AFDA Live Performance alumnus Benny Afroe (born Benny Riba) is an exceptional young African talent creating waves on the South African music scene with his multi-layered blend of Hip Hop, RnB, Pop, and Afro-Fusion, with strong influences from genres such as Jazz, Soul, and Pop from the 80s and 90s.
Benny grew up with music all around him. His father was a bass guitarist for various South African artists and they would listen to vinyl, and VHS cassette tapes from a variety of artists like Brenda Fassie, The Supremes, The Manhattans and more. He started writing music when he was 11 years old and started producing music at age 14.
Benny innitially studied a BCom in Law for two years but decided to leave it to follow his passion and enrolled at AFDA Johannesburg to study a Live Performance in Music degree, graduating in 2019.
While still studying at AFDA Benny broke into the music industry in 2017 and later released the hit song “Hello Baby!”. He then got signed to Vth Season and joined big stars AKA, BigStar Johnson, Lungisa Xhamela, Manu WorldStar and Ami Faku who also call the label home.
In July 2021 Benny released his 8 title track EP “Yours Truly”. The EP is available for streaming and download on all major digital platforms. It features songs like ‘Nguwe’, ‘Kill Me’ and ‘Melody’. Artists featured on the EP include Slava, Manu WorldStar, Zingah and King Monada. “Yours Truly” is fused with R&B and pop beats, and has positioned Benny as a rising talent to watch out for.
Benny described “Yours Truly” as his best work to date. “It’s an amazing body of work. I’ve really put my heart and soul into this project. The diversity of sound and melodies from featured artists is what makes it so unique.”
He has worked with local artists like Ami Faku, Sjava, DJ Qness, Afrikasoul, DJ Mlu, Bass Mdlongwa. King Monada, Mrs Dippy and DJ Van from Morocco. In early 2020 he was also invited to perform at the SXSW global festival in Austin, Texas.