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Tags:   Music,   DJs,   Career

By Mila Camilleri   -  January 20, 2015

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Photo credit:  Andrew Farrugia

SWAG caught up with Trackage Scheme's BEN VINCENTI, a Product Manager by day and DJ by night. A relatively newcomer to the DJ scene, Ben has an innate passion for music and aims to take his career to the next level.



When and why did you get into music and DJing?


Music has always been a part of my life, possibly because I come from a family that loves music – my grandmother was a great piano player and so were her daughters. My uncles played guitar and also performed at gigs. However, my parents were the biggest influence: at home, music was on all the time – I can recall dad endlessly playing David Bowie records and my mum putting on musicals such as Phantom of the Opera or operas like Carmen.

When I was still in primary school, my mother had sent my brother and I to piano lessons, however unfortunately, I quit after some time because I couldn’t stand my horrid teacher – this is my biggest regret. Although I listened to music endlessly, and attended many music events, I never attempted to play another musical instrument until a couple of years ago when I started learning the guitar. Unfortunately, I had to put this on hold because of my full-time job and my MBA studies.


In 2010, I received a Behringer BCD 3000 Midi Controller as a gift and I started playing with it at home, trying to mix my favourite tracks together and record sets for myself, just for fun. In June 2013, I played for the very first time at a private event with around 200 people attending and I had the time of my life!


The organisers enjoyed my set and asked me to play at subsequent events, which gave me the chance to build a name for myself. A promoter and friend from Squadron Malta then approached me, and asked me to play at their event, Gesaffelstein. This was a truly amazing experience, which led to quite a few other events. I recently started vinyl DJing – not necessarily because I want a career in ‘DJing’ but simply because I love the sound of music on vinyl and want to do it the proper way.  



Who are your favourite artists?


My musical influences are pretty sporadic and scatterbrained as I’ve been through many phases, however I would say that my biggest influences are David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Apparat, Aphex Twin and Plastikman.


Musical genres may be too high level to name but my favourite styles would be Alternative, Indie, Experimental, Psychedelic Rock, IDM (intelligent dance music - Ed), Techno, Dark Jazz and Ambient.​



Tell us about your shows and the clubs you perform at.


I'm not a resident at any club as I mainly play at one-off events. Whilst I mostly play at private parties, I’ve also been on the same bill as some big foreign names such as Gesaffelstein, KiNK Shed, Monoloc, Brian Sanhaji, Rebekah, Octave, Bas Mooy and Yan Cook, as well as a series of great local artists.



Do you have a job apart from music?


Yes, I work full-time as a Product Manager at GFI Software and also manage Trackage Scheme, which is an online hub that identifies, supports and promotes Maltese artists. Music is my release, so playing at events helps me disconnect from the everyday stresses of life and enjoy myself.



Tell us about the sort of music you produce and what you're up to at the moment.


I've dabbled a bit with production in the past but I didn’t get anywhere close to where I would have liked. Having said that, I’m determined to hook up with a good music school to learn the ropes and give this another go. Creating that one great track that would be well received by key people in the music scene would be one of my proudest achievements.



How big is the market for your kind of music?


I think the music scene in general is huge and continues to grow. The Maltese music scene is very vibrant – there’s always something going on, especially on the weekends where we’re spoilt for choice, many times with clashing events. I believe that we can make it even better by collaborating together to create something bigger and better. We should focus on the quality of the events rather than the quantity. Needless to say, the worldwide music scene offers endless possibilities.



What has been the biggest event you have been involved in?


Bunker 909 presents BunkFest featuring CLR and Silent Steps, which hosted six foreign acts and 12 local DJs, including myself.



Have you met or worked with any top names?


I got to speak to a couple of big foreign artists whom I admire such as Kink and Function. Both are very down to earth and friendly. Kink was kind enough to compliment me on my warm-up set and Function also took the time to write a personal message on two vinyls I asked him to sign.


Through Trackage Scheme, I’ve also collaborated with some top local DJs and producers as well as bands such as Owen Jay, Acidulant, Sonitus Eco, Frankie Calleja (Ssoker), The Violent Violets, Dolls for Idols, Lucy’s Last and many more. These are great people with a true passion for music and I look forward to continue working with them and others like them. 



What have been your best and worst moments performing so far?


I’m lucky to say that most times I’ve played have been truly amazing – each gig was a memorable experience which produced a great vibes and emotions. Naturally, there have been a couple of times where I didn’t really enjoy myself for one reason or another.



Where will you perform next?


My next gig will be at Haywharf Sundays 'Season 2' in January and February 2015, alongside Migz, Owen Jay, Michael Glanville, Brian James, Melchior Sultana, U-Jack, Nicky SLiM, SSoker, Bengy, Serial Depth, Sean Rickett, Danny Vibe, Subbass, Dale Degas, Manthrax, 4ace and Laim.


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