Written by Lonwabo Marele
RJ BENJAMIN promised to Change The World one day at a time, while many may say he has been quiet for quite sometime, the man with over 15 years of experience in the music industry is back in the mothercity to host a music masterclass at the Paul Bothner in Claremont on Saturday, January 13.
Born Roy J. Benjamin, but formally known by his stage name, RJ Benjamin is an award winning songwriter, producer and vocal coach.
In 2009 he took the world by storm with his hit single, Change The World, which sparked masses and collaborations worldwide.
He has worked with local and international artists such as Tamara Dey, Lira , Ziyon, ProVerb, Slikhour, Elvis Blue, DJ Cleo, Danny K, and New York based award winning artist, Jann Klose in Johannesburg.
Some of his most successful students include winner of Idols SA season 10 Vincent Bones, Vusi Nova, Naak Musiq, Amanda Black and Anatii.
RJ Benjamin said late in 2001 and early 2002, he spent a lot of time as a music lecturer, which led him to meet a young man who asked him to play his music, in return, donating R30,000 for studio time.
RJ Benjamin said many musicians would ask when would he record his album(s), and after a spur of excitement in 2004, he released his debut album, “Who I am”.
“It was the best thing because it improved the quality of my songs and song writing. I got a lot of calls to write songs for artists,” he said.
RJ Benjamin, who recently dropped his 5th album, titled 5th Story in December last year, said technology has changed the music industry, “it has never been a better time for African sound.”
“It is not enough to just post music for streaming anymore. There are digital companies out there to assist. But artists often ask themselves: do I need to be signed on a record label? How will people who never heard of me find my music? The play field is the same worldwide,” he said.
“Producers are getting better at mimicking but are also getting their unique style. People want to be played on BBC Radio but have the same trap sound they have in America. I was a music director in Nigeria and their sound is going to take the world by storm. In SA we need to focus on creating something that is going to make you stand out. Sounds like Stimela, Hugh Masekela, Tresors, Shekhinah, Amanda Black etc, people will call them up internationally and play them often,” RJ Benjamin said.
RJ Benjamin said the masterclass will focus on how to release music in 2018, on how to get a quality printed music cover, how artists with small studios can make their music quality by using various apps, distribution companies and many more topics.
Entry is R50,00 at the door, from 10am till 12pm noon. Enquiries: 021 674 4030 – Paul Bothner Music Claremont.