It’s been 7 years since RJ Benjamin released his ground breaking album, Who I Am. It was an album that defined South African neo soul and took the local R&B sound to the next level. As a writer and a producer RJ Benjamin became the most wanted and hottest property in the country. He also developed a cult following among music fans.

After the release of his debut album, RJ honed his skills, working with the top artists in the country, and this hard work culminated in the release of his second album, Swimming in the Soul of Music. It is yet another definitive album that is both sophisticated and catchy. Like the title suggests, RJ Benjamin invites the listener to swim in the soul of his music.

“There is a more sophisticated feel to my sound and image this time around,” says the talented artist and songwriter. “I have focused specifically on my roots and influences as an artist, that being soul music. I have kept the musical instrumentation simple without losing my influences of soul, jazz and funk. In creating the music I have been careful to make sure the listener is able to distinguish each and every instrument and part being presented.”

In 2008 Swimming in the Soul of Music won the Metro FM award for best R&B album

RJ Benjamin wrote his first song at the age of eight, when he was inspired by Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror. By 15 he was playing the piano. And by 25 he was fast becoming a prolific artist and songwriter working with some of the top artists in the land.

After studying music, he focused on another passion, still connected to music but in this case, teaching music. RJ discovered that his talents were not only in creating & performing but also as someone who could instil knowledge, skill & passion to up & coming singers. From 2001 – 2007 he taught as head vocal coach at the Damelin Contemporary Music School in Bramley, also running classes at the NSA for 2 years in 2003 & 2004. During that period he was snatched up as the Head Vocal Coach on the reality TV Show project fame & was voted most popular teacher by fans watching the show. In 2008, RJ built the platform for the music department at SA’s 1st Sports & Arts academy in Centurion Pretoria, SAX. Currently he Coaches privately focusing on SA’s professional singers. Artists & celebs who have been trained by RJ include Danny K, Vicky Sampson, Pebbles, Relo(Skwatta Kamp), Elan Lea, Pabi Moloi, Carmel Fisher, Tumi, Stefan Ludik & Lee Kasumba.

To date he has featured on tracks by musicians including house giants DJ Cleo and Soul Candi. “I actually started my career singing over house tracks in night clubs,” he confesses. The massive success of the hit song Change the World has made RJ a household name & has thus far received countless number 1 ratings countrywide, a SAMA nomination & a Channel O nomination in 2009 with many international prospects off the back of its huge Southern African success.

He has also featured on various hits like the Dent & Massive track, When Doves Cry as well as Slikour’s rap song, Dreamer.

He has worked as a songwriter for artists such as Danny K, Unathi and Lira and produced for up and coming artists like Gift Gwe and superstars like Kabelo. Currently he is wrapping up production on Pebbles’ 2nd solo album, Tumi ( not of trhe volume )’s 2nd album & penning ballads with Puff Johnson for her long awaited 2nd album.

Testament to his talent is the fact that the hip-hop culture has embraced him and he in turn has worked with many of them on their vocal production and mic techniques. RJ Benjamin’s production has a specific sound that is easily recognisable to fans.

Says RJ: “I’ve always tried to build a reputation of respect and credibility as opposed to over night fame.”


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