Interview: Five Minutes with Bastian Benjamin

Bastian Benjamin, an enigmatic IDM producer from the Netherlands, has provided the mind-bending single, ‘Concrete’ via Passage. The single, which will be officially released on the 25th of September, heralds the approach of his upcoming album, Two Truths. Bastian Benjamin is known for his “hands-on” approach, as he self-directs all of his music videos, with breath-taking results. ‘Concrete’ explores the consequences of drawing conclusions too quickly, pushing for listeners to keep an open mind. While we can’t share the music video for ‘Concrete’ just yet, we can tell you to keep your eyes peeled for its release, as it’s not one to be missed.

Curious about Bastian Benjamin and everything he stands for? Find it all in the interview below.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I always had the urge to express my feelings and create stuff. So the arts have always been a kind of lifestyle for me. And music just turned out to be the art form in which I could express myself the quickest.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Although my creation process is like a chaotic circle in which I go back and forward between everything. I think the most of the time, I enter the creation circle with a sound. Usually, when I have a sound that I like, the idea comes immediately after it.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

My album doesn’t have any collaborations but I really love them. Besides collaborating with vocalists and other musicians, it’s also amazing to work with dancers, vj’s and video creators. I work a lot for vocalists in the studio. You can also surely expect more collaborations with other artists for my own in act in the near future.

What’s on your current playlist?

Lusine, Randomer, Against All Logic, Overmono. But also piano composers like Joep Beving, DeLange, René Aubry

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

A girl came to me after one of my shows, and she told me that she had been on another planet for the whole show. This experience of totally forgetting about your daily life, and not thinking about anything but the show, is a collective feeling that I share with my fans while performing on stage. I think that’s just beautiful.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I really like sounds that have an organic feel. In nature, you see a lot of imperfections. And this is what makes nature so beautiful. That’s why I make a lot of iPhone recordings from the world around me. The imperfections in those recordings serve as the base for almost all my tracks.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I start up my laptop to load in some recordings that I’ve made. I tend to stick with the first 10 samples that I can get my hands on. Limiting the amount of sounds to work with really boosts my creativity. Then I play around with a lot of fx to see if I can create some atmosphere’s. After that, I export the music and go out to the forest to listen to it on my headphones. Usually, after that, I just make a quick arrangement of all the tracks, and add some elements like drums and melodies at home. I like having a full arrangement by the end of the day, because this gives me more inspiration when I work further on it the next day.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

There wasn’t really a specific moment, because making music always felt like the most logical thing to do. But it was at the last year of my high school, that my music teacher told me that it was better if I went to pursue something else than making music. He told me it was a hard world, and that I wasn’t suited for that. This just only gave me more motivation to prove him otherwise.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My love for sharing music with other people.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I would say ‘Nau Leone’. He’s a great producer from Spain who just launched his own label. We discovered each other on Instagram, and since then we stay in touch.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

The sound of silence is the greatest source for my creativity.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

As I mentioned above, I love to just use my iPhone for recordings haha. Besides that, I have an AKAI APC that I use a lot for building arrangements. For the rest, I just use a lot of plugins. Soundtoys and Valhalla Room are the ones I use the most. I create my music in Logic Pro X and Ableton

Any side projects you’re working on?

I produce electronic pop music for a Latvian singer called ‘ANNNA’. Our studio sessions always have an amazingly positive vibe.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I think that the most important factors for my growth as an artist were: doing completely my own thing and having enough spare time.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

The end of 2020 will be all about releasing my first album. The first singles will be released in the coming months. The album release is on the 4th of December. I’m also working on a short film that will be a part of the album.

Famous last words?

Let’s go on a journey

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