INTERVIEW | Benni Ola Talks New EP with Daktyl, Musical Influences & More

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Benni Ola is an incredibly talented upcoming artist, who is bridging the gap between spoken word poetry, songwriting, and electronic music. He’s already collaborated with a number of high-profile artists, including Channel Tres, JPEGMAFIA, and TOKiMONSTA. For his latest endeavor, he’s teamed up with longtime multi-instrumentalist and producer, Daktyl. Today, the two have released their brand new collaborative EP, Chaos Theory (Part 1), out now via Young Art Records.

Both artists possess such unique characteristics alone but together sound unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. Chaos Theory (Part 1) features four tracks that showcase the duo’s rare sound, which blends Daktyl’s production prowess with Benni Ola’s powerful vocals and poetic lyricism. There’s notes of hip-hop, r&b, house, techno, soul, and funk throughout the EP, easily making this one of the most distinct collaborations of the year.

We had the opportunity to speak with Benni Ola on his background, influences, aspirations, and more. You can check out our conversation below, along with the stream of their new EP. Enjoy!

Benni Ola & Daktyl – Chaos Theory (Part 1)

We’ve been familiar with Daktyl for a while now and love this ‘crossover’ sound you two have created together. How did you two begin working together and what’s that relationship like?

Rich and I met years ago pre-pandemic at a studio session. It was all good energy, and he put on a beat and I remember I started free-styling to it and it was just fun. We always kept in contact and began having casual studio sessions together just creating for creations sake. A very pure experience. We just aligned, synergy you can’t fake. We both truly care about how we impact the world. I believe his production and his character speaks to that and I believe my words and my character speak to that. What we create is just a byproduct of that reality.

You have such an extensive background in poetry, in particular speaking on black America. How did you come about the world of poetry and how much of that has influenced your music and writing?

Whenever I think of that question I always think of how these things found me. I wasn’t looking, I’ve always been someone who told their story and who told stories, and art has always been by my side since I was a child. I mean I started drawing when I was 4 years old. So maybe I was always bound to find a way to turn my words into art, something auditory that helped you visualize. I remember being like 10 and writing small poems and drawing pictures to match, to deal with the feeling of being lonely. I guess when I really think about it, it came about as a necessity. I needed to tell my story, and this is how I decided to do it. 

There’s so many important and difficult topics that you touch on in the EP, from religion, your Nigerian upbringing, fatality, and more. Has speaking on such personal topics through music helped you grow outside of everything?

Yeah of course. I just feel so lucky. It is my life’s belief that we have more in common than what makes us different, so when I share this unique view that I have and someone gets to bare witness…that feeling will never get old, because I know they’ll see something in the view that they can take with them. That is the impact I’m looking for. That’s the movement. That’s the Growth. 

You’ve worked closely with so many amazing artists and producers in your career. Is there anyone else that you would consider a dream to collaborate with in the future?

Really into collaborating with Black Women in Dance. That’s the JUICE. I would love to collaborate with Azealia Banks, Kah-Lo, Aluna…I mean I can go on forever. 

You guys really covered a lot of ground on ‘Chaos Theory (Part 1)’. With this only being the first part of the project, what else can we expect from Part 2?

Shhhhh 🤫, You talking too loud hahaha. All I can say is SUMMER IS GONNA BE HOT.