Ben Anansi: Listen For The Story Behind Every Song

Ben Anansi
Ben Anansi

I call him the guy with the cute braces… #smile.

If there is anyone who takes their time to talk and does it calmly, I can tell you that Ben Anansi does it way better.

So, he comes into the Vibe room for his interview looking all quiet and serious and I’m wondering “why does he look so serious”. Scared that it was going to a boring session, we went into it anyways but guess what, it turned out to be a really cool session.

Ben Anansi is one of the cool artistes that believe in good music, believe in having a story behind every song and not just about flowing with the trend and so far, through his songs, he has shown us what/how he felt at the time he wrote the song.

Still a student in pursuit for a degree in Agric Engineering, Ben Anansi is grateful to his record label for making his dreams come through and he promises not to let them down. In this interview, he tells us about how he started music, how far he has gone, and what we should expect from him in the nearest future.

He didn’t fail to talk about his concert {Unplugged by Ben Anansi and Friends} which happens once every year hosting several artistes both local and international, and he is currently on a music tour in South Africa. P.S… He wanted to take me #wink.


Is Ben Anansi your birth given name?

No, it is not, it is my stage name. By birth, I am Ojobor Okwudili Bendonald. I got Ben Anansi from my birth name Ben and a story I fell in love with while growing up, the Anansi story. It triggered something in me, the story was about wisdom and before you put out an art for people to relate with, you must attain a level of wisdom. You can’t give people what you do not have, so I chose Anansi because it reminds me and puts me in check. It also relates me to my African root so I basically just like to see myself that way.

What is your backstory, how did music start for you?

I am Ben Anansi, from Enugu state. Growing up, my mom was a petty trader and she left me with my grandma a lot, so I spent more time with my grandma and at that time, my aunt and uncle were in the choir. When they got back home at the end of the day, they would always sing and I was there to do the backup but my uncle was more of a rap guy, so that was how I grew up. That was the early part of music for me. Later on, I recorded a song with a friend at the time, played it for a lot of people and these people thought I was getting it, they thought I was good and I should keep doing music. So I thought to keep trying since I loved music and everyone thought I was good.

When did music start professionally?

I starting doing music professionally in 2016.

Ben Anansi
Ben Anansi

School and Music, how did/do you balance both?

I wouldn’t say it is easy but the love for music keeps me going. I try to balance both, I always try because if you can’t create a balance, you do not know what you are doing. On some days after school, I go to the studio. My roommate had the time had a home studio, so when I’m in the house, he plays the beat, I sing and we just vibe, play around. So that built me, built my music, helped me get more confidence, express myself in my music because I wake up every day, this guy is in my room, banging beats in my head and we were just doing what we could do at the time.

What’s your favorite part of doing music?

I think it’ll be when I am vibing and recording. I write my own songs.

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?

Hmmm, that would be a difficult one because I don’t see myself doing anything that is not music but I’m currently studying Agric engineering, so if music wasn’t there, it would be engineering. The dream has always been music, so I guess right now, it is music all the way.

How would you categorically describe your kind of music?

I’d say dancehall – afro fusion. I try to mix afro and dancehall because growing up, my dad played more of Morocco sound and Osadebe but my uncle played Tupac, Biggie and the likes, so I try to mix those two together and dancehall is a genre I love. So let’s just call it Afro-fusion.

I’m just an artiste, I wouldn’t want to box myself. I do the kind of music that best expresses how I feel at the time.

Ben Anansi
Ben Anansi

Tell us 5 artistes you’d love to feature?

Number one on the list is Wizkid but we are working on a song at the moment so… Burna, 2Baba, Timaya, if I could get Bob Marley that would be legendary and Drake because I look at the international market as well.

Tell us about your song, Slow Down?

The song was/is actually about my ex-girlfriend, her name is Nonso. We broke up because I wasn’t giving her the attention and all. She wasn’t just there for what I had though, the love was genuine. She loved me but I had little time and all because of my career, I was just trying to tell what kind of person she is through the song and how she made me feel. That is just basically it.

If you could change anything in the industry, what would it be?

I’d change how people appreciate music. There is always a trend, it’s not all about the trend. It is about people appreciating the art and the artiste.

I’d like to change the perception the general public has about artistes and drugs, not all artistes are drug addicts or into these substances to get their inspiration.

Who are your favorite producers?

Bandookeyz is my favorite producer at the moment because we’ve done a lot of songs together. He produced my first, second songs and he produced Slow Down. I’d want to work with Legendury Beatz, I’d want to work with Sarz, and KillerTunes.

Who are your favorite directors?

I’ve worked with Director Q, and Unlimited LA … and I think I want to work with Clarence on my next project.

Ben Anansi
Ben Anansi

Do you have a Celebrity crush?

Yeah, Yemi Alade is my celebrity crush.

Tell us about your new projects?

Yeah, there are new projects. We’ve been working, day in day out. Possibly an EP or an Album next year but for now, it’s just Slow Down and I’m sure we’ll put out a single before the end of the year.


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