BenjiFlow proves that quality over quantity is making a comeback in music
In today's music landscape, quality has taken a backseat to quantity for many artists. High-profile album releases from 2018 such as "Culture II" or "SR3MM" or even "Astroworld" all suffered from inequality due to the high number of filler tracks peppered throughout. More tracks means higher streaming numbers, which means more money for the artist and their label.
But BenjiFlow, the North London-based multi-instrumentalist-turned-producer-turned singer/songwriter, is doing things a little differently. Off the success of one single track, "Deep End" and the viral video that followed, BenjiFlow has seen his name appear on artists to watch lists around the world, including here at 88nine. But he seems to be in no rush. And he shouldn't be.
BenjiFlow began working in the industry as a producer for other UK artists such as Skepta and Wretch 32, but it wasn’t until his self-produced debut track “Deep End” was released that he saw himself thrust into the spotlight. The track begins with wavy warm keys and an island-style beat that allows the music the space it needs to move and breathe. Mystical chords build slowly in the background until the song is drenched in a sinister cacophony of sounds before releasing back to the minimal, simple style it began with.
Having a distinct after-party feel, “Deep End” is sexy and steamy and begs to be replayed as the night carries on into the morning. Lyrically, the song is about letting go of the fear of scaring off a partner with heavy truths. It's about trusting the ones closest to you and knowing that they will always be there regardless of good times or bad.
The trust that BenjiFlow asks for in “Deep End” is personified in his viral performance for the BoilerRoom’s ENERGY series on Youtube. Inviting anyone to come down who knew and liked the song, BenjiFlow stands encircled by his friends and fans as he performs his hit single.
What transpires is a joy to both listen to and watch. Every word of the song is sung by the 30 or so people in attendance as a fun party atmosphere builds along with the song. Near the end of his performance, BenjiFlow switches keyboards to a Bruce Hornsby-sounding rig and the crowd absolutely goes wild. This genuine and unbridled hype from his surrounding fans challenges even IDLES performance on KEXP for one of the best recorded live performance of 2018. For newcomers to BenjiFlow, this video is a great place to start.
Beyond an official music video that is worth a watch in its own right, that’s about it when it comes to BenjiFlow’s music at the moment. He has another single that was scheduled to be released in January and an EP to follow sometime in 2019, but nothing has yet been uploaded.
His emphasis on releasing music only when it is polished to his standards may be to blame for the delay, but some things simply take as long as they need to make them great. In a world of the ever-bloated triple-disc album trend, BenjiFlow is proof that quality over quantity is making a comeback in 2019. Music industry, be warned. And fans, be patient.