Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions

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THE SHORT STORY

Two guys met at a show, both love music, both play music. They began jamming together and became great friends. They started a band and recruited some musicians. Together, they created some African inspired tunes, captured the attention of industry heavyweights and the rest is history…

THE LONG STORY

Ben Dey and The Concrete Lions (BDCL) are an Afro/Indie pop-rock band from Cape Town. Though their name is altogether lengthy, it’s more than just a random string of words.  While many refer to them simply as Ben Dey, taken from the lead singer’s name, the term Concrete Lions bears equal significance. It represents the strength and tenacity found in African culture. It’s the juxtaposition of the concrete jungle with the struggle of modern day township living.

Wanting to create music that showcases this powerful force among African people,  the band fused Indie folk with some locally inspired Afro-pop beats to create their unique blend. Their philosophy is that music speaks a universal language and can be used to uplift and inspire communities the world over.

Founded in 2015, BDCL is the result of an unlikey friendship between self-taught musicians Ben and Ongama and the ability of music to bring people together. Both from different walks of life, collectively they are the driving force behind the band and despite some line-up changes over the years, the music has remained much the same.

Made up of Ben Dey (lead singer), Ongama Mona (lead guitar, backing vocals), Alex Birns (percussion) and Dillon Birns (bass), the foursome share the same ambition, ideology and commitment which has been cruicial from the get go.

A geology student at Stellenbosch University, lead singer Benjamin Dey is a prolific lyricist who draws inspiration from every day life. He spends much of his time outdoors (climbing, running, riding, surfing) and the music he creates aims to harness the nuanced rhythms of the elements.

Ben started playing the violin at age five, shaping his high school years. The problem however, was the inability to sing while playing the beloved instrument. In 2010, his father bought him the NOW 00s CD for Christmas and after hearing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, he went out and bought his first guitar. Teaching himself to play, he hasn’t looked back since and neither have his fans, though many remain curious to see him draw a bow on the violin.

An unstoppable revolutionary, Ben believes that even the simplest gesture can lead to change and their music does exactly this. Take Easy Love for instance, the 2016 hit single which reached #1 on the 5FM Top 10@10 rock chart. The song is a cautious remark on the behaviour of today’s society, but as with all influential songs it is best left to individual interpretation.

It was this song’s popularity which afforded the band a main stage slot at Rocking the Daisies 2016 and if their  Oppikoppi performance is anything to go by, expectations are high. The band were called “one of Oppikoppi’s greatest surprises” by top music blogger Texx and the City.

Tight budgets resulted in a delayed music video for  Easy Love, but fret not, the video will be ready this October together with a video for follow-up single Life on Mars. Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions continue to soar and are currently planning a trip to the UK in December 2016. There is also talk of a much anticipated EP release.

Ben started playing the violin at age five, shaping his high school years. The problem however, was the inability to sing while playing the beloved instrument. In 2010, his father bought him the NOW 00s CD for Christmas and after hearing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, he went out and bought his first guitar. Teaching himself to play, he hasn’t looked back since and neither have his fans, though many remain curious to see him draw a bow on the violin.

An unstoppable revolutionary, Ben believes that even the simplest gesture can lead to change and their music does exactly this. Take Easy Love for instance, the 2016 hit single which reached #1 on the 5FM Top 10@10 rock chart. The song is a cautious remark on the behaviour of today’s society, but as with all influential songs it is best left to individual interpretation.

It was this song’s popularity which afforded the band a main stage slot at Rocking the Daisies 2016 and if their  Oppikoppi performance is anything to go by, expectations are high. The band were called “one of Oppikoppi’s greatest surprises” by top music blogger Texx and the City.

Tight budgets resulted in a delayed music video for  Easy Love, but fret not, the video will be ready this October together with a video for follow-up single Life on Mars. Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions continue to soar and are currently planning a trip to the UK in December 2016. There is also talk of a much anticipated EP release.


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