People say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that just isn’t the case when it comes to the dance music world.
Since the 1980s Benny Benassi has captivated audiences with his mind-rattling techno-electric dance music. In the beginning, Benny worked alongside his cousin Alle Benassi in their hometown of Reggio Emilia, Italy. From there, Benny moved on to produce music for a number of artists including Whigfield, J.K., Ally & Jo and a number of others in the ’90s.
After years of producing music behind the scenes, Benny took control of the ones and twos, spinning his own creations that blew the world away. His first single “I Feel So Fine” made it to number 1 on the UK club charts after having made a profound statement in Italy. Benny then skyrocketed to stardom. In 2001, Benny released his best known track, “Satisfaction,” forging him into a global celebrity and a fan-favorite electro-house DJ.
Recently, in addition to co-managing his record label (Pump-Kin) with cousin Alle and logging a number of fantastic remixes under his belt, Benny teamed up with Iggy Pop in 2010 to release the song “Electro Sixteen” and an experimental video featuring 15,000 photographs from his DJ set at New York’s Electric Zoo Festival.
Now making music under the label of Ultra Records, Benny continues to work with Alle to develop outrageously addictive electro-house music. When I asked Benny what it’s like to work with family he said, “Alle is more like a brother than a cousin,” and that “I think my taste, comments and DJ experience provide an essential ingredient to the mixture, but the musical credit goes to Alle.”
What sets Benny apart from most other DJs is he never ceases to amaze when it comes to developing creative endeavors. This past fall Benny rode his fixed-gear bike down the California coastline, playing shows along the way to benefit World Bicycle Relief. When asked why he used a fixed-gear bike, Benassi replied that “they’re fun to ride and you get a really smooth, pure ride.”
“I’ve always been a cyclist ever since I was a little kid and my Dad put me on a saddle and taught me how to pedal. I was even thinking of turning professional, but music got the better of me! I’m interested in ecology, sport and healthy living, so it seemed like a good idea to find a way to link these ideas to the world of electronic music!”
Although Benassi declined to comment on near-future surprises on the way, he did confirm that he and Alle are “just finishing off the new album.” Excited about the revelation, I asked him if this would be a precursor to a second bike tour, perhaps in Italy, to which he responded in a leading tone, “maybe.”
Benny Benassi is a perfect example of why you should spend your life doing what you love. Whether it’s biking or making music, Benassi finishes every day with no regrets. His music is genre defining and his philanthropic efforts are honorable. Benassi is a true role model to the music world, and he’s not going anywhere.