Benga reveals the mental health issues behind his retirement

18 months ago, Night hitmaker Benga announced his touring days were over to fans on Facebook. “My DJing career is finished I just wanna start a family,” the dubstep pioneer wrote. “Big up to all my real supporters. It’s been a lovely time.”

Now, the producer – real name Adegbenga Adejumo – has opened up about the mental health issues behind his sudden departure. “My bipolar was brought on by drugs and the schizophrenia was the result of excessive touring,” he wrote. “Which is why I don’t want sympathy but to raise awareness. Because if I had help early the damage could have been controlled!”

The Big Apple Records legend explained that the stigma around mental illness can be isolating, pushing for wider awareness and adding that his longtime collaborators Skream and Artwork “must have been terrified” by his behaviour. But both members of his Magnetic Man posse quickly came out in support of their friend – Artwork describing his admission as “incredibly brave” and Skream tweeting that he felt “ridiculously proud”.

While he’s kept mostly under the radar since announcing his retirement, this year Benga returned to the airwaves with the new track Shut It Down, which was premiered on BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe in January. Even more recent SoundCloud uploads include the brand new original Lythium2 and a Kendrick Lamar remix. Read his full explanation below.

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