From Cape Town Lately
Musical director, songwriter and producer RJ Benjamin returns with what promises to be the year’s most exciting triple whammy.
Can Skylark, Proverb, Ziyon make up what is set to become yet another sure hit for RJ Benjamin and his musical peers. Each connected with Benjamin in person, via social media and websites, all powered by sheer talent.
“I first ‘met’ Can on Twitter,” Benjamin recalls. “She asked about a possible collab, so I checked out her songs on her website. I liked her sound. It reminded me of my earlier work, where I was incorporating a lot of funk and soul elements.”
“So High” is the result of their union, the first of three tracks about to blow up on radio. Regional radio has already started the ripple, with national and web radio sure to ride the wave of this latest RJ Benjamin three-way aural merger.
In between releasing 2013’s Inside album (after a three-year hiatus), RJ Benjamin’s last 12 months have been filled with loads of musical mentoring. First as the musical director for Mzansi Magic’s Clash Of The Choirs’ inaugural season, and again for the ninth season ofIdols South Africa.
“I’ve always been passionate about unearthing SA talent,” he says, “and these collaborations with Can, Proverb and Ziyon, like all of my other projects, seemed like a great opportunity to feed and be fed. My inspiration for “So High” was similar to Can’s style, and so I wrote something happy and uplifting. I used my own current state of mind and life as inspiration for the lyrics. I’m in a good place, in love and loving every minute of it.”
Plugged in and powering a multitude of pop originality, Benjamin’s other current distraction includes a duet, “Only Ever Loved You”, with former Liquideep member Ziyon.
Clash Of The Choirs Season Two is also keeping him in mentoring mode, but as for his Ziyon recording, RJ fans can look forward to it forming part of a bigger three-track mini-album or iTunes EP.
“It will feature “So High”, with balance made up of “All Falls Down”, alongside Proverb, and “Only Ever Loved You”. It will be out at the end of June, with a full album planned before he begins work on Idols tenth season.
“I’ve always been a huge RJ Benjamin fan,” Can says of her respect for her co-writer and producer. “I always thought that out of all the South African music I’d ever been exposed to, his material had the most integrity and sound quality I wanted to share in.”
Staying true the beauty and soul of Can’s style and talent, RJ’s magic runs throughout “So High” and its more than three minutes of love, happiness and feel-good beat euphoria.
“The writing process was fun,” Can concludes. “We started with a simple melody, and bit-by-bit we fleshed it out, adding lyrics organically. We basically fed off each other’s ideas and put the song together loosely. A day or two later we went in to lay down our vocals at Jazzworx Studios in Jozi, and the rest is history,” she smiles.
With album two already in the works, expect to hear a lot more from Can this year and next. The same applies to RJ and everything the virtuoso influences.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD “SO HIGH”