Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mad Decent||Benzona Interview

If you don't know who "Benzona" is, let me get you on point. Michael Woodward is one of Diplo's main men behind the scene over at Mad Decent. Luckily I got to strike this interview.

Arsnl: Benzona, thanks for taking the time to chill with us on this interview. First question of the day, why "Benzona" ? How did this name come about ?

Benzona: Benzona started as a two piece with one of my best buds Whoopi. He's actually the one who came up with the name. It's literal term means "son of a bitch" in Hebrew but people use it as a positive term. kind of like say that's bitchen or dope.

Arsnl: How long have you been with Mad Decent ?

Benzona:I started interning for Diplo about 2 years ago. He was in the transition process of moving out to LA and I'd bug him every few weeks telling him I was down to work. Eventually Jasper the label manager moved out here. I quit my day job and started working full time about a year & half ago.

Arsnl: What exactly do you do at Mad Decent ?...other then party.

Benzona: I have my hand in pretty much everything. Paul and I head the website and I help Jasper (label mananger) with all the aspects of putting out a release from contracts to product and distribution.

Arsnl: We know you guys had Blow Your Head going on. Can we expect additional events from Mad Decent in the future?

Benzona: We've been working on trying to get an 18+ event in LA forever it's just rough finding the right venue. We've actually put BYH on hold for the time being and are currently trying to find the right home for our new moombahton party Vibrate. Everything's a little rocky right now but there will always be Mad Decent parties in LA.

Arsnl: Unfortunately Escape From Wonderland kicked my ass, so I didnt get to attend DEADHAU5. How did that go ? Did Zookrew out party you?

Benzona: DEADHAU5 was nuts. Party in my backyard sponsored by Puma, Dos Equis and some vodka company that gave us 95 bottles?! Plus Derek Allen DJing, Paul Devro in scarecrow outfit and this awesome band Reptar who are opening up the foster the people tour. Zookrew will always out party me until I learn how to shuffle, I'll never be on their level!

Arsnl: Who from MAD DECENT is LA bound other then yourself ?

Benzona: LA crew is: Diplo, Rusko, Paul Devro, Derek Allen, Jasper, myself and all our awesome interns that keep us goin.Arsnl: You down for a DMT sesh ?

Benzona: Watched Diplo do it and it looked kinda lame. I think he did it wrong tho. Always down to try something once tho. (0_o)

Arsnl: All of our friends have seen you play LA parties such as: The Mixer, Blow Your Head, Muevelo, Reset, Noize Control etc. Aside from djing can we expect any production from Benzona ?
Benzona: When you're peers are Diplo & Paul its pretty intimidating. I went to school for recording arts and know my way around Ableton and Protools. Just nothing to reveal yet. Soon.

Arsnl: Lets talk a bit about Moombahton. The Moombahton genre/movement has grown a tremendous amount since we heard earlier tracks such as Munchi's Sandungeo. We now have Moombahcore & Moombahsoul. After catching Diplo at TAO (2010 going into 2011) & this years Audiotistic, Moombahton was really hitting hard. How much bigger do you think Moombahton will get ? Where do you think this movement is headed ?

Benzona: Moombahton is the first real dance genre that was born on the internet, so it's evolved at Internet pace. It's insane how much it's blown up over the past year. Only time will tell if it's here to stay but with Skrillex and Dillon Francis leading the way it's definitely got a bright future. Pop music is so intertwined with dance music now that it's bound to break out in some form. Dubstep is just now breaking out into the American mainstream and it's been around forever.
Arsnl: Alright time to wrap this up. Thanks for taking the time on us. I always end every interview to inspire those that are up & coming. Any advice to your fellow DJs, Mad Decent followers & Fans ? Any shout outs to your boys here in LA ?

Benzona: Find something you enjoy and fight for it. I payed my dues in LA sleeping on couches and hustled free internships for years. Just stick with it. Shout outs to all the people throwing all those awesome parties you mentioned above. And everyone supportin Mad Decent.

[Note]: Special shout outs go to: Danny Trejo of ArntreLA for introducing us to Benzona. Ultra Cat of ThatsWhatsUpLA for always being ahead of the game. Awsumo 3k of Three Zerohs & my beautiful friend Stephanie Bwrede over at Rebel Vandal for taking such awesome pics! Much love to everyone that reads this interview.

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