Grammy Award winning Italian DJ Benny Benassi checks into Splash volume 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Macau on September 24th. hkclubbing.com sits down with the ‘Godfather of Electro’ to talk music, pool parties and cycling.
HKClubbing: Hi Benny, your recent album “Electroman” features a number of collaborations with various R’n’B and Hip Hop stars. What was it like working with these artists and how does it differ from the ‘traditional’ Benassi sound?
Benny Benassi: Hi there. I guess everyone knows I work in the studio with Alle Benassi, my producer and musician (and cousin). We wanted to make an album where we could “apply” the traditional Benassi sound to different vocal styles. So in one sense, it’s a continuation of some of the stuff we were experimenting on “Rock n Rave” and the principle is the same as the Benassi Bros albums of a few years back. But our sound has evolved and we’re working with really great artists internationally, so it’s a great plan for us.
Benny Benassi mix by TimeOutNewYork
HKC: Your track with Chris Brown ‘Beautiful People’ was a critically acclaimed and commercial success. Recent years have seen a rise in Electronic Music and R’n’B / Hip collaborations. Although you aren’t new to this (if you haven’t already heard it check out Benny’s Grammy Award Winning remix of Public Enemy’s ‘Bring the Noise’) why do you think more R’n’B stars are looking to electronic music for inspiration?
BB: Yes, ‘Beautiful People’ is doing really well. I think RnB and Hip Hop are genres that are always looking for new sounds and right now they’ve “discovered” electronic music, which is, by its nature, quite experimental, so it’s a good match, I think.
HKC: Many people may not know that you are a keen cyclist, in fact you recently toured California and cycled between gigs! Tell us what this experience was like and why you chose to do this.
BB: It was amazing. I wanted to do it because it was a challenge. I wanted to combine my two great passions, cycling and music. And I wanted to send out a positive environmentally friendly message to the world of club music. I need to thank the team of people who cycled with me and everyone who made it possible.
HKC: You recently played in Ibiza, still the Mecca for electronic music fans in many people’s eyes. What were this year’s ‘White Isle’ highlights for you?
BB: I played at Pacha at the Swedish House Mafia party. It’s a great party. I love those guys.
HKC: You have visited Asia many times over the years. Where are your favourite places to visit and play in Asia, and how, in your opinion, does the Asian clubbing scene differ from the European or US scene?
BB: I love coming to Asia. Everywhere is different and it’s just great for me to meet new people, new cultures. I think one of the great things about dance music is that it unites people. So no big differences in the clubbing scene from my perspective!
HKC: As a greatly in demand DJ you play clubs, festivals, pool parties and more all over the world? Do you have a favourite style of event?
BB: Every event has its own atmosphere and is special in its own way. But big festivals are amazing for sure.
HKC: As well as your original productions, you are well known for your remixing skills. Which producers remix of one of your original tracks is your favourite?
BB: Right now I really love the remixes by Skrillex and Laidback Luke of “ Cinema”.
HKC: What’s up next for Benny Bennasi?
BB: It’s a surprise.
HKC: Thanks Benny, we can’t wait to party with you at Splash volume 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Macau on September 24th. See you there!
BB: Thanks, guys
To find out more about Splash Vo.3 click HERE.
To find out more about Benny Benassi click HERE.
Interview by John Stephen