“Benz” in a new outfit.

Text: Verena Dauerer

Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes-Benz” reinterpreted.

For the 125th Anniversary of the Automobile, British music magazine BLAG initiated something special. As a tribute to the inventor of the car they asked three young artists to collaborate and create a completely new interpretation of the iconic “Mercedes Benz” song, which was so marvellously crooned by blues and rock singer Janis Joplin in 1971. In this a cappella version written by Joplin and beat poet Michael McClure, she famously lamented about having her own Mercedes-Benz.

A wry social commentary, indeed, which is now transformed by the hands and voices of pop singer-songwriter Estelle (hit singles “Free”, “American Boy” featuring Kanye West), David Banner, a Grammy award winning producer, and British soul singer Daley who just collaborated with the notorious British band Gorillaz.

A crossover amalgam in perfect form.

Together they recorded the upbeat track “Benz” that echoes the soul vibes of the 70s Motown era with a brand new melody and lyrics. Their three musical backgrounds blended in perfectly to form a crossover amalgam. For the production BLAG magazine’s co-founders and directors Sarah A. and Sally J. Edwards invited them to a musical session and a video shoot in Los Angeles, the very place where Joplin recorded her memorable track 40 years ago. In the making-of clip for “Benz” you can even spot a Mercedes-Benz classic car from 1971. “Benz” by Estelle, David Banner & Daley will be available on iTunes.

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