India might have woken up very late to the phenomenon called dubstep, but back in the early noughties, a few young producers in South London were tirelessly working to help the genre grow. Among them were Skream and Benga, who, while still teenagers, contributed towards building some of the earliest dubstep repertoire. As the duo gears up for their debut gig in the city on Sunday, Benga talks about the genre’s evolution and his upcoming projects.
What are you looking forward to the most at this India gig?
I haven’t been to India before at all. It’s always exciting to see people’s reactions to your music if you haven’t been somewhere.
How did you and Skream start working together? And how was Magnetic Man (their trio outfit that also features producer Artwork) formed?
Our older brothers knew each other quite well and they ended up passing our numbers. Skream rang me up one night and we started playing each other our songs on the phone. And then started meeting up, and going to Big Apple (the record shop in Croydon that was the crucible of the growth of dubsetp) and hanging out. He’d come down to my house, I’d go to his. And then we met Artwork at the record shop. Shortly after that, we decided that since we’re doing so well in our careers, we should make music together. And we did.
How, according to you, has the genre evolved internationally over the past six-seven years?
One of the the key things is that, in any music, it’s all about artistes. It’s not really about the genre right now. I think people are actually starting to be more themselves and just write more music. I don’t know if it’s a trend or if the dubstep will die, I just know that artistes and their creativity will live.
What projects are you working on currently?
We (Magnetic Man) have worked in the studio for quite a long while now, maybe seven months at least, writing new tracks. One of the key things for me right now is to concentrate on Chapter II (his new album that released on May 6) and just make sure I put it into as many people’s faces.