He is only 22 years old, but already Benks, the lyrical songwriter and recording artist from Islington, St. Mary, has made a name for himself as a promising newcomer to the genre of reggae/dancehall. With diverse new singles and great performances at shows and clubs across Jamaica, Benks has shown that he is an artist destined to succeed in the competitive music industry.
Born Kemar Harrison, April 5, 1987, in the district of Joe River in Islington, he moved to Waterhouse in Kingston to live with his mother in 1995, where he attended the Balmagie Primary School and later moved on to Jamaica College. He developed his musical prowess by performing at church at an early age, where he was the youth choir’s lead singer. Influences from artists such as Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Eminem and Vybz Kartel, increased his love for music and performing. At age 14 he and 2 of his friends formed a dancehall group called Young Soldiers and performed at various concerts. After the group broke up Benks continued his musical journey by pursuing a solo career.
In 2008, he and his longtime friend Dwayne “Dugsy” Dawkins of Kingston 11 Productions recorded various singles. This Alliance generated hit bound singles like “Now and Forever” with Gyptian and Chick Chock and “Man a Pree” another collaboration with Chick Chock. For Benks the performance which made the greatest impact of his career was at the Friendship Community center in Islington, where he shared the stage with Capleton in 2008. Benks is now looking forward to “perform overseas and locking down billboard”. He is currently promoting his new singles “Now and Forever”, “Man a Pree”, "Way She Wines" and "Day Off".