Bnxn (pronounced Benson) first tasted the limelight when his friend captured a viral freestyle he made on a canoe. Months later, the Zlatan-assisted song, Spiritual, sealed his ascent into the music industry. After virally emerging as one of the most unique voices in the Nigerian music industry and earning the endorsements of the legends of today; Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, and Olamide, Bnxn is on a personal mission to be one of the most intimate songwriters in the game and transcend beyond the legends of this time. 

Bnxn arrives at his photoshoot on time and in the company of familiar faces, his friends and longtime business partners. He opts to get a haircut before we begin the shoot, and a standby barber swings swiftly into action, rendering the air in the Ikoyi studio replete with the sniggering buzz of his clipper while Bnxn catches up with other acquaintances over Facetime. 

BNXN Mag cover

Born Daniel Benson in the middle class neighborhood of Gbagada, Lagos State, Bnxn has long had a hankering for musical success, writing rap freestyles under the moniker Drizzle. He started releasing music in 2018 under the stage name Buju, coined from his podgy outlook, and a year later, he experienced his first moment of virality on Twitter (now X) off a clip a friend had recorded while he freestyled what would eventually become the lyrics to his single, Commander. 

Within a few months, Bnxn experienced another dose of virality on Twitter, which marked a milestone in his career. Through a video recording by a friend who mimicked street-hop rapper Zlatan’s adlibs on Bnxn’s yet to be released single, Spiritual, the internet collectively clamoured on his behalf to get Zlatan on the song, and the mission proved successful. The Steph-produced Spiritual steered Bnxn’s nascent career into his long desired spotlight, revving the artist into mainstream acclaim.

“I like Twitter. I know there’s a real community there.” He says while sifting through wardrobe options “The people I follow to this day on Twitter are people I reached out to when I was trying to put out music, and I was looking for a community. I was going in people DMs like if you like this shit, let me know. It’s why I like the app. There are real genuine people there, but there is also hate there.” Bnxn explains before picking out an orange co-ord set as his preferred first look and opting to pair it with the Orange Balenciaga shoes he wore to the shoot. He lights a spliff, and the photoshoot begins. 

I got an album for you. It's a combination of everything you like and everything you didn't think I was capable of making


Within a year of his breakthrough, Bnxn was announced as the first artist signed to Burna Boy’s label, Spaceship Records. The announcement followed a remix of L’enu, Bnxn’s end-of-year anthem, with his longtime idol, Burna Boy. Signing with Burna Boy proved to be a crucial learning curve for the Theatre Arts Babcock University undergraduate.

Although his music releases, which were almost incessant when he was unsigned, thinned out during the course of the record deal, Bnxn acquired first-hand insight into the recording of Burna Boy’s Grammy award-winning album, Twice as Tall, and invaluable knowledge of arranging music, songwriting and music production. 


In May 2021, Bnxn parted ways with Spaceship Records and released his first single, Outside, under his To Your Ears Entertainment (T.Y.E) imprint. Outside signaled a shift in the Akwa Ibom native’s career, shooting him to phenomenal heights of fame and igniting a wave of music releases that cemented him as a mainstream fixture.

What was more important to me was elevating with the people around me . I stuck with music way more than some people could see at the time. I just stuck to what I knew best, and knew how to do, music.


Bnxn explains with a faint smile curling up his left lip and a reminiscent glint that reflects how far he has come since then. 

By December of that year, Bnxn had established himself as the artist with the Midas touch. He glided through music collaborations with affable elegance, simply through the gravitas of his voice and deft lyricism, turning whatever song he featured on into a hit record. Whether it was Blaqbonez, Ladipoe, Timaya, Savage

Tha Beast, Basketmouth,or Wizkid, as long as Bnxn was on it, it was a guaranteed anthem. 

Bnxn also released his debut EP, Sorry I am Late, in October of the same year and followed it with headline shows in London and Lagos in November and December, respectively. However, the icing on the cake of a magnificient breakout year would arrive on Christmas Day 2021, when Bnxn benevolently gave his fans a gift that ingrained his name in local pop culture reverence and capped off an unrivaled year. He released a remix of Italy, a song by the South African duo, Blaq Diamond. 


