Step aside music lovers, South Africa is coming through! 13-year-old Stefan Benz is making big waves in the USA with his dynamic voice! This little ball of energy has already written 4 songs and been to the Grammys!!!
Born on September 26, 2006 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Stefan started out living a normal life. He was just another little boy, going to school and being a normal kid. But all that was about to change.
“I like the game Cricket. Do you know that game? It’s really big in South Africa!” the adorable Stefan shared. “I started singing when I was about 4 until about 9-years-old, but it was nothing serious at all.” He recalled. “One day, when I was in middle school [in South Africa] my teacher signed me up for a singing competition. I didn’t know she had signed me up and I didn’t want to do it. I was in the middle of a Cricket match, and I kept playing until it was my turn to sing. Well, I advanced to the next round of the singing competition, then kept advancing until I won! The prize was a song recording and money, I think, but this moved me into more competitions through school and to eventually getting a contract.”
When he was 11-years-old, in 2018, he entered the World Championship of Performing Arts in Long Beach, CA.
“It was in July, and you act and sing there. Singing is why I was there! This is where I met Manny [his producer]. The semi finals changed everything.” He says.
According to Stefan, it was winning the Semi Finals that changed his career from good to “great”!
Manny Mijares is a Music Producer for Hit Music Partners. He has produced songs for artists such as Kelly Rowland and Snoop Dogg. Little Stefan lights up every time he speaks about Manny!
“Manny was a judge and he liked my voice. He sent a video of me in the semi finals to [former president of Republic Records], Charlie Walk, and I didn’t even know it! Charlie messaged me back, which he never does!” Stefan giggled. “And yeah, he liked me and now I’m signed with Hit Music Partners.”
Stefan and his family moved to California shortly after he was signed, a little over a year ago.
“When I came here, [to America], people in school were like ‘ooooh, you are verified’.” He laughed as he recalled the reactions he got from his peers.
“Instagram isn’t big in Africa. No one cares about it or if you are verified. I find it fascinating and interesting how people here [in America] react to you when you are verified on Instagram.”
During the quarantine, Stefan is continuing his education online like every other kid out there.
“Manny has had to pull me out of class a few times for appearances and music stuff.” He recalled from before the COVID-19 At-Home-Order went into effect. “I’m not failing though!” He continued.
His energy quickly shifted as he changed subjects continuing with, “But guess what?! I just reached a MILLION views on YouTube for Richard Marx's cover “Right Here Waiting!”
Congratulations Stefan!!! This huge ball of energy is exploding with talent! Watch his Circles cover below.
Fun Stefan Facts!
Q: Does anyone in your family sing?
A: “Oh No!” He laughed. “I didn’t get my talent from my mom or my dad.”
Q: What is your favorite thing to do?
A: “I have a few things. I like to listen to a song and try to figure out how to play it. I like to throw the ball with my dad and go on YouTube with my 9-year-old sister.”
Q: Favorite Color?
Q: Favorite Song?
A: “How Long by Charlie Puth.”
Q: Favorite Artist?
A: “Well, Charlie Puth would have to be part of my top 3.”
Q: Ok, who is your #1?
A: “No...It’s Charlie Puth. He is my #1!” Stefan laughed at his own response.
Q: What do you have going on now? Anything new?
A: “A lot of stuff! Everything is kind of on hold right now though. I was supposed to sing the National Anthem in Sacramento, but that got cancelled.”
Q: What instruments do you play?
A: “The guitar and piano. I really like doing acoustic things.”
Surprise Reverse Interview!!!
Stefan asks: “Do you wanna see my Benz Brows? It’s like my hidden talent!”
Without time to answer his question, I get a FaceTime call from him...LOL
The most handsome young man is on the other end making his eyebrows dance one at a time! LOL. LOL. LOL. Too...darn...cute!
Stefan’s message for his fans:
“Charlie used to tell me this...Everyone is a startup until they aren’t. You never know when an opportunity will come up, and they do! Embrace these opportunities, they may not come again!”
Check out Stefan’s New Song, which was released across multiple online platforms yesterday, March 27, 2020. You can be one of the FIRST to watch his New Video on April 3rd, 2020 at 8:45AM!!! Just click on his image below to be directed to the video page and set your reminder!
“It is for my song, Say What’s In Your Eyes. I'm really excited about it!”
Link to Spotify & Apple Music
Prove’Em Wrong released in 2018
Right here Waiting- Richard Marx Cover Released in 2018
Get Over you released in 2019
Cool 4 Me released in 2019
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