credit: Shamaal Bloodman
Born Ian Benjamin Welch, Benji. hails from the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, where he
grew up in a musically inclined family. Always surrounding himself with music, Benj. is a
self-taught producer, artist and impassioned live performer — having once opened for the
likes of Kid Cudi and Snoop Dogg. One of the most boldly original artists to break out of
the Pittsburgh rap scene, Benji. brings pure energy and unlimited imagination to
everything he creates. With his extraordinary musicianship—he plays drums, guitar, bass,
keys, organ, and flute—the rapper/singer/songwriter/producer draws inspiration from soul
and hip-hop and psych-rock and funk, molding those eclectic influences into a hyper-
inventive but timeless sound. Recently featured on NPR’s “20 Artists To Watch In 2019”
list, Benji. will make his full-length debut with Smile, You’re Alive!, a project that reveals
his rare power to transform even the most painful emotions into joyfully uplifting music.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.