There’s a quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe that states “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ” International DJ/producer Ben Arsenal is the perfect example of this quote as his talent, passion, and work ethic have attributed to his amazing success, and he’s still got a lot more to show the world. I recently got the opportunity to chat with Ben about when he discovered his passion for music, his experiences playing overseas, advice to aspiring artists, and more.
Check out our interview below.
When did you discover that you had a passion for music and what made you want to pursue a career in music?
I’ve been interested in music since I was like maybe 10 or 11 years old. My step brother brought home an electric guitar and an amp and I was just blown away with how it sounded
How would you describe your creative process when it comes to producing and making DJ mixes?
Well at this stage, I’m definitely focused on different elements of dance music – whether it’s like really funky songs that you can bounce to or if it’s more like a deeper, sexy house type of music vs global groves with eclectic flavors mixed in.
I know that you’ve traveled overseas to display your talents, so what’s been your favorite place that you’ve played at?
I would probably have to a New Year’s party that I did in Brazil. It was down on the beach in a big tent and I got to play some Brazilian dance music mixed with house and American club type music. It was really fun and it was really just a great atmosphere, great setting and I got to play for about an hour, so it was great.
From what you’ve seen, how would you say the music scene in Brazil differs from the music scene here in America?
I would actually say it’s kind of similar. There’s a commercial side, of course they have a huge Brazilian scene because that’s their native music, and there’s an awesome party scene there too. They go absolutely nuts – it’s just like super awesome energy.
I know that you’re a part of Elevate Sounds Studios, so how did that venture come about?
It came about because I wanted to set up shop and get an official work space and take a step another step toward honing my craft and my career. A friend of mine got a studio as a photographer and I was talking to him and he told me that he would introduce me to the owner. So I spoke to the owner and he told me he didn’t have anything ready at the time which was perfect because I wasn’t quite ready to make the jump because I didn’t have a business plan. I ended up taking the first spot in the newly cleaned up basement and there wasn’t even a staircase, there was like a ladder, and they told me they needed a couple of months to get the staircase put in, to get the windows installed, and to finish up other little things. Then I approached a friend of mine who I had been doing some audio work with who’s a really good engineer and I knew that he was taking the craft seriously. I got another good friend who was studying acoustic design to work on the actual design of the studio and then all of a sudden we had a business plan. We raised a couple thousand dollars with our Indie Gogo campaign, and before I knew it we had a contractor and we started building. Since then we’ve been shifting around and we switched the control room around and we gave it the acoustic treatment and now it’s a really, really solid studio.
If you could collaborate with any artist on a project, whether it be an indie artist or a mainstream artist, who would it be?
That’s a great question. We were just talking about the keyboard player from The Talking Heads and apparently he’s from the area , so I wouldn’t mind working with him. He’s like a bad ass analog shift player, so we could get some crazy electronic and organic sounds.
What would you say has been one of the most memorable moments of your career so far?
Well… I wouldn’t pick a moment, but there’s just been this rewarding feeling of everything happening at the right pace and everything happening for a reason. Between the studio kicking off, getting a really good grasp of the fundamentals of engineering, and getting the Worldtown sound system off the ground and we’ve been getting really good feedback.
Where do you want to see yourself career wise within the next year?
Six months from now, I wanna be in South America and work with some artists, do some DJ sets, getting into the studio with some instrumentalists, producers, vocalists, and start the journey of international studio offerings, that’s really my end goal.
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far from being in the music industry?
I’ve learned to just enjoy the ride, be patient, and have fun with it. It can be nerve-racking when you have big aspirations about things happening when you want them to happen, but things happen faster and faster when you grow, so it’s worth having the proper foundation.
What advice would you give any artists aspiring to get into the industry?
I’d say work with as many people as possible, build relationships, and experiment. Experimentation is the biggest thing because the mistakes along the way are some of the best contributions to arrangements and things that you work on.
Are there any events coming up that we should be prepared to attend?
Yeah, Worldtown is hosting aninternational music festival on June 14th at the Piazza which is gonna be awesome. We’re also gonna have a fundraiser on the 23rd of May to maximize the opportunity of the Worldtown Festival.
Be sure to keep up with Ben on Twitter,Facebook, and Soundcloud. For all of you artists out there, be sure to book your next studio session at Elevate Sound Studios – they have great rates and delivery quality product.
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