Benny Page Interview

Benny Page Hot Body Gal UK

UK born producer and DJ Benny Page is one of the biggest names in the Drum and Bass scene. Having made a name for himself internationally with a decade-long DJ career, Benny tells us all about his Jamaican influences and what it’s like to share the decks with some legendary acts Benny Page Interview .

Hi Benny. How are you?

Great, actually! I’ve been in the studio this morning just mixing some tunes. The sun is just absolutely lovely; it’s the beginning of the summer here. So, I’m happy. Happy days.

Where in the world are you right now?
I’m at home. I live in Worcestershire, but I’m originally from Reading. I moved here just over a year ago. It’s a really quiet and remote area, cause I’ve got a baby as well. I wake up and just go straight to the studio, it’s my life.

How did growing up in the UK influence you to get into music?
I think in the UK you’ve got so many musical cultures; you’re spoiled for choice. You can get into so many different things, which is the great part about it. You can have all these different influences, which a lot of other countries don’t have. I think we’re really blessed in that sense. We’ve got all the different cultures. Jamaica, Africa, America. It’s great.

You’ve been in the industry for a while now. Tell us how you got your start.
Basically when I just started secondary school, I started getting into guitars and playing drums. My friends used to have guitar lessons at school, but I wasn’t allowed any. I used to sneak into their guitar lessons and play drums. That’s how I got into music, then after school I took a Music Technology course where I would make my own music.

You’ve shared the decks with some legendary DJ’s including Shy FX and DJ Fresh. What was it like to work with them? Were you ever intimidated?
You always do at first, when you start out. But you start to gain confidence and just grow out of that.

Where do you draw inspiration from as a DJ? Who do you look up to?
I draw a lot of inspiration from Jamaican music. So Dancehall and Reggae. That’s the kind of music that really makes me tick, so if I hear Reggae bass-lines that’s what I really like. But I’m a music lover; I really do appreciate all types of music.

You’re critically acclaimed for your remixes. Which remix are you most proud of and which has had the best reaction so far?
My favourite would have to be by an artist named Mr. Williamz, it’s called ‘Pass The Kutchie.’ The ones that have done the best would be the Jessie J and Gyptian remixes.

Who would you love to remix in the future?
That’s a good question. There are a lot of people! I’d say Damian Marley. That would be a good one.

How does it feel to have airplay on Radio 1 and Kiss FM?
I’ve always been really driven. So when things like that happen, it gives you the extra drive. It’s a really proud feeling, more than anything. When you get that type of recognition it makes you push on and feel like you can do anything.

You’ve played a definitive role in shaping the the UK Drum & Bass scene. What is the future like for Drum & Bass in the UK and who are some artists we should look out for?
There’s one guy that really stands out at the moment. His name is Rockwell. He’s really experimental and Dancefloor. He can really make an impact and you’ll be hearing his name a lot. He’s even got a new slot on Radio 1, in the ‘New DJ’s We Trust’, so he’s one guy. Serial Killaz are jungle and they’ve been around for a while, but you’ll be hearing more of them in the future as well.

You have a large following in Jamaica. How is the fan base different from the UK?
The Jamaican fan base is kind of like the newer stuff I’m doing which is not really on the Drum and Bass scene. I think they’re similar in a way, but I guess with the Drum and Bass scene in England it’s a bit more geeky and people find music online. In Jamaica it’s anyone. It’s a much wider audience that’ll listen to your music.

Your new EP ‘Hot Body Gal’ is released on April 20th. Tell us a bit about recording it and what it was like to work with Richie Loop.
It was amazing! We did the beat back here, and then went over to Jamaica with loads of beats. We didn’t plan on working with him in the beginning, actually. But we met him and he seemed really cool and as soon as we gave him the track he had all this energy – and when you work with someone that has a lot of energy, it’s really easy. That was one of the best experiences we’ve had in the studio, we’ll definitely be doing more work with him. There’s no doubt about that!

It’s just been announced that you will be playing the Norwich Launch Party for Outlook Festival. How does it feel to be supporting legend David Rodigan?
It’s great. He’s definitely one of my idols as a DJ, because he’s such an innovator. Nobody can get someone’s attention as much as he can. He can just stand on the stage, with his mic, and the whole club will stop and look at him. It’s a great honor to be playing after him, a very proud moment.

What has been your most memorable live performance?
I would say Outlook last year. It was nothing like I expected. It was a really big venue that we were playing and the vibe was great. The crowd was just electric. I won’t forget that. Also, Boomtown the year before last. Definite eye-openers. I look forward to going to Boomtown as well this year. It’ll be great.

What are your plans for the summer and where can your fans catch you?
Boomtown! And I’m hoping to get on the Bestival lineup as well.

‘Hot Body Gal’ will be available to download on iTunes 20th April