Push me. And then just touch me. Till I can get my. Satisfaction.
Since rising to fame in 2002 with his smash hit Satisfaction Benny Benassi has been a DJ-producer in demand.
Touring with Madonna, headlining at Creamfields and gigging from London to Las Vegas, 2012 is shaping up to be quite a year for the long-haired Italian.
Yet for some reason Benassi has a problem with praise.
“I owe everything to my cousin Alle Benassi,” he says ahead of his gig supporting the Queen of Pop in Abu Dhabi tonight. “It’s important people know that. The Satisfaction hook was created by him.”
Whether true or just too humble, one thing Benny can rightly credit Alle for is his interest in DJing in the first place. “I started DJing alongside Alle in the late ’80s in our hometown,” he said.
But an obvious talent was soon picked up and before long Benassi had moved to Larry Pignagnoli’s Off Limits production studio in the mid 1990s, creating music for various acts, including Whigfield among others.
Benassi first hit the dance floor with his own projects in 2001 with the single I Feel So Fine, released under the name KMC with vocals by Dhany, the track first stormed the charts in Benassi’s native Italy, and soon followed a No 1 hit in the UK.
Satisfaction took Benassi’s success worldwide with high-profile DJs including Carl Cox, Darren Emerson, and Roger Sanchez singing his praises and it was then the requests came flooding in.
Remixes for OutKast, Goldfrapp and Felix da Housecat were first and in August 2007 Benassi released a Grammy-winning remix of Public Enemy’s Bring the Noise.
Picked up personally by Madonna, Benassi worked with the pop star on a remix for her single Celebration, which was included on the official music video for the song. Kelis, T-Pain, Chris Brown managed collaborations but it was Madonna he always came back to, just months ago producing tracks Girl Gone Wild, I’m Addicted and Best Friend for her latest album MDNA.
Q. First time in the UAE or have you been before? Is it a part of the world you like?
A. I’ve played quite a few times in Dubai. There’s a good club scene and I always enjoying coming. Great architecture and an exciting place.
Q. Supporting Madonna must be a big deal? How did that feel?
A. I opened for Madonna in Rome on the last European tour and it was really exciting. It’s an honour for me, I’ve always been a fan. It’s unbelievable to play in a stadium. This time I’m just on the Abu Dhabi shows because I’ve got quite an intense tour as a DJ over the summer. I can’t wait for these shows.
Q. Your relationship with Madonna seems to have grown since 2009 and Celebration?
A. The credit goes to my producer Alle Benassi, too. Having the opportunity to produce songs for Madonna is a great achievement for us and we’re delighted to be on board.
Q. What’s the lady herself like in the studio?
A. She is very, very professional and has very clear ideas about what she wants in the studio. She was also very nice to us and immediately made us feel welcome and comfortable. No gossip, I’m afraid!
Q. You’ve worked with the some huge names. Is it different producing music for a more commercial audience?
A. We don’t really think in those terms. We just make the music we make and some stuff is more commercial and some stuff is harder. But it’s not really calculated. It’s how it comes out. Of course when we contact artists to ask them if they want to work on a record with us, it’s because we usually already have an instrumental we feel is right for their style.
Q. Who is the best person you’ve worked with and why?
A. There have been many great collaborators, really nice people, really talented people but the person I work with is my cousin Alle Benassi. He’s the man.
Q. Have you ever been star struck?
A. It’s not really me, to be honest. When I get the chance to work with people who have amazing careers and more experience than me, like Madonna, I am full of deep respect and very stimulated by the challenge.
Q. What are you working on right now?
A. New music for the next album. Exciting.
Q. Best place to DJ in the world and why?
A. There’s more than one and I hope to add Abu Dhabi to the list.
Q. In your dreams, what would be next for you?
A. I have a few plans but they are top secret!