Benjamin Duterde grew up listening to the music his mother loved: Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke. After honing his talents singing with various gospel groups, he took the stage name Oncle Ben and began performing on his own. Around the same time, he worked with rappers Oxmo Puccino and Beat Assailant. Discovered by Motown France in 2008, he rechristened himself Ben l'Oncle Soul before recording his first maxi, Soulwash, a collection of Katy Perry, Aqua and Gnarls Barkley covers, sung soul style. His version of Seven Nation Army, borrowed from the White Stripes, received wide radio play in France. In 2010, he released a self-titled debut album comprised of original titles sung alternately in French and English.