09 Nov INTERVIEW: Beni
There’s an insane amount of momentum behind Sydney based producer/DJ Beni. While busy touring for the likes of Splendour in The Grass, Stereosonic and the Tripel J House Party Tour, the hardworking artist has recently found time to drop recent remixes for the likes of Temper Trap, Yuksek and Gotye. It’s all adding to the un-deniable momentum behind him.
I caught up with Beni for a chat about his House Of Beni album, recent shows, collaborations and upcoming set for Pyramid music festival over New Years Eve.
Matt Bladin: Beni, thanks for taking some time to chat to us!
Let’s start with the massive album House of Beni. It was released just over a year ago and has done some crazy things in that time, how’s the journey been over the last year or so?
Beni: Man, it’s been good. It’s been really fun. It’s been quite rewarding, which is a nice feeling after the amount of hard work that went into the album. I got to travel, lots of touring, lots of studio work, lots of collaborations. It’s been good.
Yeah cool. Speaking of those shows, we got to catch a video of the recent live shows complete with live dancers and everything. It looked like a massive production, how did that all come about?
We just kinda wanted to make a show that was more than just DJing, but I didn’t think it really justified a full live performance show yet. And that’s something I’d like to do in the future and do that really properly, and really concentrate on that.
So we wanted to do something else, and I thought that whole dancing element suited the music and whole vibe of the album. So we started with a lot of rehearsals and had all the visuals done by this artist in Brisbane, then got all the dancers and put it all together.
Speaking of the album, you’ve had some great vocalists feature on the album, names like Sam Sparro and Mattie Safer from The Rapture. How did these come about in your travels?
Just kind of traveling and touring, touring with people. Some stuff my manager teed up while we were in America, like meeting up with Sam Sparro. It’s all pretty much just touring and meeting people through people.
Haha so just good old fashioned networking basically?
Yeah! It all came about pretty naturally.
Yeah is that one of the great things about working with a massive Australian label like Modular?
Yeah, yeah it’s really good. Definitely.
Do you find that the Aussie labels do things a little differently to labels you’ve worked with in the past, like Kitsune?
Haha, um, it’s different, too hard to say!
Your music can go to a lot of cool places, but lately we’ve noticed you’re getting a lot more techno and house sounds in some of your sets at Survivor and a few mixes floating around. Is this something you’re looking to get into more in the future with upcoming releases?
Yeah I’m working on my new album and it’s definitely more club based. It’s more club based and definitely doesn’t have as much as pop element as the last one did
Do you think there’s a growing fanbase in Australia for these kinds of sounds?
Yeah I think dance music in general is growing. The whole EDM explosion which is basically promoting dubstep and trance is… well it just kind of makes every element of dance music accessible to a wider audience.
Yeah so with this whole explosion of dance music being forced down people throats in the mainstream, where do you think Australian dance music is going to head in the future?
Haha well everyone is going to move to Los Angeles probably. Within Australian dance music, the producers will just end up moving to America.
I mean it’s cheaper to live there; every thing is happening there, you know, so why not? It’s easier to tour Europe from there and there are fifty-two states to tour there as opposed to six here.
So you can see a migration of people aiming to do more forward thinking things with in their genres, like yourself, heading overseas where all the action is?
Yeah well it just kinda makes sense, you know? I mean apart from obvious things like living in your own country with friends and family etc. If you think about it in a work element I dunno, I think it’s very obvious. I was there for five months earlier this year and it was just work non-stop. There’s so much going on, you can go out, there’s ways to be inspired every night of the week and there’s so many places to tour.
You said in an interview a while ago that you see your self as a DJ first and a producer second. After this last year of touring and the live show and everything do you still think that’s the case?
I think when I did that interview I was in the middle of a big kind of tour, so I didn’t spend much time in the studio. But it varies. I started DJing before I started producing, so maybe?
Right now I’m spending more time in the studio than I am DJing so I look at it the other way.
Yeah speaking of shows and stuff, you’ve got some big ones coming up. You’ve obviously got Pyramid Festival soon, which is very exciting. What have you got planned for the crowds that are going to head down to Phillip Island?
Everything and everything else!
It’ll be fun. I’ve played it once before about three or four years ago with Digitalism. It was really fun, I actually threw a bottle of water into the crowd and broke a girls nose!
Haha so no live projectiles in this year’s show?
Haha no! It was just like a nice little throw but it got her right in the nose. It was a full bottle because the kids in the crowd wanted some water so I threw some out there.
So you tried to do the right thing and ended up busting her face up!
Yeah pretty much.
So besides Pyramid what else in store for Beni in the near future?
Well I’ve got Stereosonic in a few weeks, then just a couple of shows around Australia. Then studio stuff for the new album, then I’m going to New York to record the vocals, and by then the year will be over, hopefully.
Any hints of a vague release date we can expect it?
I wish I could! First half of next year, hopefully, if all goes to plan. But you never know.
Yeah well we’re definitely looking forward to it! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Beni, we look forward to catching you next time you’re in Melbourne!
INTERVIEW BY MATT BLADIN