Dance Music

Ben Samples | Interview

by JM on December 14, 2010

Your given name really is Ben Samples much to my surprise. Did you think you were destined to make music with such a last name?
Hahah, yeah I get that a lot but I actually think I was just lucky. When I first started making music I didn’t even use the Samples name because I thought it was too obvious, but then friends convinced me it was too good to pass up.

Now that 2010 is coming to a close is there any accomplishments or events in your music career that stick out to you?
Playing Burning Man on some big stages (Nexus, Bass Camp, False Profit, and Portal Patch) was one of the biggest things I did this year. My main goal for 2010 was to get on the festival circuit and in many ways I accomplished that and developed what I like to call a “lot” following by doing free shows at parking lots in festivals and even playing on party busses (Basics Fund out of Boulder CO)

Have any goals or big plans for 2011?
One of my main goals for 2010 was to play at Red Rocks (in Colorado) and I was close to doing one event, but it fell through. I think I’m going to keep that goal for 2011 and kick it up a notch by trying to expand my market in the West, South and Midwest

Does Samples actually take up new years resolutions?
See previous question 😀 As far as personal resolutions, I just try to make as much music as possible but I always stay away from specific goals since they are easier to fail at.

When did you start producing music at what age and what sort of medium did you use at that time and how has it evolved into what you do today?
I actually have pretty much always been a musician (my dad taught me guitar at the age of 8) but when I came to college (5 years ago in 2005) I decided that I couldn’t really ever become famous as a guitarist, so I gave away my guitar and started looking into electronic music. For the first few years I just experimented with it and looked at it as kinda a hobby, and it wasn’t til about 2 1/2 years ago that I became serious about electronic music and started developing a sound.

I started out by trying to produce music that had the energy of House music as well as the big buildups and drops, but I wanted to do it at a hip-hop tempo. I still carry that attitude today with my music, I’m just a little better at doing it. My motto with music has always been, “When the song drops, if everyone on the dancefloor doesn’t have their hands in the air then you did it wrong.”

You are one of the most prolific producers right now in the community, how long would you say it takes you to bang out a tune?
About 6 hours to carve the complete arrangement, and when I’m focused on creating a particular type of track it can even take less. When I want a track to be really big and a fan-favorite, then I’ll tend to sit on it for a day or two and come back and make edits, but I’m really good at visualizing a final product when I start (and thats how I can make music so efficiently)

Biggest influence, person you respect the most, and can call a friend in music?
Wow, good question, there have been so many people out there that have helped me in a lot of ways. I’d have to say Dylan (aka Ill Gates or the Phat Conductor) because he shares the passion I have for performance, technical knowledge, and production, and I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with him personally and learn a lot from him. Other great people that I call big influences are Ill-Esha, Freddy Todd, Dominic Lalli (from Big Gigantic), SPECTRE, Omega, and Kraddy.

Anyone you’d really like to play alongside in the upcoming year?
Well, I have to say there’s been a lot of people that I’ve already played with that have been pretty big names, but it would be cool to play with more international DJs, such as Joker, Rusko, etc. They tend to view music a little differently and the conversations we have back stage are usually pretty vivid.

Anything you want to say to anyone or message you want to conclude with for your final words?
To anyone thats thinking about making music, DO IT! You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start and often I find people put too much time in the little stuff. There is a lot to be said by finishing projects and starting a new one, you never stop the learning process that way. It can intimidating from the start, but you can get good at it in a matter of months if you have the right mentors and work ethic.

And Afro Monk is the man!

Alright I’m sure many ladies want to know… Blonde, Brunette, Redhead, or specific color?
Oooh, I know I’m gonna make some ladies upset with this one, but I’ve found I have a thing for Brunettes recently, but in all honesty I fall in love with every woman I meet, so its not a matter of looks, just a matter of finding their own beauty

Much love and respect to the good friend of mine, Ben Samples. It’s always a pleasure getting to talk to him and running into him on random adventures.

Be sure to pick up Samples new album, Choose Your Own Adventure! The album has been put out by the amazing people at Made in Glitch. Be sure to support your favorite artist! Here are a few favorites of mine off it.

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  • December 14, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I endorse this interview!

    Fell into samples stuff via the Acid Crunk collection — the tune Caribbean Heat was and is the jam — then I sought out his other work and soon found that he was literally catching fire — now a year and change later samps has fortified himself at the top of the bass producers and is branching out into all types of styles. Safe to say if you DJ a samples track it will tear the club and speakers to shreds — highly combustible crunk

    Proud to call him homey and yes I am a fan boy

    — Abb

    Check out the fresh 2 death video I shot earlier this year ( samples & fisk )

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