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BIOGRAPHY - Rhian Benson


Rhian Afua Benson is a R&B, soul musician of Ghanaian (guitarist) and British parentage (singer). Rhian Benson is enigmatic because she defies categorization; enigmatic because her life and her music are framed by paradox. Complex and cerebral, Rhian's music is simultaneously warm and soulful, empathetic and ethereal. She's been compared to a diverse range of artists, from Jill Scott to Seal to Sade; from Enya to Lauryn Hill; Dinah Washington to Dido. Rhian's music has been described as R&B, soul, jazz, reggae, hip-hop and world beat - and, to illustrate the paradox of Rhian in only one of a hundred ways -- each of those genres apply. Rhian - born Rhiannon Afua Benson in Ghana, West Africa - grew up surrounded by music and musicians. Her mother, from Wales in Britain is a singer, and her father, a native of Ghana, is a guitarist. Rhian's grandfather led an acclaimed big band in the '50s and '60s, her eldest uncle was a popular highlife singer - and her youngest uncle a record producer. Home for Rhian was a place of music; her childhood was immersed in the sounds of Miles Davis, Earth Wind & Fire, Ella Fitzgerald and Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti among many others. Rhian was not meant to be a spectator, though, and her desire to become a musician coincided with a family move to India. Within weeks of arriving in New Delhi, Rhian's passion was fully ignited: she began playing piano, wrote her first song at the age of nine and picked up guitar soon after and before long, a budding singer songwriter. By the time she and her family returned to Ghana, Rhian was fully engrossed in the music - both listening and creating. Behind the warm honeyed voice is a sharp mind, Rhian gained an economics degree at the London School of Economics and worked in banking in the City for a time, a somewhat stark contrast to her own desires for a life in music. Her studies continued at Harvard in America, until her mother fell ill and Rhian returned home to care for her ailing mother.

With the help of Danish rising star production duo, Daniel Fridell and Jonas Rendbo, Rhian has diligently and lovingly cooked up the ingredients for her new album title 'Hands Clean' to be released in early 2011. "Hands Clean" is a refreshing departure from Rhian's previous work. Rhian's well known sultry vibes are teamed with a collection of pulsating electronic grooves to introduce her fans to a hidden ground where Sade meets DJ Shadow. This is a bold album that dares to redefine modern soul music. Rhian has been nurturing her expressive style and is looking forward to showing the world more of her exquisite soulful sound. Everything about this album has been organic and refreshing, and Rhian is quoted as saying: "I met Jonas and Daniel for a brief writing session in Copenhagen a while ago and we just hit it off immediately, the guys were so passionate about creating truthful music that speaks from the soul to the soul. They instantly understood the sound and feel I was looking for so I asked them to produce the entire album with me and I thank God they said yes!' Rhian's sophomore album, "Hands Clean" represents a strong evolution of her unique style and ventures into fresh and bold sonic terrain for the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. These confessional tales of love and life represent a new direction for this singular artist as she journeys beyond the 'Gold Coast'. "I experienced great change in my life since writing my first album so when I began writing 'Hands Clean' all I wanted to do was create a sound that in some way captured that state of flux".

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