Trust your instincts. These are the parting words of a talented artist whose career has spanned many decades.
Trusting his instincts has taken him to places unimaginable. Literally. As a child from South Bronx, NY he says, ‘there were only two options amongst my friends…’ to be a drug dealer or a bouncer at a club…..I wasn’t gonna get into drugs and I was too short to be a bouncer’……that broke the ice! lol
Jellybean enthusiasts kept passing by; uttering comments, props and questions about when he was gonna hit the stage. I’m not gonna lie-I knew about Jellybean as a kid because of Madonna. I mentioned that to him-but what is fascinating is the kind of work he’s amassed in this many years, as well as the industries that he’s crossed. It is truly remarkable BUT also makes sense as he’s always ‘trusted his instincts’.
Another thing I noticed about what always came up while he responded to my questions was his need for CREATIVITY and his focus of wanting to simply MAKE MUSIC. Watching the crowd’s response on the dance floor Benitez said ‘is like GM testing cars…..as a creator of sounds, tunes, records…..the dance floor allows you to see what works, what’s fresh and what’ll sell’
In his earlier years after Dj’ing for friends parties, his phone started ringing and requests to collaborate with big artists (Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson) to name a few- brought him into the studio. By working in the studio with recording artists, it validated his production skills and allowed him to reach more people. He left DJ‘ing for 10 years and produced music and soundtracks for films. This instinctual departure added more to his musical talents and skills.
Studio54 and Funhouse residencies allowed him to flaunt his production skills in the clubs and he would go on to produce (3-4 records a week???? Damn!) The music industry has definitely changed! The New York house scene is a very different one than it was back in the day- in that it strictly thrived as an underground scene. This underground no longer exists. Perhaps this underground scene now thrives online?
I asked him about his XM Satellite Sirius Radio station that started in 2011. He was asked to program the station because of his expertise, tenure and experience. This allowed him free reign over the design of the station’s music catalogue. He plays FULL tracks when mixing on air and that he mentions, has also lost its way with the new style of music mixing. He’s able to give back and educate new listeners by introducing Disco and Classic House styles within the programming. So every time, you tune in, and listen to Studio54 satellite radio, YOU learn something new! And just like that, our interview had to end……
Jellybean hit the decks at Revival and the song he plays that draws me in is Louie Vega’s ‘Brand New Day’ feat Blaze. I almost forgot what I was gonna write tonight. LOL
I danced the night away 🙂
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