Abstract Benna is a South London-based storyteller and spoken word artist who has been making a name for himself across the live circuit over recent years. His forthcoming show Out of Darkness, which also serves as his debut Audio Film (EP) launch, paints a picture of the choices that were available to his younger self while growing up in the light and darkness of South London social housing culture. The live performance will also feature new work on video as well as guest performers.
Nurtured by a culture of storytelling, rap cyphers and the lyricism of his peers, Benna’s writing and performative skills evolved as he merged his love of authentic narratives with the rhythms and sounds of his environment. Honing his skills, he soon found himself sharing poems onstage, facilitating workshops and receiving corporate commissions. As this continued, Benna rapidly found himself needing to adapt to a variety of spaces and audiences. Out of Darkness is a reflective summary of this journey; growing up in inner city London and finding the tools to take on the unexpected.
This project captures the essence of what I do. It sets the premise for the things I want to talk about going forward. My on-going themes are identity. What it means being raised in the diaspora and adapting to inner-city London life. Out of Darkness captures the essence of what it was like growing up in a pre-gentrified neighbourhood when crime, poverty, community love and a vibrant culture was all in a melting pot of what shaped us into the people we became.
An article I wrote for the Voice Newspaper online:
An article I wrote for I Am Hiphop:
Code Switching video:
What does it mean to be famous:
My Adolescent Theory
OUT OF DARKNESS - A SHORT AUDIO FILM
OUT OF DARKNESS is a Spoken Word audio experience that combines intricate rhyme schemes, layered storytelling and Poetic imagery against a backdrop of Hip-Hop sonics and epic film score, capturing the listener’s imagination and emotions upon clicking play.
Set on a South London estate, this brutally honest audio film takes the listener on a fly-on-the-wall journey through the inner city and deep into the mind of a young Londoner as they navigate their environment.
The story unfolds as a set of choices young Londoners have to make and the life lessons they have to learn as they transition to adulthood, whilst figuring out who they are, and who they want to become. Benna will be performing the entire body of work, accompanied by support artists on the day.
Soon to be available on all streaming platforms
Abstract Benna is tipped to be recognised for his poetic excellence and social commentary.
He has worked with award winning Spitfire Audio composer Oliver Patrice Weder, and been featured in productions by the BBC, the Roundhouse, Richmix, City Hall, Virgin Media, Museum of London.