Biography

River Styx is the work of songwriter and poet Hicham Bensassi currently working on his debut solo album out in 2011.

Hicham Bensassi (born 27 December 1981), also known by his stage nameRiver Styx“, is a British songwriter, rap poet, composer and music producer whose work includes music on the satirical BBC animated series Monkey Dust in 2003, remixes including Howard Marks and The Mystery School Ensemble in 2005, also most recently a collaboration with playwright, publisher and spoken word artist Lee Harris released on Genepool/Universal Music Group in 2009 the album Lee Harris meets River Styx – Angel Headed Hip Hop (Album). The Portobello Film Festival described him as “Musician & rap poet River Styx was brought up in West London, Ladbroke Grove and has been on a weird and wonderful musical journey ever since, through folk tinged broken beat, Experimental hip hop, electronica and anywhere in-between”.

Aside from vocal, and lyrical duties, River Styx’s musical contributions to projects he has been involved with has included Guitar both acoustic and electric. Also Bass guitar and Piano/Synths. He also incorporates many electronic elements to his work. programming beats and manipulating samples. In interviews River Styx has cited a variety of personal musical influences, including band The Pixies, Radiohead, experimental singer & composer Bjork, Hip Hop artist Madlib, jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker and poet songwriter Bob Dylan.

The Moonlight Convention; founded by Hicham Bensassi aka River Styx (musician) in 2009. is an experimental music collective. Music from the Moonlight Convention has been included on various films including ‘The road to the beat hotel’, ‘Lotto’ and most recently the film ‘Echoes of the underground’ which features Lee Harris, Jim Haynes, Brian Barritt, Henk Targowski & Youth. The first Moonlight convention album ‘traipsing Bloom’ is coming soon”.

Lee Harris meets River Styx; The first meeting took place during the time of an event “Terra Firma” where Lee Harris and River Styx had both performed separately. A few years later River Styx invited Lee to record something for a project he was working on and quite organically the album Lee Harris meets River Styx – Angel Headed Hip Hop (Album) was born. They brought in special Guests such as writer Brian Barritt, rapper JC001 and River Styx wrote the music, performed vocally on four of the albums songs and remixed the song “Three men in a boat with Howard Marks originally released on the previous album “30 Years of Counter Culture” The album was released in 2009 on Genepool/Universal Music Group.

The album has been described by Upsetter Magazine as “the 21st century equivalent of the early experiments with beat poetry and improvised Jazz” and the K&C Daily Times said ” River Styx, a London based rapper and purveyor of broken beat and electronica,.. a heady mix of both spoken word poetry and fractured samples. The album is recontextualising the beat poets into the modern age”.

Lee Harris and River Styx travelled the UK and Europe on the “Don’t Hate, Create Tour” that consisted of a constantly evolving cast of musicians which included a special performance in Paris for the 50th Anniversary of the publication of William S. Burroughs seminal work Naked Lunch which was organised by Oliver Harris, Andrew Hussey and Ian Macfadyen accompanying the book ‘Naked Lunch @50: Anniversary essays’ edited by Oliver Harris & Ian Macfadyen. This was the inspiration for Lee Harris & River Styx behind the experimental piece Hunterland. Also Lee Harris and River Styx performed and currated an event at The Portobello Film Festival called the Beat Goes On, the second of a two part event. The first part was currated by poet and New Departures founder Michael Horovitz

EXTRACT FROM WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE – Read the full article HERE

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