London Dubstep pioneer and Magnetic Man band member Benga is attracting attention for his subtle neck beard as well as his tunes
The neck beard is long overdue a reclamation from the likes of isolated card gamers and programmers of obscure programming languages. Once the preserve of the presidential (Abraham Lincoln), the inspired (Henry David Thoreau) and, well, the Amish people (okay, they’ve never given up on a good thing), the neck beard has experienced a steady decline in polite society only to be spotted in troubled start-up HQs and sinister smelling bedrooms, usually via a murky webcam.
However, a new breed of neckers is emerging. Jack Nicholson was recently photographed sporting a whispery throat coat, while fellow thespian, Jonah Hill, in 2012 was honoured with an Oscar nomination after years of dedication to the wildebeest’s scarf.
Meanwhile across the pond, a young producer and DJ – whose pioneering work at the sharp end of the Dubstep movement was equalled only by his commitment to bringing shaggy back – was rocking the British music scene, along with the nation’s approach to manscaping.
Although Benga, as he is known to his army of listeners on BBC Radio 1, remains tight-lipped about what lurks under his chin, his grooming influence has been evident across the UK, from inner city chip shops to this summer’s numerous festival VIP enclosures.
As well as blasting out his innovative beats from the back of buses through their mobile phones, fans of Benga have been daring to grow forth and justify an exciting variety of facial embellishments. From carbon copy neck beards to flamboyant muttonchops, Benga’s (literally) effortless look is 2012 urban Britain.
Rewind a decade; back to when Croydon’s then 14-year old Benga, without the pressure of choosing whether to neck or not to neck, mastered his craft. First with a ground breaking series of home recordings made on a PlayStation, then – after having his talents recognised by a local record store owner – advancing to the recording studio.
Benga’s refreshing lack of cynicism and a pop sensibility that can only really be deployed by one so young, gave the teenager an edge that quickly propelled him to the forefront of an entire new wave of British music.
With his third album, Chapter 2, due to drop on August 27 and his ongoing sideline as one third of Dubstep supergroup, Magnetic Man, expect to see many more neck beards emerge in the next 12 months.
More Info: http://www.benga.co.uk/