with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 in 2018, Benga claimed to have deleted all of his productions from his hard drive during his hospital stay. He premiered a new track "Psychosis" on the radio show, inspired by and to treat his psychological experiences, and was released in February 2018 on his new Illuminate record label. [23] [24]



TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Benga Beats
  • Formats: CD
Diary of an Afro Warrior 139
Chapter II 93


TitleEP details
Benga Beats Volume 1
  • Released: 2004
  • Label: Benga Beats
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Big Apple Records
  • Formats: CD
The Southside EP
  • Released: 17 July 2006
  • Label: Southside Dubstars
  • Formats: CD
Benga EP Volume 2
  • Released: 17 January 2007
  • Label: Southside Dubstars
  • Formats: CD
Pleasure EP
  • Released: 3 November 2008
  • Label: Tempa
  • Formats: CD
Phaze: One
  • Released: 10 May 2010
  • Label: Tempa
  • Formats: CD
Scion A/V Presents: Skream & Benga
Future Funk EP
  • Released: 26 February 2016
  • Label: Benga Beats
  • Formats: Digital download, 12" vinyl (300 copies)


As lead artist

YearTitlePeak chart positionsAlbum
2002"Skank"Non-album singles
2004"Hydro" / "Elektro"
(with Skream)
2006"Comb 60s"
2007"Crunked Up"Diary of an Afro Warrior
2008"Electro Scratch" / "The Germ"Non-album singles
(with Skream)
2010"Stop Watching"
2011"Faithless" / "Acid Lie"
(with Kutz)
2012"I Will Never Change" Chapter II
(featuring Bebe Black)
Non-album singles
"Pour Your Love"
(featuring Marlene)
"We're Coming Out"
"Open Your Eyes"
"To Hell and Back" Chapter II
(featuring Kano)

Benga & Skream

2003"The Judgement"Non-album single

Hatcha & Benga

2006"10 Tons Heavy"Non-album single

Benga & Walsh

2006"Spooksville"Non-album singles
(with Darqwan)
2010"Biscuit Factory" / "Bass Face"

Benga & Coki

YearTitlePeak chart positionsAlbum
2008"Night"98Diary of an Afro Warrior

Benga & Paul Trueman

2010"Truben"Non-album single

Production credits

2010"Ho"YoungmanHo / One & Only
2010"One & Only"Youngman
2010"Katy on a Mission" Katy B On a Mission
2011"Tear it Out"YoungmanTear it Out / I Warned Ya
2011"I Warned Ya"Youngman
2012"Come Taste the Rainbow" Example The Evolution of Man
2013"Busketeer (Ghetto Yout Fi Rich)" Kano featuring Elephant Man Non-album single
2014"Throw It Down" (with DJ Fresh) Dominique Young Unique
2016"Can't Do It like Me" Azealia Banks Slay-Z

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  2. Zirra Banu (5 May 2011). "Top Nigerian Entertainers leading the US & UK Entertainment Industries". Face 2 Face Africa. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  3. Benga – Allmusic. Retrieved 22 June 2013
  4. Warren, Emma (22 April 2007). "Various, Dubstep Allstars 5 – Mixed By DJ N-Type". The Observer. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  5. Warren, Emma (17 February 2008). "Benga, Diary of an Afro Warrior". The Observer . London: Guardian Media Group . Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  6. "Benga & Skream – The Judgement". Discogs. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  7. "Benga – Newstep". Discogs. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  8. "Benga & Coki". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
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  10. Fitzpatrick, Rob (9 September 2010). "Magnetic Man: Dubstep's first supergroup". The Guardian . London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  11. "Official Singles Chart Top 100 - 29 August 2010 - 04 September 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  12. "Radio 1 – In New DJs We Trust – Skream & Benga's Profile". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  13. Ben Cooper, Controller of Radio 1. "Media Centre – Radio 1 announces changes to dance music line-up". BBC. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  14. "Coming Up: Field Day 2012". Fuzzy. 29 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  15. Murray, Robin (13 July 2012). "Benga on Those Dubstep Comments". Clash Magazine. London. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  16. "iTunes – Music – Love To Love You Donna by Donna Summer". iTunes. 18 October 2013.
  17. "Benga – im engage to Holly-Jae Treadgold the love of my life ..." Facebook. 2 February 2014.
  18. "Twitter / I_Skream: Salute to my brother Benga ..." Twitter. 2 February 2014.
  19. "Benga retires from DJing". GetDarker. 2 February 2014.
  20. "It's time to finish an album that has been worked on for the last ten years". Twitter. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  21. Williams, Harrison (16 September 2015). "Benga opens up about mental health issues, artists respond with support". Magnetic Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  22. Hutchinson, Kate (2 October 2015). "Benga: 'Nobody wants to come clean, let alone an artist'". London. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  23. "Benga: Music is helping me recover from psychosis". BBC. London. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  24. Jenkins, Dave (9 February 2018). "Benga returns with new single and label: Illuminate". UKF. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  25. "The Official Charts Company – Benga (musician)". The Official Charts Company. 3 May 2013.