Profile: Liberian Afro Pop Artist, Benji Cavalli, Breaking the Odds in the Industry
Benjamin B. Kai, popularly known as Benji Cavalli, is a Liberian Afrobeat, Gbema, and Highlife artist, instrumentalist, songwriter, and dancer. Benji was born April 17th in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa where he had always dreamed of being a vocalist. Greatly influenced by his uncle Zack Roberts, one of Liberia’s most legendary singer-songwriters, Benji started singing and dancing at the age of 9. As a result of the infamous civil conflict in Liberia and following the assasination of his father, Benji and his family moved to the Ivory Coast in 1997. He started a new life by experiencing an unfamiliar culture and added conversational French to his list of skills.
After migrating to the United States in 2000 and settling in Staten Island, New York, his love for music was still present, so in 2008 Benji joined a French-speaking, Coupe Decale boy band based in Philadelphia called “La Jet Fami,’ attaining fans and fame through their fashion sense and dance moves.
In 2010, the group was dismantled; however, it was not the end for Benji Cavalli. He went on to release an EP called My Time in 2011, but this project did not reach anticipated success. Fortunately, in 2015 Benji Cavalli was introduced to one of Liberia’s most renowned music producers, Prince Sherman Thomas, commonly known as Just Prince. To Benji, it was a dream come true. The two had instant synergy in the studio, and as a result, the first single they collaborated on, “Slow It Down,” was an instant hit that is still being requested by fans today. In 2016, Benji Cavalli was nominated by the Liberian Entertainment Awards for “Song of The Year,” “Video of The Year,” and “Best Artist” due to the success of “Slow It Down,” and Benji won “Video of The Year” that year. He and Just Prince went on to team up on the release of the singles “Lazy,” “One More Night,” and “Spoil Myself.”
In December 2017 Benji was booked to perform in Australia at the Liberian Golden Awards and won “King of The Stage.” Benji was nominated again for “Best Music Video” for the hit song “Lazy” by the Liberian Entertainment Awards in 2020, he also has been booked to perform in Canada and all over the United States including the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Benji Cavalli has collaborated with Liberian artists Eric Geso, D12, and Tamba Hali and partnered on projects with artists of other nationalities as well. Although Benji has performed live in lineups with many international talents, namely Flavour, Timaya, Kaysha, Emmerson, Koby Maxwell, Serge Defalet, and Teeyah, what is most important to him is having the opportunity to share his gifts with the world to make a difference.
In 2022, Benji Cavalli will be embarking on his first headlining tour to accompany the release of his debut album, The Bridge.