“Italy was a song that was supposed to have dropped even before Sorry I’m Late” He explains while leaning towards a patterned dungaree for his second look. “Danya of Blaq Diamond reached out to me a few months after Mood with Wizkid dropped, and he said, ‘I think I have something that’s dope’. He sent me a bunch of stuff, and I picked out the Italy beat, but we couldn’t drop it at the time. In December, I was feeling very ‘generous’ after I had just done my headline show in Lagos. I think 2021 was a very strategic year for me.” 

While 2021 set the stage for Bnxn’s explosion, 2022 affirmed his versatility and unparalleled penmanship. The EMPIRE-affiliated artist commenced the year with a Grammy nomination for his work on the deluxe edition of Wizkid’s culture-shifting Made in Lagos album and impeccable guest verses on Pheelz’s global smash hit, Finesse, and Jae5’s Dave-assisted continental anthem, Propeller. “Dave is an amazing guy. Jae5 had invited me to this party for his birthday, and Dave just came and was humming the song to me, and at the time, I did not know he had recorded on it. Every collaboration I have had has been seamless, we always have a mutual respect for the art.” While Finesse recorded astronomical success, featuring on Barack Obama’s summer playlist and the official FIFA 23 soundtrack, Propeller debuted in the top 20 of the official UK charts, solidifying Bnxn’s cross-continental appeal.

In spite of his success, it wasn’t long before fans that were introduced to his music in 2021 started to eschew the sentiment that Bnxn was unable to deliver a hit song as a lead artist. This sentiment was further accented by the release of Bnxn’s second EP, Bad Since 97 — a polished panacea that veered away from the conventional Nigerian pop music that formed the mound of Bnxn’s rise “Someone like you who has been listening to me from time, it’s hard for you to picture someone telling you I started in 2021. You must have seen the commander era, spiritual era down to L’enu before getting into the label. I really just wanted to keep my head down and focus on what was key to me, which was making music that I really enjoyed. A lot of things could have been distracting, big numbers and all.” 

Bad Since 97 is a seven-track offering adorned by Nigerian legends. Graced by Wizkid, Wande Coal, and Olamide, Bnxn’s sophomore EP is characterized by versatile instrumentation, unique songwriting, and quaint melodies that cascade his brand of Afrofusion as irreplicable. It is essentially a one-stop-shop hallmark of Afrofusion that asserts Bnxn as one of the most versatile storytellers of his generation.


It’s the lack of research. Nobody really wants to check. Some people are like, ‘Oh, this is the rave of the moment’, but go back and see what projects he has put out. I am still of the opinion that they’ll catch up. If it is good music, they will definitely catch up.


Regardless of the chatter, Bnxn remains laser-focused on his craft and intentional about his journey. This conscious effort spurred an official name change from Buju to Bnxn, an annotation of his last name, shedding off the weight of Buju and any semblance to Jamaican legend, Buju Banton “I have just been more intentional with whatever I am doing, including the name change. All of it was needed” He comments before settling to finish the shoot. 

As the shoot grinds to a halt, the atmosphere becomes electric, almost like a private party with a few close friends. Drinks are flowing around, the air is charged with laughter, banter, and smoke, and unreleased music from Bnxn keeps the energy at a fever pitch. While he looks through the pictures one last time, I question the state of his mind and how he is weathering the harsh realities of the music industry, especially during his eight-month hiatus from releasing music “It’s just belief. I think that is needed as a creative; you are supposed to have that mindset that no matter how gloomy the situation is, it is going to pop.” 


The allure of Bnxn lies in his authenticity. Through his emotive and intimate songwriting, he offers fans a vantage point to peek into his life, regaling them with enough to know that he is just like them yet leaving more to their imagination about what is next. The 26-year-old artist is under no illusions about how far he has come, but he has his eyes set on grander ambitions. “I am on legendary status, that is what I am aiming for.” Bnxn lives in the now, chasing his dream one song at a time, taking each step and misstep in stride, and most importantly, striving to finish this journey with the people he started with. “They are more like my support system. I need everybody to sort of function. Keeping your friends close is very important.”

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