Sgt Benji originally hails from Wellington. His interest in music, particularly reggae, began in his early teenage years and he worked at a small inner-city record shop part-time while still at school.
As time went on his interest grew and he began playing percussion with local reggae band, Sticks And Shanty, doing gigs alongside the then up and coming, Upper Hutt Posse.
He moved to Auckland in 1988 and after a few years playing in other reggae bands went to Jamaica for the first time in 1992, attending his first Jamaican sound system dance – the legendary Jah Love Music with Brigadier Jerry. This had a great impact on him and upon his return to NZ he found himself spinning records at local fundraising parties and featuring as a guest on DJ Dubhead’s radio show on BFM.
In 1995 he became a member of the Twelve Tribes Of Israel Sound System and after another trip to Jamaica and armed with records from London the previous year, he was a resident DJ at the Chill Bar (now the Safari Lounge).
Since then Benji has traveled numerous times to JA (also playing at a couple of dances there), has worked with the Twelve Tribes sound system in California while there for a few months and has witnessed other sound systems in New York, London and Manchester. He has also started importing records into NZ from Jamaica.
Musical highlights for Sgt Benji include selecting for Culture Dan & Jeremiah of Jah Love Music and Ossie Gad and the Naturalites while they toured NZ and also opening for Luciano and Mikey General. Benji’s passion is playing new release conscious roots as a manifestation of his Rastafarian faith but he also enjoys playing bashment and dancehall.
Nuff respect to Sgt Benji for his Top Ten track selections for November 2009.
1. Di Genius feat Movado – Can’t Tek Wi Life
2. Serani – Love In My Heart
3. Asante Amen – Mek Mi Rich
4. Beniton the Menace – Run This Town (remix)
5. Lukie D – Presence Of Jah
6. Mavado – Sweetest Time
7. Vybz Kartel – Mr Officer
8. Black Rhyno – Take Control
9. Bitty McLean feat Johnny Osbourne – Jahovia
10. Cherry Rock – Realm Of Life