Beniam Willing – Jah Roots

by Apr 22, 2022Artist, Reviews

Beniam Willing - Jah Roots

Release Info

Abendigo Records
Street date
April 23, 2022
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Side A:
1. Babylon
2. Babylon Dub
3. Fear Not
4. Fear Not Dub
5. Jah Roots
6. Jah Roots Dub

Side B:
1. Wise And Courage
2. Wise And Courage Dub
3. Every Little Thing
4. Every Little Thing Dub
5. Wicked A Flop
6. Wicked Nah Dub

Abendigo Records

Paris-based Abendigo Records, the independent Roots Reggae Dub label founded in 2017 by Sly and Jahlow, has since issued some noteworthy 7″ & 12″ vinyl singles featuring tunes by artists such as the late Michael Prophet, Earl Sixteen, Prince Alla, Fred Locks, Vernon Maytone Sister Rasheda, Tommy Clarke, Ras Hassen Ti, and King Alpha. And now, they release their very first LP, a ‘Showcase’ album from French singer and musician Khayo Benyahmeen aka Beniam Willing. The latter created a few riddims for Abendigo Records (such as the Seven Seals Riddim voiced by Ras Hassen Ti for his tune called Four Men On Their Horses, and the Faith Riddim voiced by Earl Sixteen, Sister Rasheda, Prince Alla, and Fred Locks).

Beniam Willing

Apart from a small group of connoisseurs of the French Reggae scene, the name Beniam Willing isn’t a familiar one in the international reggae world. So, here’s a brief introduction… At a very young age, his father and big brother introduced him to the music of artists like Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Robin Williams, Aerosmith, and BB King. He started playing guitar at the age of 12 and tried to reproduce guitar solos of some of the biggest Blues names. Together with his brother, he started doing their first Raps inspired by Lunatic, Sniper, or Psy 4 de la Rim. He then discovered Reggae music with artists like Sizzla, Capleton, Anthony B, Don Carlos, The Skatalites, Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson, and Steel Pulse… While in high school, he navigated through other musical universes like Electronic Music together with his friend Loïck. One day on the internet, Loïck discovered an event called Dub Station at The Trabendo in Paris. It brought together Sound Systems like Channel One Sound System, King Shiloh, and Jah Shaka. The two high school students decided to set up their own Sound System which they named Melodical Soundsystem. Beniam Willing built his first home studio called the Jahstem Studio where he created Reggae music inspired by Aba Shanti, Jah Shaka, and Mad Professor. It was with Jahtool that he released his first Reggae Dub CD called Born & Raise followed by Don’t You Know together with Fred Z from Tu Shung Peng crew, which was more Roots Reggae. Later on, he released three Dub Warrior 12″ singles on Shasha Records and built a few riddims for other labels. Besides being a versatile musician who can build Ska, Rock Steady, Roots, or Stepper riddims, Beniam Willing is also a good singer with a style of his own.

Jah Roots LP

Beniam Willing’s first solo album entitled Jah Roots is an homage to His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie with the music created, voiced and mixed by himself. The ‘Showcase’ album features six vocal cuts with 100% conscious lyrics and six dub versions. It’s an authentic sounding collection with Beniam Willing showcasing his warm singing style as well as his skills and abilities as a musician and mixing engineer. Faith in the Most High is the central message of this album. This immediately becomes clear in Babylon, which is a solid album opener underpinned by a gorgeous riddim as also can be experienced when listening to Babylon Dub. In this song, Beniam Willing tells the often overlooked marginalized people of the world to have faith in Jesus Christ. Other clear examples are the stirring title track Jah Roots, which comes across a sublime old skool vibed riddim, and the undeniable nice sounding Every Little Thing. In some way Fear Not, one of the album’s highlights, and the matching Wise And Courage are reminiscent of Roberto Sánchez’s rootical productions and that’ ‘s not a bad comparison at all. The last two tracks on the B-side, Wicked A Flop & Wicked Nah Dub, are an utter joy to hear and a big way to end matters here.

Besides being available on Abendigo Records’ Bandcamp page, Beniam Willing’s Jah Roots LP will also hit the shelves of local record shops for Record Store Day (April 23, 2022).


Where to get it