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One of the major names in the world of dubstep, producer Benga was born Beni Uthman in East London. His parents eventually moved to the suburb of Croydon, where a young Benga would fiddle with his radio every night, looking for pirate radio stations and taking in all sorts of fringe music. He first began making tracks on his PlayStation game system, then graduated to digital audio workstation Fruity Loops when his parents bought him a computer. Hearing the dark work of 2-step producer Wookie inspired him to join part of the grime/garage scene that would eventually evolve into dubstep. Hanging out at the Big Apple Records store in Croydon introduced him to fellow dubstep producer Skream. When the store began its own label, Benga released his debut 12", "Skank," in late 2002. A co-production with Skream called "The Judgement" appeared on Big Apple in early 2003, and then Benga began his own label -- Benga Beats -- and released the three-track 12" Benga Beats, Vol. 1 in 2004. A couple 12"s for the Planet Mu label landed before Benga Beats released his full-length debut, Newstep, in 2006. By now radio DJs and tastemakers like Mary Anne Hobbs and François K were singing his praises, putting Benga in the company of dubstep's favorite, Burial. In 2007 he moved to the Tempa label and issued the singles "Crunked Up" and "Night," the latter a collaboration with Coki. Both tracks ended up on his 2008 album, Diary of an Afro Warrior. While he issued several 12" releases and mixtapes and played live for the next five years, Benga's next album didn't appear until the winter of 2013; it was appropriately titled Chapter II. ~ David Jeffries