Up-and-coming duo ‘BenZel’, made up of 15-year-old Umi Takahashi and 16-year-old Yoko Watanabe, have re-worked their version of ‘If You Love Me’, a song made popular by 90’s R&B group ‘Brownstone’. The duo recently formed in 2012, after a shared appreciation for 90’s R&B and J. Dilla and have gone on to collaborate with Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominee, Jessie Ware, who has had an exceptional year and is set to have an even brighter future.
Having released her captivating debut album ‘Devotion’ in August, the South London singer is going from strength to strength, and is currently in the middle of a headline tour. Ware’s album ‘Devotion’, produced by Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore and Kid Harpoon, features the singles ‘110%’, ‘Running’ and ‘Wildest Moments’, and takes us on a musical journey of R&B, pop, soul and electronic music.
‘If You Love Me’ sees Jessie lend her soulful vocals, much like she did with SBTRKT’s single ‘Nervous’, followed by Jokers ‘The Vision’ and ‘Sampha’s ‘Valentine’. Jessie manages to retain that classic 90’s R&B vibe, while at the same time, offers a fresh modern take, thanks to the unique production skills from BenZel. With it’s minimal percussion, off kilter beats, and smooth synths, Jessies soulful voice takes centre stage, as it builds to the uplifting gospel-style chorus.
Having recently been signed to Cherrytree/Interscope Records in the US, Jessie is set to make waves stateside with the release of her EP in December. BenZel have produced an impressive debut with ‘If You Love Me‘ and no doubt we’ll be hearing lots more about this exciting young producer duo in the future.