Describe an average day in the life of Benny Tones...

Lots of caffeine, then a lot of looking at a computer screen. Haha... I’m in the studio all day, every day. There’s always too much to do.

You have your fingers in many musical pies, what is your ‘rule of thumb’ creative process?

The only rule I have with anything to do with music is: there are no rules. So many people try and pigeon hole everything or tell you you’re doing something “wrong”. How do you do something wrong when you’re talking about an artform? You wouldn’t go telling a painter that he’s doing it wrong would you?

With any project I’m involved with, as cheesy as it sounds, I just try to let the music happen rather than try to ‘make’ it. This does have its downsides as it usually takes me forever to finish things. I’m ok with that.

Where are you heading at the moment? Are you primarily focusing on a solo career or is Electric Wire Hustle still your priority?

There are a few things in the pipeline. I’m just putting the finishing touches on a remix album of my last LP ‘Chrysalis’. It’s gonna be huge - there will be at least 30 altogether, so it’s a really big release. It will feature some amazing local and international artists. So that’s something I’m really looking forward to. Been a long time in the making!

I’m also slowly experimenting with my new Benny Tones release. Gonna try a slightly different direction this time I think. Bit of a heavier vibe.

As for Electric Wire Hustle: I’m taking some time off from the live shows to concentrate more on my business at home ‘Organik Muzik Workz’. They are in Europe for the next 6 months touring and finishing up the next album, which I am half way through mixing. Hoping to get it all wrapped up in the next few months, which is exciting. Gonna be an amazing album.

What was your favourite experience while touring overseas with Electric Wire Hustle?

I don’t think I could pick a favourite. There have been so many amazing times. The people are usually the highlight to be honest. Everyone is so accomodating and are always keen to show you their local food & culture.

What are some of the challenges of producing in New Zealand?

I think NZ is doing an amazing job of putting itself on the map musically at the moment. The world is taking a good look at what are doing all the way down here. So I don’t think it’s more of a challenge so much; it’s definitely an exciting time for NZ music. So many great artists emerging from this country!!

Where did the album name 'Chrysalis' come from?

I wanted a link to my first works, but also to something that inspired a lot of change and progression. I started thinking about the different processes that some insects go through in nature, mainly the Monarch Butterfly. A chrysalis encompasses all the perfect natural changes for me. Starting as something infant and fragile, and turning into something completely different and amazing.

What local tunes are you loving at the moment?

There are so many amazing musicians and producers coming out of this country right now. One in particular who I think is leading the music I’m into at the moment in a fresh direction is an Auckland based producer Chistoph El Truento.

I’m in the middle of mastering his new album and it's incredible. He was the man behind the beats of the ‘@Peace’ album, this has been hailed as the best NZ hip hop record ever. He will also feature on my upcoming remix album. Mad skills.

What’s your success formula?

As far as success goes I think I’ve got a long way to go yet :-)

Can you let us in on any of your future plans?

I will have a remix album coming out on BBE Records worldwide and our label in NZ ‘Every Waking Hour’.

A new side project I have been working on with two local friends/producers ‘Boofa’ & ‘LRD JXN’ has an interesting release, which is almost ready for release, entitled “STROBES”.

I’m gonna be finishing off recording/mixing the new Electric Wire Hustle album and then finally a new Benny Tones release at some point as well.

By Olivia Young

Check out Benny T's work on his Soundclound page.

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