Catching-up with Benny Benassi

Last time we spoke to Italian DJ and Producer Benny Benassi was back in 2008, when Future Music met up with him and his cousin/co-producer Alle at their studio in Northern Italy.

Since then, the pair have moved studios and Benny has clocked-up countless more international DJ dates. High time for a catch-up, then...

It's been a while since Future Music last visited you in Reggio Emilia. Where are you based now? What's the new studio like?

"The studio is still near Reggio Emilia, Italy but in a very small village. My cousin and producer Alle and I work from there. It's very practical and has all we need, plus a coffee machine."

Your sound has developed quite a lot and has almost mellowed and become more pop recently. Was this a decision that was made, or did it develop naturally?

"It was just something that has naturally happened. But it doesn't mean we won't get loud ever again!"

What about your DJ sets? How have they evolved, and what's on your tech rider?

"A DJ set is always naturally evolving because I need to keep the music current. So it's constantly changing, which is good for the crowd and good for me. I play house, I play some Benny Benassi originals and remixes, and whatever I'm feeling."

Do you still have to play Satisfaction at every gig? How many edits and remixes of Satisfaction have you done now?

"Recently I've been playing the RL Grime remix of Satisfaction, which has been going down really well. That's a new favourite."

What's coming up for you for the rest of the year?

"My new single Dance The Pain Away feat John Legend is coming out 6 October, and then we're moving into an album phase. And lots of touring, as always."

How do you feel about being part of the EDM scene and the slightly corporate reputation it has gained in the USA? Does it feel like it's still growing?

"I think it's healthy, and it all helps dance music as a whole become a bigger entity. I have a lot of respect for Calvin Harris and David Guetta for really changing the audience who are now listening to dance music."

How does the dance scene now compare to when you began DJing in Italy?

"It has changed a lot and not at all. I started out over a decade ago in Italy - the people have changed, the music has changed, the DJs have changed, but all the same elements are still there."

What's the guaranteed floorfiller track for you right now?

"I'm just testing a new instrumental Alle and I have produced, and the effect on the floor is more than good."

Who are your top 3 artists to watch out for? Who will be big in 2014?

"Clockwork/RL Grime is one for sure, and the others I was going to mention are already big, come to think of it..."