Published on May 15th, 2012 | by EDMinsider0
Exclusive Interview with Dance.Here.Now’s Benny Soto
If you aren’t well acquainted with New York City nightlife, you may not know his name, but you definitely know his parties! Benny Soto, co-founder of Dance.Here.Now and 718 Sessions, has been a legend in the New York City EDM scene for the past 10 years going back to his first ever the days of underground house music in Brooklyn. His legendary birthday bashes are usually held yearly at the Meatpacking District’s hot spot, Cielo Club welcoming the best names in house music, becoming a New York City tradition. With this year’s celebration coming up this Thursday at Cielo with The Martinez Brothers along with Cirillo, we were curious to learn more about Benny’s history in the industry and so we reflect back on 10 years of making us Dance.Here.Now and see what’s in store for the future in an exclusive interview!
EDM Insider 1. How did you first get your start in the event and promotions industry? When was the first time you were introduced to electronic dance music? Did these two go hand in hand for you?
Benny Soto: I started over 10 years ago as a event promoter. Danny Krivit suggested it and we started in Brooklyn. That was before Brooklyn was cool! But quite honestly, I have to thank Danny Tenaglia for opening my eyes and ears to EDM. His ‘Be Yourself’ party was the turning point for me. The way Danny plays felt new but it was still rooted in that Paradise Garage vibe so it made sense to me. It was a journey. It said something. So it stuck.
EDM Insider 2. How did you first link up with Rob Fernandez & Danny Krivit to create Dance.Here.Now. & 718 Sessions? Did you ever think it would of grown into what it has today?
EDM Insider 3. Dance.Here.Now. & 718 Sessions events have hosted some of the biggest names in dance music across the globe right here in New York. Which particular event would you say has been one of the most memorable parties of your career so far?
EDM Insider 4. Is there any DJ/Producer that you have yet to work with that you would like to see at a Dance.Here.Now or 718 Sessions event in the near future?
Benny Soto: Soul Clap or Cassy at 718 Sessions would be tremendous. It makes sense. Laurent Garnier, Gilles Peterson, Jeff Mills..Dance Here Now! : )
EDM Insider 5. Any thoughts about ever becoming a DJ/Producer yourself? Why or why not?
Benny Soto: I actually was a DJ first. Back in the 80′s I dabbled playing records here and there. There were very few DJ’s playing and I always kick myself in the ass for not sticking to it. I’m certain I would of been established..and wealthy! I’ll be playing a few tunes with Danny Krivit this Sunday at 718 for my birthday. Just for fun.
EDM Insider 6. What are you looking forward to the most about celebrating your birthday at Cielo with The Martinez Brothers with Cirillo this Thursday 5/17/12?
Benny Soto: Well one of the first parties the brothers played was 718 Sessions. I believed in the them from the moment I saw them. Super talented. It will be nice having them play for my birthday. I don’t see them much anymore so it’s a special night for me.
EDM Insider 7. Looking forward, what hints can you give EDM lovers in New York about what’s in store for Dance.Here.Now, 718 Sessions, and Cielo this year and beyond? What are your expectations for the growth of the brand in the next few years with the rapidly growing popularity of EDM in the United States?
Benny Soto: EDM is here to stay. HUGE. But for me, I will always prefer a smaller more quality experience. So parties like DHN at Cielo and 718 Sessions will always have a special place in my heart. Those two parties I hope to work on for another 10 years. The more popular EDM gets the more will trickle down to the real underground. And in my opinion that’s where it’s at. That “underground” vibe is where anything interesting incubates. But make no mistake all the commercial EDM we are hearing now is just as important. All the young kids will eventually move on to different music. Tastes change. And when that happens I’ll be waiting for them open arms..at Cielo and beyond! ; )
Interview by: Angela Samartano
Photos by: Yuliya Skya