"Outta Control," the new dancehall music video from Saint-Martin


Benny Bellahsen embodies a cool attitude with his curly hair, cap, carefully-groomed beard, and swaggering walk. Although he was born in Paris, he is a child of the country, and whether night or day, he has many friends to greet. His bonhomie is evident even when at the wheel of his pick-up, he travels the roads of Saint-Martin to "take care of the cockroach problems at people’s houses." He has his own 3D company (disinfection and pest control). A side job that he chose pragmatically on an island where employment is usually seasonal: "I can do it year-round. "

Since primary school where he and his buddies drummed on the tables to make an instrument and then improvised on it, he has devoted all his free time to the music. Benny a.k.a Yogsta is above all a dancehall singer. After the recent release of Summertime in the summer of 2016, he returns with Outta control, featuring Vacaino: a pure dancehall song that talks about "women’s power over men" and invites us to dance. Online since February 14, the music video directed by the team of G-Island, well-known in Guadeloupe, reached nearly 4000 views on YouTube within 48 hours.

More than just a passion, the "sound" is a real obsession for him. "When I left school, I would write songs all afternoon," he recalls. Stubborn, he has always wanted to improve in order to control his voice, which is now more powerful and more serious. "Even if you think it's good, you know that it's not quite there yet," he says humbly. Although he is still considered to be a solo artist, he has participated in various group projects since middle school.

He and his friends initially recorded in home studios from Agrément to Cul de Sac, until they met Loïc, DJ Getop, who had just completed his studies as a sound engineer: "it was the first time we had access to a studio of this quality. It made we want to push further." When he saw his friends on stage for a concert at the Sports Hall playing the songs that he saw them working on at home, that was the trigger. He, who had not yet had the courage to do so, realized that it was possible to "touch people" and told himself: "this is what I want to do." He did his first show a month later in Agrément.

"At that time, I had not yet planned any professional career, it was just for fun and I didn’t feel ready yet." He left to pursue English and communication studies in Paris and recorded underground projects, among others, for the Stone House label of Pierre Charville alias Hypnoz. Upon his return to the island, he had already improved a lot. His childhood friends, the brothers Eyedol and Speyenol, also became a DJ and a sound engineer, respectively. Together, they manage the Awesome Sound Records label and he now records all his tracks in their studio. "For the past two years, I am starting to really want to break through," he says.

But living as an artist in Saint-Martin is almost impossible. He must fund each of his projects, from instrument purchases to recording and production of music videos. "It is very expensive, otherwise we'd be more productive," he says. "People need to believe that Saint-Martin has artists in their own right, just like everywhere else. They need to listen and subscribe to social media (Facebook, Youtube, Sound Cloud...)." He is currently working on his solo album, at the same time as other collaborative projects. "We have a lot more projects in 2017, but everyone needs to connect because it will be heavy," he promises.


Fanny Fontan