Benny Benassi is one of the world’s biggest DJs. Friday night, Benassi headlined the Global Dance Festival at the Midland (http://www.globaldancefestival.com/).
Hailing from Reggio Emilia, Italy, Benassi rose to worldwide fame with the 2002 release of his enormous chart-topping hit single “Satisfaction.” It was with that tune that he initiated a new genre of music dubbed as Electro, which earned him the crown “Godfather of Electro.” Benassi’s new album Spaceship will be released in 2011 on Ultra Records.
He wrote in to talk about success, production tips and how his music transcends the language barrier.
For more info on Benassi, check out www.bennybenassi.com.
Do you create beats first or have vocalists compose lyrics first?
First it’s the drum loops and the bass, then the rest comes.
Do you write with the vocalists or do you work separately?
It depends. For example, on “Satisfaction,” the lyrics were written by my cousin, Alle, who produces with me.
When you finished “Satisfaction” did you know you had made a hit?
I was pretty sure it would go down well on the dance floor. I never imagined it would cross over and become a pop hit.
How long did it take you to complete “Satisfaction”?
From its conception to its final form, I would say a couple of months.
Do you have any tips for creating great beats?
Be original and dare to do what feels right to you.
If you could work with any artist, who would it be?
The list of artists I’d like to produce or remix is quite long. I appreciate artists who have a strong personality from Madonna downwards.
Do you remember your first DJ gig?
I was about 16 and keen to learn. It was in near Reggio Emilia in the north of Italy.
What’s the longest set you’ve played?
I’ve played over three-four hours when I have really been enjoying myself and the club program has allowed it.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while on tour?
This whole thing about being famous is crazy enough for me!
What do you enjoy the most about Italy?
Well, it’s home…. family, friends, the food…
You are starting to have more dates in the United States. How are American crowds treating you?
So far, so good. It’s a great vibe.
Does the language barrier cause you any problems when playing in other countries?
Well, I’m trying to learn English and, of course, if I spoke English I’d be able to communicate better with the people around me, but when I’m playing the music… No language barriers, there.
What DJs/artists inspire you?
There is a very long list here, too. Paul Oakenfold is one.