Benny Mails is an artist whose name you seriously need to know. Growing up all around South London, Mails describes his upbringing as “obscure”, going onto explain how each and “every day was different” as the city makes you “feel every emotion simultaneously”. Whilst it’s his music that has everyone’s heads turning now, it was dance – precisely breakdancing and ballet – that first too Mails’ interest from a very early age.
‘I REMEMBER A VIVID MOMENT OF REALISING I HAD A UNIQUE VIEWPOINT AND NOT JUST A STORY TO TELL’
It was around the age of sixteen, inspired by his friends, when Mails first decided that it was music as opposed to dance that he wanted to pursue. However, it wasn’t something that he took too “seriously instantly”. Looking back, Mails recalls the exact, “vivid moment of realising I had a unique viewpoint and not just a story to tell”. Unsurprisingly, songwriting came just as naturally to Mails whose effortless flow and immaculate sense of rhythm stem from his background in dancing.
Citing the likes of D’Angelo’s masterful Brown Sugar, James Brown’s Payback, Nas’ God’s Son, Del La Soul’s Stakes Is High and 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’; as just a handful of records that shaped his music. Elements from these aforementioned albums can be heard in Mails’ in music – whether it’s in the production, his delivery or his songwriting.
When it comes to his creative process, Mails explains how he’s “very picky” and “particular about my instrumental” to the point where “the best stuff is made on a whim”. He goes onto say how everything he writes is “out of passion and voice notes” and that it’s “an accurate representation of my experiences”. This is something that is mirrored in tracks like “I Blocked My Dealer” and “Mantra”, which are both deeply personal and authentic accounts of the Londoner’s life.
‘I’D HOPE THAT MY MUSIC HAS MEDICINAL QUALITIES OR CAN ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO POSITIVELY EVOLVE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER’
Be sure to check out Benny Mails’ spectacular performance of “Mantra”, an elevating and utterly honest track which highlights his talents as not just a rapper, but also as a songwriter and storyteller. We’ll leave you with a wonderful message that Mails would like his listeners to take away from his music: “I’d hope that my music has medicinal qualities or can encourage someone to positively evolve in one way or another.”
Make sure to peep Benny’s COLORS show here!
KTZ, Y-3 and Han Kjobenhavn via Temporary Showroom
Styling: Sara Juric