By Ayo Onikoyi
Vivacious and plus-size singer, Maria Benjamin is from Benue State, same as Nigerian Afropop icon, Innocent Idibia famously known as 2Baba. Beyond their common State of origin, the duo makes good music. While 2Baba is a legend in the music industry, Maria Benjamin is a rookie, silently and diligently making a name for herself as the ‘Queen of Patwa” fusing Afropop with RnB. Little wonder, the ‘African Queen’ music giant had no qualms joining forces with her on her first single “Imi” which she dedicated to couples to stick together through thick and thin.
Maria Benjamin who is back with a new song titled “419” off the EP she is currently working on explains why she featured the iconic singer in her debut single.
“ Everyone knows 2Face is a legend and the most inspiring musician of our time. 2Baba doesn’t just sing, his music inspires. His music inspires me. He is not only the biggest brand locally but also internationally out of Africa. Working with him was a big honour and a whole new experience for me. The single “Imi” is a song to inspire married couples, that no matter what they are going through they should stick together and try to make things work,” she said.
On her new single “419”, Benjamin revealed that it was inspired by a situation between two girls and a boy he experienced at an eatery sometime ago.
“I was in an eatery and a lady walked in, after sometime a guy and a girl walked in too. Shortly after, I found out that the guy is dating the two girls. He seems to love one very much and appears to be collecting money from the other. I saw he was keeping the two girls for love and money. When I got home that day the whole drama came back to me. That is how the song “419” was born. It’s about evil men do in the game of love and lust,” she narrated.
With the talent she has displayed in the music-making craft, Maria Benjamin believes it was music that chose her and not the other way round. She started music back in school as a member of a group known as “The White Doves” and they went as far as dropping an album.
Her first musical effort was the cover of the Brick and Lace hit “Love is Wicked”. When she did a Nigerian version of it, putting her Patwa to good effect and gaining wide acceptance she knew she has a fruitful future ahead of her. And the best point that could have underscored her conviction is to get 2Baba to endorse her career by featuring on her single.
Maria Benjamin has two other singles to her name, namely; “Gudu” featuring 2Tight and “Nnamdi’. Her two greatest musical mentors are Tiwa Savage and 2Baba.