Wielding guitar, BLESSED signed to Matt Corby’s Rainbow Valley label.
Corby provided backing vocals on BLESSED’s label debut, “No Changes”.
The track addresses the injustices and hardships felt across the country, with its video filmed in Western Sydney featuring members of its family and collective, “the people who helped BLESSED become the man that ‘it is today’.
“This song is very special and dear to my heart”, according to the artist.
“This is the first time that my family and my extended family have participated in my creative vision.
“Together, we project a positive message filled with hope and desire for a better future.”
He describes “No Changes” as an anthemic commentary on what seems like an endless battle to be seen, heard and treated equally.
“A battle we all universally share in ways that are both common and unique.”
Corby, Alex Henriksson and Rainbow Valley’s Jeremy Hancock released a joint statement:
“BLESSED truly represents what it is to be a musician and a human in the modern era,” they said.
“It was universal on all fronts for all of us to be together at this time, culturally and artistically.
“We have all shared similar trials and tribulations during our travels, so it is appropriate to meet now and engage in a working relationship.
“Our love for prolific ability and quality expression are at the heart of what will lead us into the future.
“BLESSED doesn’t need anyone to stand in its way on the next leg of its journey.
“More someone to grease the wheels and we think we are the ones to do that for him.
“We won’t just be there behind him as a label, we’ll be there with him in the studio making history as he charts a new course for international hip hop coming out of New South Wales. “
Last year BLESSED came out Lockdown Tapes Vol. 1, entirely conceived, written, produced, recorded and released during the NSW lockdown.
It was not only therapeutic, but underlined the strong relationships across the sector, featuring Western Sydney artists Jaecy & Chirine.
BLESSED worked in the Australian hip hop scene – even working with an unknown The Kid LAROI – but under the name Miracle.
His credits and sessions also include COL3TRANE, J.LBS/Jason Pounds (Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Jorja Smith), Manu Crooks, Maina Doe, Anfa Rose, B Wise, JOY., Matt Black and Milan Ring.
In 2020, he released his first mixtape, music is medicine via his own Godspeed label, which included a Rosalia-approved sample and a collaboration with Ghanaian-American act AMAARAE.
The name BÉNI comes from when he was a baby in Ghana and had breathing problems.
His parents, both Christian missionaries, prayed earnestly.
When he recovered, they named him Blessed Samuel Joe-Andah.
They emigrated to Australia soon after, staying in Melbourne, then Canberra, then the western Sydney suburb of Quakers Hill.
The boy stayed close to the church and the West African community.
BLESSED grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Kanye West and Kurt Cobain – “people who went against the grain”.
More recently, he co-produced several tracks from Milan Ring’s debut album, I have hope, featured on her debut single, ‘Sydney Hue’.
He also presented and co-produced B Wise’s “Black Visionary”, from his debut album, Jamie.
He has also performed as part of the Sydney Opera House Liminal series in November 2021.