Benny V is a man of many talents, from professional experience within TV, Radio and Music. – to running Award Winning label, Souped Up Records and also his own, Dance Concept. Benny V has been in the scene for quite some time, so lets talk past, present and future…
Lets indulge ourselves with this interview!
Normally, I wouldn’t say “introduce yourself” with someone as known as you are, but I feel as if not everyone knows the full spectrum of what you do, or where you have come from – would you like to shout all this out?
Been involved in the scene for longer than I care to admit. Been Djing since I was 16 & came through the ranks in the London Underground scene on various Pirate Radio stations & my first residency at Club Labrynth back in the day. As well as the Souped Up stuff, I am probably best known for running Dance Concept in both putting on parties back in the day & running the label today. We released a couple of Stevie Hyper D albums which put us firmly on the map as a label after 3 or 4 years of putting on parties at some of London’s biggest Drum & Bass venues. Not many know but I also started up Breakin Science along with a well known Garage promoter of the time.
Congratulations with Souped Up, on the ‘Best New Label’ award recently at the D&B Awards, how does it feel to earn that title?
It was a great honour & a genuine surprise. Some think its fixed or the winners at least know but I can confirm that neither Serum nor I know had any idea that Souped Up had won. To be honest, as much of an honour it was to win Best New Label the fact we also got nominated for “Best Label” outright was an unreal achievement. To be rubbing shoulders with labels that I grew up buying records from or labels that have a world presence was equally humbling. But most of all, we love what we do and just appreciate that you guys appear to love it too.
With yourself and Mark (Serum) running Souped Up, how does the workload between you both normally go?
We joke about it often as the label is Serum’s brainchild. We had worked together on a couple of things and he had some releases on Dance Concept & one night en route to a gig the subject was brought up & he mentioned how he had the material but not the time for all the mechanics. Obviously he knew how I worked and we got chatting & Souped Up was born pretty quickly after that. Serum is more in charge of the musical content as a lot of production is his own or at least, goes through him. I am more the guy who, as the same joke goes, kicks him up the arse & runs more of the mechanical side of things, ensuring all runs smoothly with channel & radio premiers as well as the social media marketing.
Not only do you Co-Run Souped Up, but you’re also the label manager for Dance Concept Recordings. How is life running Dance Concept?
Dance Concept is my baby. Started when I myself was a baby! It is surreal looking back at line-ups put on when I was so young with the likes of legends Shy FX, Randall, Brockie, Ray Keith, Nicky Blackmarket. However, I was also the first to put the likes of Twisted Individual, Eksman, Herbzie & MC Fun in the mainrooms. Eks has banned me from reminding him of this fact so this is now the second time Ive broken that ban lol – Label wise I have been blessed to have some of the best producers in the scene involved across different sub genres too. From the likes of Serum, Voltage, Bladerunner to Sub Zero, Jaydan, Serial Killaz, Aphrodite, Heist, Modified Motion, Blame, Aries, Nicky Blackmarket, K-Warren + many other legends.
With your most recent EP, Nice Guy EP, also being on Dance Concept, alongside DJ Uniques. I must ask how did this collaboration between you both come about?
DJ Uniques has been known to the Dance Concept camp for years. This guy has been doing stuff longer than many people may realise. He has been a long supporter of Dance Concept & sent me a folder of tracks he had started working on. The EP is a mixture of stuff from that folder that had a good foundation but needed to brought up a couple of levels as well as some work we started from scratch in his studio. There will be more from DJ Uniques in the future, I can guarentee.
Who are your biggest influences within the scene, maybe a Top3 even?
It’s a tough question to ask. 2 of my favourite producers do not make DnB anymore, Omni Trio & DJ Zinc. The people who are killing it today however depends on what style. Obviously Im feelin what my boys the Kings of the Rollers are doing, but like them perhaps, I am still influenced by the original Bristol sound on the rolling tip
With 2018 now over, what were the key highlights for you during the year?
Its literally been a flat out year in so many aspects that it is hard to select distinct highlights. What I would say is the award came at the end of a very productive year for Souped Up where we have received incredible support from so many people who have really bought into what we are doing. And for that, both Serum & I are very grateful. I also present the Drum & Bass show on East London Radio which has been going from strength to strength this year. Im on every Wednesday 6-7pm.
What can we expect from yourself in this new year?
My DJ schedule is already pretty bonkers because as well as the DnB thing, I actually play at many of Londons top clubs in the West End & City. Which is why I am sometimes somewhat “overdressed” if seen at a Drum & Bass gig if I have a West End gig the same night! On the Drum & Bass side you can expect more production from myself on Souped Up & I have releases coming soon to Jungle Cakes & Patrol The Skies in the States with K-Warren.
How about for Souped Up & Dance Concept? Are you able to reveal some plans you have going on?
On Souped Up we have an artist album in the works. Its pretty close to completion & it is absolutely banging. We want to keep it close to our chests who’s album it is but I can give a clue that it is an artist who has released with us already. He is super excited and so are we. However, next up is the Little Chef EP from Voltage which will be out soon. On Dance Concept we have another release from Echo B who has had 2 releases so far, both of which have been supported by every corner of the scene. This is an up & coming artist who I expect big things for in 2019. There will also be another release from DJ Uniques as well as the usual DC artists with something else from K-Warren & I in the works.
Is there anybody you’re currently watching, that you would want to get on Souped Up doing an EP?
Its tough because we actually have material way into 2019 ready to be released. But we are always keeping an eye on people who may create the sound we like. Watch this space basically.
Give yourself a shout out!
Shouts to Serum, K-Warren. Al at Patrol the Skies, Ed & Deekline at Jungle Cakes, Dan & Co at Cygnus, Rico & Co at SRD, Triptonite aka Dan Jolly, Lock Stock & the rest of the Dance Concept Cru, Deemas J, DJ Uniques, Voltage, Bladerunner, Illmatika, DJ Nitr8 who runs the Dance Concept Team youtube channel, Terry T, Ian at ELR, Maja & crew & DNBA, Seb & Jake at Skankandbass, JK & the Rayden.
Happy New Year from the BSSDRP Crew and Benny V! What a cracking way to start the year off.