Davos Q&A: Arrow Benjamin, Beyoncé co-writer, on unity and hope

Arrow Benjamin, real-name Dean McIntosh, is a London singer-songwriter perhaps best known for collaborating and co-writing with Beyoncé on the hits “Runnin‘” and “Freedom.” He is a newbie in the Davos Set – the eclectic group of global business, government, academic and cultural leaders – who meet annually at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort.

Benjamin and other performers, such as hip hop star Usher and Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am, are among those in Davos this year, adding cultural, racial, and dress-sense diversity to a gathering dominated by the most powerful middle-aged white men in the world.

WikiTribune: Are you more, less, or equivalently optimistic as you were this time last year?

Arrow: “I would say that I am definitely more optimistic. They always say it is always darkest before dawn and I really do think that we are coming to a time when we have eventually realized that we need to work together.”

WikiTribune: Why is it darkest now?

Arrow: “I think because we’ve left each other in our own individual worlds and our own individual suffering for so long … hope is a light and when people don’t have hope, the light goes out. I think that we’re in a time right now where seeing people come together gives people hope.”

WikiTribune: What or who might be the biggest threat to the kinds of global ideas that underlie Davos?

Arrow: “The thing that would be the biggest threat would be dishonesty: I think as long as we have honesty, no matter what the state of affairs are. I heard some figures today about the rise of AIDS but also some figures about the improvement but there was an honest statement … that if we don’t keep hammering away it will be potentially worse than when the initiatives first started. So, it’s about being honest.”

WikiTribune: What’s your favorite news media. Where do you go first?

Arrow: “So I find myself looking at BBC 24 [BBC News 24]. And when I am in other countries in the world I still look for BBC 24.”

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        This Q&A has been edited for clarity and to remove elements which were off the record but is very close to the full two minutes, 11 second discussion we recorded in a noisy room.


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