TMN: Hey Benny! First off – thank you for being a part of our Residency program. It’s an honor to have a legend like you onboard. Let’s kick things off by talking about Danceaholic, which is currently smashing up the charts. Talk to us about how you approached this project as a whole.

BB: I’m very fond of the instrumental track “Danceaholic” which lends its name to the whole album because it takes me back to my roots and projects me forwards at the same time.
The album is a bigger project of course. It’s a mixture of tracks that were already released and brand new material, so it’s a kind of a bridge between the last four or five years and where I’m going!

TMN: You have an eclectic group of artists with you on the album, including singer/songwriter legends like Chris Brown and John Legend, as well as a nice collection of other producers. How did you go about selecting who you wanted to work with?

BB: I work first and foremost collaborate with my cousin Alle Benassi. He’s my musician and producer. But I really love working with different collaborators. Chris Brown is such a great artist. Everything he sings just comes to life and is amazing. Since working together on “Beautiful People” we have an artistic relationship and always feel free to send ideas to each other, that’s how ‘Paradise’ came about.
 As for John Legend I met him through a mutual friend of Alle and I, Jean Baptiste, in LA, who was working with John at the time, then we performed together at Coachella and we just knew we’d collaborate on the new album.



TMN: Along with the album, you’re also doing a contest where fans can limited edition headphones, signed posters, and more. All they have to do is post a video of themselves dancing with the hashtag #Danceaholic. Have you picked up any new dance moves from your fans?

Yes, it’s fun… I like the idea of being “addicted” to dancing but in a light-hearted way, so we developed this whole concept with trailers and now anyone can make a film on his or her smartphone while dancing unstoppably in an unusual place. Maybe it’ll become a craze! Everyone is invited to play along with us and make a Danceaholic video.
 I’m always on the lookout for new dance moves 😉

TMN: That contest ends September 1st, for those of you who want to share. Let’s take it back before the albums, fame, and millions of fans. How did you get into music? Were you classically trained?

BB: My earliest inspirations were eighties electro-pop. I started my career as a house deejay in a club near where I lived. Alle is a classically trained musician and when he started making music with me, he had a weak spot for techno music. We learned our craft in a small town in northern Italy, Reggio Emilia, which had an amazing output of Italian house productions, so there was already a scene present. “Satisfaction” was the watershed.

TMN: You shared some artists that inspired you throughout your career, which included Depeche Mode. Do you feel like electronic new wave artists like them helped pave the way for your passion to produce dance music?

BB: To some extent, yes. Perhaps the biggest inspiration to make dance music was Giorgio Moroder, though.

TMN: As someone who’s been in dance music for so long, what’s it been like witnessing its global takeover?

BB: It’s great, it helps the music evolve, things are opening up. It’s just making dance music mainstream. I think there is a lot of great dance music still being made that I think I have a lot of different genres bubbling in the underground, it’s like fashion, it all comes around again eventually. It has grown and developed, that’s really a good thing. It’s become bigger and better for everyone. It’s brilliant. It means the music reaches more people – that’s a good thing for everybody. What’s interesting is how it sounds different when it comes back. Think of the new tropical house wave. Same but different…

TMN: Speaking of dance music’s global appeal, one of the people who helped the momentum was someone you worked with very early on in his career – Skrillex. Was his “Cinema” remix official from the start, or did it start off as a bootleg, eventually getting cleared?

It was official from the start. He was still fairly underground and he popped into our label, Ultra, in New York. They asked him if he wanted to remix Cinema. The rest is history! I love Skrillex, I love that remix and I am so grateful he made it.

TMN: You’ve played all over the world, including some of the most legendary festivals. If you had to pick one, what would be your favorite venue?

BB: That’s impossible to say! I have a few favorite places… Most festivals, Pacha in Ibiza, Ruby Skye in San Francisco and Ministry of Sound in London.

TMN: And, is there a venue you’ve yet to play that’s still on your “bucket list?”

BB: Not really! But I’m sure there are some new great venues I haven’t been to yet. I think in the 15 years I’ve been touring, I’ve played in most of the established ones!

TMN: Before we wrap up – what’s on the horizon for you? We have to imagine there’s a healthy tour around this album?

All my tours are healthy because I eat well and go running 😉 Joking apart, I’m touring the album!
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Benny Benassi