Hot on the heels of Mzansi Magic’s Clash Of The Choirs’ inaugural season earlier in the year, RJ Benjamin accepted a second invitation as musical director to season nine of Idols South Africa that commences this September. “I have a passion to enhance what musicians make and support the industry we all play in,” he says. “I came into the business more than a decade ago and I intend building my credibility by delivering quality that points to a long term career, rather than simply being a flash-in-the-pan.
An Allenby Campus graduate back at the turn of the millennium, RJ stayed on, as a then 22 year-old teacher who today can claim the likes of Elvis Blue and Robin Kohl as just two of the many who passed through his classroom during his tenure at the now sadly defunct school.
Between teaching RJ found time to shimmy up and befriend the inner sanctum of the hip-hop and dance fraternity sufficient to begin a career that’s entrenched and growing still. “My diary is my songbook,” he says. “I write songs in the same way diaries and blogs are filled.”
Where Danny K’s popular, RJ Benjamin is referenced, invited and embraced by every critical genre; record label and artist keen to push the boundaries of their original idea. Teacher, writer and producer RJ’s credibility comes from more than 10 years of mining and polishing and giving it; “some of that” as he affectionately put it. “I’ve have, through collaborations, song writing, performing and teaching built a space that affords me the opportunity work for myself today, on my own terms, and only when I choose to.”