When it comes to big bass drops, Benny Benassi knows best. The Italian deejay-cum-producer is easily one of the more recognizable names in the electronic dance music (EDM) industry. Over the course of the past decade, Benassi has risen to the top of the electrohouse scene, scoring a Grammy and teaming up with the likes of Madonna and David Bowie along the way. This Tuesday, October 30, Benassi drops the beat at Earl Warren Showgrounds for a night of heavy-hitting originals and remixes that’s certain to start Halloween off right for S.B.’s EDM-loving crowd. Below, Benassi takes some time out to talk about early influences and the changing face of EDM.
Where do you place electro house on a timeline of electronic music? Which genres or scenes did it evolve out of, in your opinion, and which did it lead to? All the genres of music are merging and changing, everyone plays everything and it’s always evolving so I can’t place it. In my opinion, if it’s good music that’s all that matters.
What influence have Dutch artists had on electro house? A lot; they bring through the harder and more trance sounds, which influence everything. The Dirty Dutch scene is very strong right now.
Who were some of your favorite producers or DJs when you were growing up? You know it changes; it always has changed and evolved. But when I was a kid, it was ‘80s disco, electropop and house music.
EDM seems to be constantly changing, with new genres replacing others in popularity almost every day. How do you stay grounded as an artist and focus on your own music instead of what’s popular at the moment? It’s not really calculated. All that matters for me is that I carry on making music that people love. With my cousin Alle, we keep it simple. We try to stay true to the music. It just happens and it helps keep the dream alive.
To what do you attribute the massive popularity of dubstep in the U.S.? Do you see any similarities between the dubstep and electro house scenes? House, dubstep, electro and dance are all merging and rolling into the same thing. [It’s] fantastic!
You’re known for an aggressive style on the dance floor, but what music do you listen to when you want to chill out? I swear it changes every time I turn on my iPod.
You’ve been gigging for more than 10 years at venues and festivals all over the world. What makes a gig memorable for you? Festivals just give you a huge energy flow that is unique to anything else!
Benny Benassi plays Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real) with opener Congorock on Tuesday, at 7 p.m. Visit bennybenassisb.eventbrite.com for tickets and info.