When you think of the name Joseph Benjamin, you are bound to think of the thespian art before giving music a thought. However, as the month of November 2016 was about to draw curtain, another kind of drama was unfolding but it was neither on stage or before a camera. It was no act, Joseph Benjamin had released a debut single!
Nollywood actor, Compere, speaker and TV presenter mainly known for co-hosting MTN’s Project Fame, Joseph Benjamin has always been a singer but found expression for his acting prowess first. He first starred in the popular 90s TV Programme “Tales by Moonlight”. He is a multi-award winner with movies such as Tango With Me, Mr. and Mrs., Murder at Prime Suites and more to his credit.
While releasing the debut single “Joy”, Joseph Benjamin declared he is an Urban/Contemporary Gospel and Inspirational singer. Curious to know the rationale behind his resolution, SelahAfrik‘s Alex Amos caught up with the veteran actor and the chat was quite revealing!
SelahAfrik: Why Gospel & Inspirational music?
Joseph Benjamin: That is my foundation. I have been in the choir since ’98 and I am still in that same choir till date. The Higher Dimension Choir of Revival Assembly Church, my pastor is Anselm Madubuko.
SelahAfrik: Does that mean you are a born again Christian?
Joseph Benjamin: Yes sir
SelahAfrik: Can you share your salvation journey with us?
Joseph Benjamin: It’s been a journey of love… who I am today is a product of the love and grace that found me. My life, everything that I am and everything that I want to be is all wrapped up in God. He’s been so faithful and the journey has been nothing short of joy and peace. I will say to anyone who cares to listen, I am crazy about Jesus and I am unapologetic about it. He is my life and the fullness of my being.
SelahAfrik: You said categorically that you are an Urban/Contemporary Gospel & Inspirational singer, can you explain that to us?
Joseph Benjamin: Yes… I have a new single coming out in a matter of months and it is a love song. Most people may not understand but after I recorded the song, I said to myself, this is an expression of God’s love because God is the fullness of love. I needed to set people’s perception in that pattern so when the song comes out, it does not take them by surprise. That is why I am an Urban/Contemporary Gospel and Inspirational singer. It is as He gives the song to me that I deliver it. My next thematic preoccupation may just be worship and that’s because I am a worship minister as well.
SelahAfrik: You have always been into music, why did it take this long for you to give that part of you expression?
Joseph Benjamin: People are asking me why music and I say to them that I have always been into music. They also ask why it took this long for me to come out with something, I say to them that I needed to understand the perfect timing of God. I need to be sure that the move I make is at the perfect time. Because you can be making the right move but at the wrong time, so all these years, all I have been waiting for is the perfect timing of God but those who knew me from back in the days know that music has always been number one for me.
SelahAfrik: You mentioned that you have another single coming out does that mean we should expect an album?
Joseph Benjamin: An album? I’m not sure but an EP is most likely. Like I said earlier when I announced the single “Joy”, I told people that in the weeks to come, I will be taking my fans on this journey, because this is the other side of my life and God has given me the liberty now and it is the time for it to find expression. I have waited all these while because I knew it will demand my total commitment and it is why I waited for the perfect time so that I can hit the ground running without looking back. The world needs the light and we are the light and how else can one bring the light than giving expression to the gift He has given to you? That’s why I am unapologetic about the things I do and say, as long as life will be touched the way it is supposed to be.
SelahAfrik: Can you quantify the feedback from your debut single “Joy”?
Joseph Benjamin: It amazes me the feedback I have received from this single. It has touched lots of people and a good number have called me saying things like, Joseph, this is what we need to hear and that is because people need to be encouraged, people just need someone who will tell them everything will be okay and that is what inspired this song because I know people are going through a lot and we that are the children of the light, we have understanding and that understanding is what we should use to inspire our world. The testimonies from this song has been so amazing. I was blown away by the reception and feedback! Nonetheless, the most important thing to me remains the fact that it was getting across to people.
SelahAfrik: You said this is a journey for you and you were taking us along, are you saying you are in the process of self discovery as far as this project is concerned?
Joseph Benjamin: Absolutely, there are different dimensions and phases to it. As He opens and unveils the phases, I follow through so it’s a journey and you know on a journey, you will get to discover new things, so that’s pretty much how I want to carry people along so that as I am discovering, they can understand and embrace the discoveries as well.
SelahAfrik: Do you plan on any collaboration for the upcoming singles?
Joseph Benjamin: I plan on working with some few people and I will tell them once I am ready. It’s pretty much the expressions of my heart and that’s also the title of the body of work.
SelahAfrik: You mentioned the inspiration behind the single “Joy” in passing, can you state precisely what inspired the need to reach out through “Joy”?
Joseph Benjamin: If you follow me on social media, you will discover most of my posts are inspirational, I also do a bit of public speaking and that is all about motivating and inspiring people, so “Joy” is pretty much in line with who I am and what I do. It’s giving my passion a different expression.
SelahAfrik: So you will say you are fulfilling purpose with this new development?
Joseph Benjamin: Absolutely! Many people have asked me what I have been doing since, that I did not give this part of me expression earlier but it makes me laugh because every man has to go through a process and one needs to understand the process because it is what forms the fabric of who you turn out to become. You need to go through that process so that you can appreciate where you are heading to.
SelahAfrik: What do you do for relaxation, when you are not working?
Joseph Benjamin: When I am not working, I am probably watching movies, watching series or playing FIFA. I love games. That’s how I relax… my life is very easy. I live a very simple life.
SelahAfrik: You are a fashionable person, tell us about your style
Joseph Benjamin: My key is simplicity because my style is all about not putting too much effort – less is more. Style is the definition of who you are and it comes from the inside to the outward.
SelahAfrik: What else should we be expecting from Joseph Benjamin?
Joseph Benjamin: It’s music and movies for me but as it stands right now, it’s going to be more of music now. I have waited all the while for the right time now that the time has come, I know it’s going to demand a lot from me because it’s my passion.
SelahAfrik: Any parting word?
Joseph Benjamin: Never give up on your desire, never give up on your dream. You are more than what you think and you are the only one who can stop yourself. Nobody can stop you. Keep soaring and keep building on what you have because you never know when the window of opportunity will open. You know when opportunity meets preparedness, success is inevitable. God is all the support you need, you don’t need the validation of any man.
Listen to “JOY” by Joseph Benjamin below:
Connect with Joseph Benjamin on:
- #SelahMusic: Glowreeyah Braimah | Stronger [@glowreeyah] - September 19, 2020
- Urban Afro Gospel Artiste Munachi Releases “Psalms Of A Hood Boy” EP | @munachi4u - September 19, 2020
- Upclose: “How I Turned Down Devil’s Deal For Gospel” – Munachi Speaks On Greatest Temptation, Forthcoming EP & More - September 18, 2020