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Benny Sings – Champagne People

It has been said that since The Beatles, David Bowie, James Brown and Bob Marley, only House & Punk may be considered real new musical revolutions. It has been said too that pop music nowadays is merely a creative rehash of the same old chords, rhythms and heartaches. Whichever way you look at it, for the pop inventors of our time the challenge remains to mix the original ingredients of pop into something hip, groovy and authentic.

Benny Sings meets this challenge in an ingenious and beautifully effective way. Within the traditional qualities of pop music, Benny Sings is a characteristic product of our time: it’s naturally melodic and undeniably groovy. Benny’s work method is contemporary too: he records the songs at his home studio, writing his own music, singing, and playing most instruments himself. Benny recalls: “I was making these hip-hop beats, and at some point just started singing to them.”

Through “Champagne People,” this singer/musician/songwriter seems to communicate directly to our collective musical subconscious; each song sounds fluid and familiar. The popular Dutch national newspaper, “de Volkskrant”, attributes the refined quality of the record to producer Bart Suèr. “The soulful production of Bart Suèr is sophisticated and warm-incomparable with other Dutch productions”(review: June 22, 2003)

Benny began his career as a performer with the band Loveboat before enrolling in the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, where he studies Sonology. Since 1999, Benny has been playing the bass in the hiphopband Abstract Dialect and composing and producing the soulband Heavenly Social, featuring Miss Dee. Additionally, he is a part of the Dutch-language hip-hop collective De Toffen. Influenced by a diverse number of sounds, Benny provides the icing on the pop music pie and throws a party for Champagne People.

Prince and Stevie Wonder quotes stand gracefully next to airy pop melodies and jazzy chords that could easily have come from Steely Dan. And of course, there is the voice of Benny himself, which is the most expressive element of all. This is the kind of repertoire that Hall and Oats would kill for. Benny Sings has made a record which is as original as it is commercial, and that’s a rarity (de Volkskrant review 06/22/03).

It seems that the Hip-hop crowd as well as the Jazzers, Soulers, and Altos of all ages feel at home at Benny’s music party. They are – and maybe we too – the unexpected “Champagne People”.

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