Benny Benassi: ‘I’m not even sure what house music is anymore’

Chris Mckay

Benny Benassi new press sho 300x225 Benny Benassi: Im not even sure what house music is anymore‘Push me and then just touch me ’till I can get my, satisfaction.’ Back in 2002, Benny Benassi rose to fame with the lyrics that now echo through clubs across the world. Over the years he’s won a Grammy Award and collaborated with the likes of Kelis, Jean Baptiste and Chris Brown but his biggest success was creating one of the initial tracks that brought ‘Electro’ to the mainstream market.

I caught up with the 45-year-old as he travels across the west coast of America and Canada to talk Madonna, his summer and what’s to come in 2013.

You’re currently on your Rough Road bus tour, tell us a little bit about that and where the idea came from?

After the bike tour of California I did a couple of years ago, I really wanted to do another road trip, but I kept putting it off so I finally decided to just go for it. This time on a tour bus. It’s a little more extensive than the bike tour, going from Texas through to California and then up the coast to Vancouver.

And you’re not doing it by yourself, you’ve roped in Pink is Punk to help you along the way, should we be keeping an eye on these guys?

Definitely! I teamed up with them for their new track Perfect Storm, which was released last month on Ultra Records. They come from my homeland of Italy and they’re not only great guys but fantastic producers.

It’s almost been ten years since Satisfaction was released and that famous video. Do you still enjoy playing it and did you ever expect it to be that successful?

Satisfaction has played a big part in mine and Alle’s [my cousin] careers. But we never could have imagined the impact it had. The riff was written by Alle, so he deserves a lot of the credit! The video idea came from Ministry of Sound, the UK label who put the track out. It’s fun though, right? Check out the “bus wash” clip from the Rough Road tour. The idea is still alive and kicking.

You recently worked with Chris Brown on the song Beautiful People. How did that come about?

A series of coincidences… There’s a friend of Alle and mine in LA, Jean Baptiste, who writes for Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna and other U.S artists. He had the instrumental of Beautiful People on his computer for a long time and one day he woke up and wrote most of the lyrics and melody. Chris Brown popped into his studio, appreciated the track and asked if he could perform it!

Your summer has been filled with festivals but you also were hand picked by Madonna to perform with her in Abu Dhabi, what was that like?

It was a great experience; I respect her talent and was honoured she wanted me there. It was unbelievably hot and humid, you know, I only had to play a 40 minute set so I can’t imagine what it was like for Madonna who performed for two hours in the sweltering heat.

You also headlined Cream and Together in Ibiza, what were those nights like?

Ibiza is like nowhere else in the world and no night is ever the same. Genres of music are always changing and evolving but they also have strong influences on each other, so I’m not even sure what House music is anymore. That’s what makes it so exciting and why I’m really looking forward to what the place has to offer in 2013.

Let’s go back to the start – how did you get into DJing and producing?

I’ve always loved music and thought about being a DJ ever since I was a teenager, it was that or a professional cyclist. I started DJing in a club near where I lived, a small village near Reggio Emilia, northern Italy. I was lucky enough to have a cousin, Alle Benassi, who’s a talented musician and I got him into producing electronic music on a computer. We became a production team, one thing led to another and here we are now. People always ask what it takes to be a DJ and quite simply I think it’s all about playing the music people want to hear, as long as you can do that you can DJ.

What can we expect from you in 2013?

It’s all top secret right now but I can say there will be a new album, some possible remixes and definitely more tours so watch this space.

The full series of episodes of Benny’s Rough Road Bus Tour can be viewed here

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Andy Green

    if you seriously believe this guy had anything to do with Electro then i suggest you give up music journalism quicker than i can say James Stinson.

  • stonedwolf

    Not just that, he INVENTED it.

  • Andy Green

    ill assume you are being ironic here

  • stonedwolf

    I’m just reporting what the article says… newspapers are never wrong are they?

  • Derrick Olivier

    I don’t understand what the title has to do with the article. I expected to read about Benni Benassi’s thoughts on the state of house music.

  • Leinsterlion

    Wow this article is devoid of anything interesting.

  • AbsitOmen

    House music is the same as it always was: shoite.

  • MarilynDHunter

    Thumbs up if General Petraeus sent you here.

  • Lucas Sutton

    Yeah, because it’s not like Daft Punk was making the electro sound mainstream in the late 1990s, oh no, for the purposes of this puff-piece, Mr McKay will either show a complete ignorance of the genre and its development, or will cynically airbrush out other artists just to get that tongue one millimetre further up.

    So this puff-piece, apart from showing no clue about music or why things were in the state they were for when Satisfaction became a hit when it did…

    ..What musical merit does this puff-piece have, then , apart from as another boring advertorial? None, it pretends to inform, but does not even do that,

    Surely it would be more honest to just occupy this space with a simple advert, rather than give people a bad impression of this paper and the journalism in it? Is it not bad enough being written up in Private Eye all the time for cribbing from newsagencies and having amalgamated correspondents? Clearly not.

    Look, here is a better article for you already and without thinking about it, don’t worry, you keep employing people like McKay and underwhelming us with your “copy” and incisive advertorials…

  • igotbannedbanned

    Him music is so hellish it’s a physical assault on the ears that comes from hatred not love

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter