Interview: DJ Benny Stixx
Yes finally the first interview on this website! This interview is with DJ Benny Stixx¬†(Lights Out Entertainment) from Baltimore. Benny Stixx is playing for several years and he has a good view on Baltimore Club. He also is a producer, he remixed artists like Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and Lil Wayne on a creative way! Benny Stixx produces also hiphop for Dan W. I asked him things about the club scene in Baltimore, he tells something about he early days of Bmore, the different varieties of bmore, crime and the future! So things about the past, the present and the future! ¬†Take the time to read this interesting interview!
When did you get in contact with baltimore club music for the first time?
I first got into baltimore club music in the mid 90’s.¬† DJ’s such as Scottie B and DJ Technics used to work at the record store Music Liberated on Saratoga Street where I used to buy a lot of vinyl.¬†They would always have the white label records with¬†the title written with a sharpie permanant marker..¬†There weren’t too many places to get baltimore club music and normally you had to know the places where it was sold, and have a connection with some of the dj’s/producers making the records.¬† Unfortunately a lot of record shops have closed now since everything has gone digital for the most part.
How is the club scene in Baltimore?
The club scene in Baltimore is different from a lot of places.¬† A lot of clubs around here change ownership a lot and go through changes pretty often.¬† The problem with “upscale” clubs around here is there is a certain crowd they cater to, and most of the people in Baltimore don’t have the money like that and are looking for drink specials, etc… Normally the high profile new club lasts 6 months to a year, unless you have a household name and Dj’s there consistently.¬† The section of Baltimore that seems to do the best is Power Plant.. this is an area where there are a bunch of club/bars all within the same radius and people can leave from one place to another and hit like 3-5 places in a¬† night if you really wanted to.¬† Club Choices and Club One are two of the places where you can normally hear baltimore club music regularly.¬† Hammerjacks used to be a place where you could go and hear bmore club music all the time but they closed and have opened under another name and ownership.¬† Club Sonar is another place that is right next to hammerjacks and they host a lof of concerts and celebrity appearances, so that club has stayed in the picture and consistent.¬†
Baltimore is a violent city (wikipedia says), does crime and bmore have a relation?
Baltimore Club music in general has always been a more agressive “in your face” kind of music.¬† When I was coming up in the scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s baltimore club music was a lot of breaks and more house influenced.¬† The baltimore club music now has changed with new faces and younger producers.¬† We do have a lot of crime in¬†Baltimore city.¬†Baltimore club music definitely caters to the younger generation… and¬†with that comes gangs, violence,¬†sex, drugs, etc.. ¬† When I¬†dj an event for high school kids or a younger crowd, baltimore club music is ALWAYS requested.¬† The kids would dance to that all night if they could…. the only problem is with it being an agressive type of music it leads to problems.. 9 times out of 10 the principal or people who are hosting the party request that you change the music to calm down the crowd.¬† Fights break out, sometimes girls get sexually assulted as well.. so again it all goes back to the crowd and area where you are in bmore… Now this doesn’t happen every single time, but a good majority of the time they don’t know how to act and it can’t continue.. Baltimore is the home of the Wire and we have problems, but that doesn’t mean everywhere is like that around the city
What do you think about other countries, cities, states, catching on to the bmore club music, and other producers making baltimore club music?
First of all it’s AWESOME that other countries have caught on to bmore club music!! This has been a movement that we’ve been pushing for years and some places like New Jersey and Philly have their own type of baltimore club music.. New Jersey calls it Brick City Club… You have producers like DJ Tamiel and Tim Dolla (and many others)¬†that are holding that area down.¬† So the music has been here in a few areas for years.. I like that we’ve seen so many more places like the UK, France, Germany appreciating and immitating the music.¬† There are a lot of talented producers out there making great songs!¬† I’ve noticed a more house influence with the european countries, compared to a more hip hop gritty sound in baltimore.. Some of the drums/samples/loops used are pretty common with bmore club, so a lot of dj’s have started making remixes with songs using the “baltimore club sound”.¬† Overall though it’s really exciting and I’m impressed with the dj’s out of state that rep bmore club and house music, and I’m glad it’s finally getting the shine it deserves.¬†
Any suggestions for new producers or dj’s that want to get started with bmore club?
My biggest suggestion is BE ORIGINAL!¬† So much of music in general sounds the same now and it seems like a lot of the fun has been taken away and it’s more about making money.¬† Use sounds that people haven’t heard, use records that nobody would think of using, and give it your own flavor!¬† Remixing is a little different b\c obviously you’re going to using a record that people have probably heard.. Another suggestion is talk with the kids and other upcoming talent!!! They know what’s hot and keep you on your toes with what’s buzzing in the streets.¬† Work with as many people as you possibly can and ALWAYS get feedback on your records whether it’s good or bad! Be a perfectionist! Don’t settle for anything less then what you want the record to sound like!¬† The internet is a powerful tool now and I would suggest doing email blasts and joining music forums so you can advertise¬†your songs and sound…. From there it gets spread around pretty quickly. ¬†
Contact DJ Benny Stixx at¬†djbennystixx at yahoo ¬† dot com
DJ Benny Stixx – Beam Me Up
Lil Wayne – Lollipop (DJ Benny Stixx Bmore Club)
Snoop Dogg – Sensual Seduction (DJ Benny Stixx¬†Bmore Club Remix)
Florida – Low (DJ Benny Stixx Bmore Remix)