As diverse and colorful as his king himself - with Broken Crown, King LX has created his own musical kingdom. After years of successful work with and for top artists (like Peter Fox) and tours with international stars like Joss Stone, Benji Asare aka King LX finally takes the reins and releases his long-awaited debut album on December 16.
On Broken Crown, Benji rules over rhythms, melodies and lyrics with a sensitive, confident hand. The result is a fusion of the finest musical influences, from Sam Cooke to Bob Marley and Outkast, a melting pot of various personal stories to an irresistibly soulful as well as crispy pop album. However, inspiration is not only provided by genre greats like those just mentioned - his origins and his own musical socialization also become the central driving force.
Benji, the son of a German female artist and a Ghanaian father, was born and raised in Hamburg. Here he makes music from an early age, writes lyrics and takes his first steps in the school band. At the age of 22, he leaves his home country for a voluntary social year in America to work as a street worker. His boss takes him to church, where he sings and discovers his voice and music all over again. It's hard to overestimate how much these experiences shaped his musical self-understanding, says Benji himself.
But anyone who now assumes that the sound of King LX was created in American high-tech studios is mistaken. If you're looking for the origin of the irresistibly driving beats and feather-light Eighties synths of tracks like the single Sorry, you'll have to look around in the far north. More precisely, at a small cottage at the edge of the forest outside the gates of Hamburg. Today, musicians and creatives from all over the world meet at Haus Irmgard. Where Aunt Irmgard's chickens used to scratch, they make music, take photographs, film and, of course, cook and talk together. In this creative melting pot, the human and artistic exchange that carries King LX develops.
A perfect musical example of this joint creative process and group unity is the single Pray. It is a tribute to that which offers us support and hope through all the crises: the family - be it the physical one or those people who accompany us through all situations in life. In the best gospel and soul manner and with Benji's inimitable vocals, modern pop is interwoven with soul and RnB elements, as captivating as one rarely hears these days.
At the same time, King LX explores the ambivalences and limits of human relationships with singles like the powerful, sacral but no less soulful Universe. How close pain and hope often lie together can be immediately felt on the piano ballad Say it: It feels like it's over, I should let it be. I held my hopes up, but I lost all my belief, so, if you got something to say, say it loud, say it and lift all the clouds.
Even in those moments it is noticeable that King LX never loses sight of his life-affirming underlying message. And at another point he even reaches directly for the stars: just sunk in darkness, he dreams himself to this one person in Stargazing, who catapults him into higher spheres. Somewhere between fantasy and reality, King LX once again brings to perfection what runs like a thread through the album: the fusion of RnB, pop and soul, Benji's absolutely exceptional voice and hooks that burn themselves directly into the ear canal. But King LX is not just great music. King LX stands for diversity - human, musical, boundless. The sound of a new generation - worldwide.