For New Zealand Music Month, we wanted to chat to a few people in the music industry who are behind the scenes making our industry what it is today! Ben Lawson, the Studio Engineer & Producer at Red Bull Studio in Auckland, is super talented and works with some of our brightest talents in New Zealand music.
We had a chat to Ben about what New Zealand music he's loving at the moment and how he'll be celebrating Music Month....
I'm Ben Lawson AKA The Bengineer AKA The Mike Jordan of recording. I get to work with a plethora of interesting and talented musicians every day. Basically I help them record, mix and master their songs. It's cool to work with some of these artists that aren't 'established' yet, but are on the verge of something awesome. That's the exciting part for me.
What song do you currently have playing on repeat?
Jai Paul - Track 15. Yes, it's actually called Track 15. It comes from a record that was leaked about a month ago, and because he's only released 2 tracks previous to this, I was super excited to hear the new jams. I have played this track maybe 208 times. It's pretty lo-fi and mixed quite poorly (I played it to a friend who said "it sounds like someone is turning the volume up and down really fast"). I can't even make out half the words, but the song just makes me feel stuff OK?
Tom Scott and Lui T (of @peace) record with Ben Jamin for his debut record.
How will you be celebrating May Music Month?
I'll be checking out some of the gigs happening around town. Maybe buy more NZ music than I usually do. I'll probably play some NZ rap really loud in the whip. Also, we've been working on a limited edition 7" record with Boycrush on one side and Grayson Gilmour on the other. So you should pick that up when it comes out at the end of May, it's really good.
Ruby Frost came in to the studio as part of the George FM 'Damn! I wish I was your cover' series to record her version of Disclosure's 'White Noise'.
Your top 5 favourite New Zealand artists and your favourite song of theirs...
She's So Rad 'Time'
The Mint Chicks 'Life Will Get Better Some Day'
Electric Wire Hustle 'Perception'
Home Brew 'Yellow Snot Funk'
Your most memorable musical moment...
We ran a project last year called 'Red Bull Prodigy' where we pair up an established producer/artist with an up and coming artist. We put Chelsea Metcalf (Watercolours) and Jeremy Toy (Opensouls/She's So Rad) together in the studio for 2 weeks to write, produce and record a bunch of tracks. It took a couple of days of bad jokes and a bit of trial and error to get in the zone, but with the absence of any pressures that usually go with working in a studio and a genuine musical connection, over half a dozen bangers were made (and many, many more bad jokes). Inspiring.
Street Chant in the studio.
Which album release are you most excited about this year?
My homie and participant of this years Red Bull Music Academy in NYC - Louis Baker. I'm really interested and excited to hear what he's going to come up with this year. Dude can sing. His first single 'Even In The Darkness' really impressed me and I know he's got even more heat in the vaults too. Watch this space I reckon.
Must-see New Zealand concerts this year?