“A hyper-vigilant insomniac” is one of the many ways one can describe upcoming artist BENJI & Their Orchestra, or at least according to their impressive website. Heading into their freshman year at Ohio University, the singer and songwriter will be studying music production and recording industry on a pre-entertainment law track this fall, wanting to further their musical craft and knowledge of the music industry.
An artist dedicated to putting in the work, BENJI is someone who seems to strive for excellence. Attending Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before OU, the singer studied interdisciplinary arts with a concentration in music business. Before Michigan, BENJI lived in Princeton, NJ, finding inspiration from genres such as jazz and classical.
Additionally, the singer is their own CEO, as well as the founder and recording artist at Hollywood Music Group LLC. BENJI also has experience in entertainment journalism as the founder and editor in chief for The Hollywoodland Magazine. That’s not all, though. The singer is the founder and executive director for The Hollywoodland Project, too.
Starting off their career in 2021, BENJI originally contributed majorly to the dance scene. That year, they were named West Coast Dance Explosion’s National Champion. This success led the singer to assisting world-renowned choreographers on a multi-city national dance convention tour a year later.
The choreographers BENJI worked alongside included Tony Award nominee Elizabeth Parkinson, Scott Myrick and Preston Mui. Myrick previously choreographed tours for artists such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, while Mui helped form dance numbers for the beloved musical “Hamilton,” learning from all of these individuals and their skill levels.
With already a vast amount of experience in the arts, BENJI didn’t slow down when it came to forming their new music. In March, they released their debut single “the boy from costa rica,” along with an instrumental version, on all streaming platforms.
A month later, BENJI dropped another single titled “goodnight moon (feat. remi),” acting as their first collaboration. A jazzy song about falling in love with someone, the singer talks about experiencing emotions such as nervousness, lust and doubt. What makes this song more intriguing is its quick transition into an electronic sound, proving BENJI’s willingness to make bold statements in their music.
Following these two singles, BENJI went through with the release of their first EP this month, called “hypnagogia.” Released on May 19, the EP’s five songs draw from other artists such as FKA twigs, Weyes Blood and Fiona Apple, all artists that the singer finds solace within.
The EP also integrates sounds from different countries and cultures such as Mexico, Indonesia and Venezuela, highly evident on tracks like “unrequited love,” “lucid dreaming” and “until we meet again.”
Now a verified artist on Spotify, BENJI hopes to bring authenticity, human connection and light to listeners, not aiming to appeal to the masses. Their craft has already shown that the singer is not afraid to push the limits in terms of songwriting, producing and pulling from musical influences and cultures.
As a newcomer to OU, students and locals should be on the lookout for this rising star, especially as they continue to grow, inspire and create on their own terms.