Benjamin Myers Biography

Musician, Producer, Recording and Performing Artiste
Benjy Myaz
“A fine line separates musicians who play music to live and those who live to play music. I live to play music… it is my life” Benjy Myaz

Benjy Myaz was born in a little town called Haddington, Hanover, on the island of Jamaica. He and his other seven musical siblings were exposed to music at an early age, playing with the band in their father's church. Benjy quickly learned the guitar and was always eager to play at devotions in primary school and do rehearsals with the church groups. He went on to study music at Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay. After leaving school in 1984, Benjy taught music for two years at the high school level and began further studies with private tutors earning tertiary accreditation from the London Royal School of Music.

Benjy’s professional musical career began when he started working in Jamaica’s tourist industry, playing in most of the north coast hotels for nearly eight years. During that time, Benjy applied and received a scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Faith, in its divinity, wouldn’t have it that way. He, however, went on to develop skills in bass playing, arranging, songwriting and music production and his career as a musician is credited to his vast knowledge about music.

The musician has command of at least seven instruments, with his first love being the Bass. This he owes to diligent studies and an innate love for music. According to Benjy, “When a musician is formally trained, it allows him or her to appreciate the origin and growth of music. It gives you deeper perspective about your craft.”

As a producer, he got his first big break in 1986 when he arranged and produced a remake of Brooke Benton's classic “So Many Ways”, performed by Dennis Malcolm, which went to the number one position in Jamaica, England and New York. With hopes of touring as a bassist, Benjy became a member of the Rhythm Kings Band, touring with several artistes including Jimmy Cliff, Culture, Toots and the Maytals, Shinehead and J.C. Lodge. His other credits include appearing as a bassist for the chorale, Sounds of Blackness and also Jimmy Cliff.

During this period he realized his other dreams, singing, writing and arranging music. The nineties afforded him the opportunity to produce, write, arrange and collaborate with top Reggae/Pop/Gospel/Folk/Urban recording artists such as Third World, Garnet Silk, Ken Boothe, Joan Myers, Pam Hall, Michael St. George, Bankie Banx, Freddie McGregor and Jazz Pianist Onajae Allan Gumbs. Myaz has co-produced several projects with ace producer, Bobby Digital, including tracks on Sizzla’s album, The Real Thing and Capleton’s Reign of Fire among others. He has also produced several musical projects for Fyah Wyah and Joanna Marie.

As a solo act, he performed alongside international artists Jeffrey Osbourne, James Ingram, Gladys Knight, Angie Stone, Kevon Edmonds, Bankie Banx and most recently with Peabo Bryson at the Buzz Production’s “To Mom With Love” concert series held in Jamaica. He performed at World Food Day (Nov.2000) at James Bond Beach, Ocho Rios, Reggae Sumfest (Jamaica’s premier music festival) and the Jamaica Jazz Festival.

Benjy says one highlight of his career, was performing his first single, a cover of Love You Higher at the Prime Minister's Ball in 2000, alongside international recording artiste Randy Crawford, who had originally recorded the song, to her surprise and delight. He had released the cover 1995 prior to that memorable performance and it had been receiving massive airplay and has become a classic in the annals of reggae music.

On the international scene, Benjy toured Japan following the launch of his album Time Together to promote its release. He also performed at Midem 97 (France); and Anguilla's annual Moonsplash, held in March 2007, where he appeared as bassist and musical director for Bankie Banx, and has been since 1997. In 1999 he received a Nomination Medal & Certificate from the Grammy Committee for being a part of Toots and the Maytals Grammy-nominated album.

To date, Benjy has released three albums. His Debut Album Intimate Relationship was released in the U.S. in 1997. Time Together, released in Jamaica and Japan in 1998 and the U.S. in 2000 (VP Records). His own label, My’ Werks Music, released Long Story Short, the third vocal album, in November 2005.

Prior to completing Long Story Short, Benjy produced an instrumental album entitled You’ve Got Me -- the first of its kind ever produced in Jamaica - featuring the sound of the Bass as the lead instrument up front which is being prepared for mastering and packaging.

Music lovers are going to love experiencing this side of Benjy Myaz. In order to accomplish the variations, he utilized his knowledge of other instruments to transform the bassist’s melodies. He states, “The Bass was always an accompanying rather than a lead instrument and the concept was to create melodies and not make them sound repetitious or monotonous”.

This instrumental album he says “was strongly inspired by fusion musicians like Herbie Hancock, George Duke and in particular, bass players Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Jaco Pastorius. It has international appeal, but does not leave out the ‘Reggae feel’, which, Benjy says “…brings back the album to its grass roots".

Benjy continues to tour and perform in Jamaica and on the international scene, always creating new music and recording new sounds. According to Benjy, “I am about chasing creativity, not the competition".

Benjy Myaz
Musician, Producer, Recording and Performing Artiste
My' Werks Music/Productions™ © 2009
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