We speak to DJ Benny Benassi at Dubai's Cavalli about Paris Hilton, Coachella and meeting Madonna
Benny Benassi is perhaps best known for his hits such as Satisfaction and Beautiful People... but there's more to the 47-year-old DJ than bags full of hits...
He's got upcoming gig dates in Italy, the UK and US, but he doesn't get tired of travelling... I love being with my people, I love being with my friends. I love when I’m in New York, there’s a big Italian community. I have a lot of friends there and I work a lot with Italian people. I’m really good when I’m in New York, it’s my second home. I get the energy from my friends. I love travelling and I’m always with my crew on tour and sometimes I take time in Italy with my family.
I live in a village, a little town in Italy, so sometimes I take off two weeks to refresh myself and work in the studio with my partner and producer in a very small home in the country.
He's teamed with the likes of Madonna, David Bowie, Kelis and Chris Brown, however he doesn't get into the studio with all of his collaborators...
We were lucky because we went to the studio with Madonna. I spent one week in the studio with her. It was a privilege. I was happy. When she touches you, you grow up a little bit. I also love Chris Brown. He’s a huge artist. A huge dancer, huge voice… but I didn’t go to the studio with him. He sent me an acapella and we swapped files. I have met him before. He came to perform on the boat in Marquee. It was really good. Also I went with him to perform on a big show for radio in the United States. Kelis was really nice. We did a video together for a day. She came to Ultra Festival….
He's headlined big music events such as Ultra Music Festival, Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival. Here's what he thinks of them... If you grew up in England you had Cream. A completely different experience. They want to put people and music together and sometimes it’s a little bit strange. One of my favourites is EDC in Vegas. This summer I’ll play EDC New York and also I like Coachella. They only have one stage for electronic music so you can do Coachella only every two or three years. They rotate the DJs. I’ve played it three times, my last time was with John Legend. It was unbelievable.
He thinks Kanye West playing Glastonbury isn't that controversial...
This is the thing they need to sell tickets but to be honest I love Kanye West. I know he’s not rock 'n’ roll but I love him. Then again I also love Coldplay. It’s important to split the space. Coachella for example is brilliant. You have a main room, an electronic room, rock ‘n’ roll room…
He gets to Dubai as often as possible, even when you don't know about it... I've known Dubai for the last 10 years. I was here the first time 10 years ago New Year’s Eve. I play sometimes for private parties, big birthdays on the boat, also different clubs here. I love Dubai.
He's got 2015 residency in Las Vegas’ Marquee nightclub. And one day you could see him with one in Dubai... Why not? Maybe I’ll think about a residency here in Cavalli. There’s a combination of good food – the restaurant tonight was really amazing – good vibe, a mix of Italian style… Paris Hilton recently announced a Vegas residency and currently has once in Ibiza and Atlantic City. Benny respects the hotel heiress, reality star and businesswoman as a DJ
I’m happy. To be honest, I love Paris Hilton because she didn’t do anything wrong, it’s good, she’s famous… A lot DJs say ‘I don’t like Paris Hilton', but after they want to take a picture with her.
I remember when she was at Marquee for the first time. She tweeted me. I was happy because everybody now knew my name. I think she does nothing wrong for the other DJs. If you want to be a techno, underground DJ she does nothing wrong for you because it’s a different club.
In Italy we have big football players who are DJs now. Why not? You can share your music with all the people. I also love techno, when I went to Ibiza, I listened to the real music at good clubs, but I also like to listen to the different music in a good club with lots of girls. Sometimes I don’t want to go to a club that’s full of men. Sometimes you want to go to a good club with good music, but then you might want to go to Pacha and hear pop music and have people that you can talk with. But the two can’t cross.