Rhian Benson

Rhian Benson

 London, England, GBR
BandEDMSoul

British-Ghanaian singer/songwriter Rhian Benson follows her acclaimed debut 'Gold Coast' album with her much anticipated sophomore - ‘Hands Clean’. The album redefines modern soul as the Mobo Award winner drapes her silky voice across a soulful collection of starkly pulsating electronic grooves.

Biography

‘One of today’s brightest new talents: mould-breaking music straight from the soul’ - USA TODAY
‘The smart money is on Rhian Benson becoming a global star’ - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Her dusky voice and lyrics are the perfect instruments’- VARIETY
“A breath of fresh air” – BILLBOARD MAGAZINE
‘Sexy and soulful’- THE EVENING STANDARD
‘A genuine contender’ – Q MAGAZINE

The influence of classic soul and jazz greats of yesteryear comes to mind when you hear Rhian Benson sing. Her songs are effortless, elegant and timeless in a way that is rare in this era of artists. With the help of Danish rising star production duo, Daniel Fridell and Jonas Rendbo, Rhian has diligently and lovingly cooked up the ingredients for her new album title ‘Hands Clean’ to be released in 2010. The exciting new sound she drapes her voice across is a stark and soulful collection of pulsating electronic grooves; a hidden ground where Sade meets DJ Shadow. This is a bold album that dares to redefine modern soul music. Rhian has been nurturing her expressive style and is looking forward to showing the world more of her exquisite soulful sound.

“I met Jonas and Daniel for a brief writing session in Copenhagen a while ago and we just hit it off immediately, the guys were so passionate about creating truthful music that speaks from the soul to the soul. They instantly understood the sound and feel I was looking for… so I asked them to produce the entire album with me and I thank God they said yes!’

Rhian’s sophomore album -‘Hands Clean’- represents a strong evolution of her unique style and ventures into fresh and bold sonic terrain for the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. These confessional tales of love and life represent a new direction for this singular artist as she journeys beyond the ‘Gold Coast’.

“I experienced great change in my life since writing my first album so when I began writing ‘Hands Clean’ all I wanted to do was create a sound that in some way captured that state of flux”.

Born in Accra, and raised in Wales, Ghana and India, Rhian grew up in a very musical environment. Her Welsh mother was an accomplished singer, and her father, an Ashanti naval officer, is a gifted guitarist. Rhian started playing piano at the age of nine and picked up guitar soon after and before long, a budding singer songwriter.

Behind the warm honeyed voice is a sharp mind, Rhian gained an economics degree at the London School of Economics and worked in banking in the City for a time, a somewhat stark contrast to her own desires for a life in music. Her studies continued at Harvard in America, until her mother fell ill and Rhian returned home to care for her ailing mother. With time to think she found healing and release in music and decided to chase her singing dreams, feeling as though it was a risk worth taking in order to dance her heart’s dreams into life.
(continued…)

Numerous open mic nights and various club slots in London followed and she found her voice often compared to Sade , Phyllis Hyman and Norah Jones. One night after a show Rhian was offered a deal by an executive from Los Angeles based label, DKG, and relocated to America to write and record her debut album ‘Gold Coast’ a title which beautifully reflects her childhood home of Ghana.

Under the Californian sun the gifted songstress, musician and writer co-produced the album with Grammy Award-winning producers Bob Power (Chaka Khan, A Tribe Called Quest) and James Poyser (Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo). The albums sound was a striking collection of moving songs, beautiful and passionate melodies and rich production, all fused together underneath Rhian’s velvety and captivating voice. In 2004, was released to phenomenal international support and great critical acclaim.

Rhian’s self-penned debut single ‘Say How I Feel’ was a Top 10 R&B hit in the US and Top 30 in the UK national charts. The video for the single featuring the model Tyson Beckford and an iconic looking Rhian instantly became MTV Base’s #1 Most Played video. The BR Gunna remix of ‘Say How I Feel’ went on to become an underground hip hop classic and saw Rhian collaborate with hip hop legends Slum Village.

Invited by BET in the US to host her own TV show series aptly entitled ‘Gold Coast’- a first for a brand new British artist, Rhian went back to her home in Ghana to shoot footage for the show and also interviewed a wide range of celebrities from LL Cool J to Clint Eastwood!

Rhian’s first US national tour followed in 2003 when she supported R&B legend Brian McKnight; she then headlined her own shows and performed alongside artists including Angie Stone, Raphael Saadiq, Macy Gray and Angela Bofill. Rhian took great pleasure in joining British soul star Lemar on her first UK tour in 2005.

Her journey and passion have come with rewards like the MOBO Award for ‘Best Jazz Act’ in 2005, ‘Best New Soul Act’ - Urban Music Awards in 2005, ‘Best Pop Act’ - Welsh Music Awards in 2005

Lyrics

BE

Written By: R. Benson, J. Rendbo, D. Fridell


BE-BEfore you even BEgin
To think you can BE me
BE-BEat the clock that goes tick-tock
BEfore you call me crazy
I think you’re running out of time
Sinking ever slowly
This has BEcome end of the line
No more if or mayBE

Forget the drama
Just just let it BE
With everything that lies BEneath
You should BE all that you can BE
And if you BElieve that karma
Comes back to BEat you up
You BEtter loosen up baBE
BElieve Im gonna BE me

Just let it BE
Let it BE
Don’t worry about a thing
Let it BE
Let it BE

BE-BE easy as ABC
That’s the combination
If you BE you and I BE me
MayBE that’s the best equation
BE-BEam me up, I think we need
A little elevation
It would BE oh so heavenly
If you could BE my good vibration

Forget the drama…

Discography

'Gold Coast' Album (2003 DKG/WEA)

'Say How I Feel - The Mixes' EP (2004 DKG/Universal)

'This Feels Like Home' Single (2010 Icarus Music)

'Hands Clean' Album (to be released November 2010 Icarus Music)

Set List

TBC