Seychellois singer Benting Crispin has for the first time won the best male artist title in the Cable Tune Award held recently.
The 32-year-old whose stage name is simply 'Benting' has been residing in Reunion, a French department in the Indian Ocean, for the past seven years and working as a chef. Although not living in his homeland, the Seychellois singer has not forgotten his home fans and visits the archipelago to promote his albums.
SNA spoke with the artist while he was in Seychelles for the Cable Tune Award ceremony -- a fan-voted award show -- where customers are encouraged to vote for their favourite nominees via text message.
SNA: Were you expecting to win the Best Male Artist for 2017 of the Cable Tune Award?
Benting: It was a complete shock and I don't know how it happened but I am very happy.
SNA: Is this the first time you won a title in the Cable Tune Award before?
Benting: No, I won the best new artist in the first Cable Tune award ceremony. Then I left Seychelles and had not participated again until now. I just came to Seychelles last year to release my new album 'Lobstak.' This is the album I put on Cable Tune and I came home several times for its release it compared to the other two albums.
SNA: How long have you been in the music business?
Benting: I started at around 16 years old as music is part of my family -- many members of my family are musicians. I started with singing songs of my favourite artists and later at around 17, I started writing and singing my own songs.
SNA: Most artists have a style they prefer when singing, which one is yours?
Benting: I sing in different styles depending on how I feel when writing the lyrics. If it's about love, I will use a slow rhythm. If I have lyrics more suited for reggae then it's a reggae song and when I am inspired by sega beat then I will have one even if it's not a style I currently use. I also have songs in the modern day styles like reggaeton and dancehall. On my latest album it's a mix of styles and I recorded most songs in Reunion.
SNA: Do you sing in Creole only?
Benting: Most of them are in Creole but I also have songs in English but not all of them are included in the albums. The English songs are more for international markets. On the latest album I have an English song I recorded in Reunion.
SNA: What are the inspirations for your songs?
Benting: They are from personal experience or things I see in everyday life. Most of the time I am not in Seychelles and when I come I observe changes in the country and in the people's behaviour. These are all the inspiration I get. What I miss is seeing the Seychellois people's reaction to the album because after releasing it here I went back to Reunion.
SNA: Does that mean you will be performing for your Seychellois fans?
Benting: I would love to! It's an idea I am working on especially a show on Mahe since I have performed on Praslin. I have noticed that I have many fans on Mahe and so I need to perform for them.
SNA: Since you are living in Reunion, how do you promote your songs in Seychelles?
Benting: Whenever I produce an album I come to Seychelles to release it and also come down if there are other activities like family events I have to participate in.
SNA: Do you think a singer can make a career in music in Seychelles?
Benting: In Seychelles, probably not, as the money you are expecting is not easy to come by especially to cover cost of producing songs. If you are doing it as a pastime then it's ok. If you are relying solely on music for an income you will find yourself short of cash very often because producing music in Seychelles cost a lot of money.
SNA: What is your advice for aspiring singers?
Benting: Someone who wants to become a singer in Seychelles needs to know exactly what they want to achieve and what kind of music they want to do. Commercial songs are easier to make. If you want a good positive product it costs and you need to put your heart in it
SNA: So whats next for Benting the singer?
Benting: I have a few projects I am working on especially for promoting my songs in the regions.