Wellington DJ Benny Salvador is no stranger to Splore, after attending the festival since he was a baby.
Known as a ‘ninja behind the decks’ and with regular club nights at Wellington's Club 121, Surface and The 121 Warehouse Rave, Benny has earnt himself quite a reputation. As a life-long Splore lover, he is taking to the stage for the third time this year, and we can’t wait to hear his exotic selection of house, techno and disco. We caught up with him to find out exactly what he has in store for us this year...
Why did you decide to choose a career in music?
It’s what i’ve always been around, I grew up surrounded by music, so it’s just normal life for me. My dad is part of Fat Freddy’s Drop, so I have grown up playing his parties and I really enjoyed learning and growing in the music scene. I am lucky that I get to say that music is my career.
So, would you say your dad has had a big musical influence?
Definitely, as all dads have an influence on their kids lives, he has definitely installed a lot of musical interest into me. I’ve always looked up to him and he has given me a positive light on the music industry.
This years theme at Splore is ‘Celebrate’, what do think about this years theme?
I love it! Splore is my favourite festival...fullstop. Every year for me is a celebration at Splore, so it’s only right that the theme is celebrate.
It’s Splore’s 20th anniversary as well, so it's the perfect theme…
Exactly! It fits in like a glove - it’s perfect!
Do you have anything to celebrate this year?
You know what, I am just celebrating life in general. I have been playing a lot of music and celebrating with people - I guess that’s my job and that’s why I love music.
You’ve been coming to Splore since you were a baby, so how does it feel to be playing the festival?
Well it’s my third year playing Splore this year, and i’ve been to Splore practically every year since I’ve been alive. So, I am definitely a Splore baby through and through. It feels like home to me at Splore, so it’s great to go as a family and we all look forward to it. We dance all weekend together as a family and it’s magical!
What’s your favourite part about Splore?
Firstly, the scenery! It's such a beautiful place, so no matter what’s happening there it will always be great! I love all the people at Splore as well, I feel very natural there and as I said it’s like home. The music is a line up you can't miss, every single year is amazing! I like that you don’t have to look at the line-up first like most festivals, Splore is what comes first and then the line-up. It’s about the community, the people and the coming together of people rather than just the music. Basically, I love that Splore is a thing in itself and it’s not defined by the music.
As a techno-house DJ, what drew you that genre of music?
I play that a lot yes, but I also play a mixture of house, funk soul and psychedelic. I try and play different things depending on what makes me feel good at the time. I remember my dad gave me a Moody Man tape and I fell in love with it. I am a record digger at heart so I just find the music.
Who are your influencers?
So many. Of course, Prince, James Brown, all of the old funk and soul. I love the older stuff, I would say they are my deeper influencers, but also so many Dj’s like Moody Man.
Splore merges both Auckland and Wellington creative scenes, how important do you think that is for the industry that your in?
We are all one country, we all get along and we absolutely love playing music together. Splore is the perfect stage for that, it brings us all together to work creatively together. At Splore we are one!
Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
So many people! I would have to say Frank Booker and Courtesy, but I am generally just so excited for the festival as a whole.