Geek Talk: Benjamin Briggs

If you’ve heard of Benjamin Briggs before now, odds are you’re thinking about the the 1800′s sea captain. I’m not sure if the Benjamin Briggs I’m here to talk about/talk to is the same guy, but I’m at least 90% certain that he is not. This Ben is a young, energetic and extremely talented digital music artist and DJ. He composes, arranges, produces, mixes and masters all his work, as well as remixing music that will make you nostalgic beyond belief for the days of yore, when Mega Man was king and Diddy Kong Racing was actually still a thing. What Ben specializes in his video game electronica, with a strong 8-bit influence. At the young age of 24, Ben has already released or contributed to six albums and EPs, including the soundtrack to an indie stop motion film (which can be seen HERE on YouTube). Having been making music for years, he just recently stepped up his game and started performing his tracks live. In fact, I was lucky enough to catch his first ever live performance, which just so happened to be at Nerdapalooza 2012 in Orlando, FL. The energy he put out during his far too short set was immense, and the crowd was definitely feeling it. If he keeps performing live and fine tuning his act, he could see every single person’s dream realized: he could make a  living doing what he loves and make other people happy in the process.

Without further guylove, here is the third installment of Geek Talk, with Benjamin Briggs.

First up, the generic “how did you get into performing” question. What drove you to do what you, and when did you know this is how you wanted to spend your life/free time?

Way back when I was a kid, like 9 or 10 years old, I started out playing piano. Already having a love for video game music (Game Boy specifically), I naturally started playing video game songs by ear. It wasn’t until later, around age 14, that I started to make music using computers. From that point forward, my entire motivation to make music was to become “good enough” to get a remix posted to OverClocked ReMix (http://ocremix.org). After becoming a posted remixer on the site, the drive continued and extended into trying to get fame and fortune… and I knew this was going to be my main hobby for the rest of my life. Remixing video game music to this day is still my most natural work, and definitely my most passionate, but I recently learned to DJ… and I have to say that introducing the crowd to all the music that makes me the happiest is super-rewarding and extremely addictive. I have Dj CUTMAN to thank for helping me get into the nerd music scene; he’s really a super guy.

 

If you were to introduce someone who is completely uninitiated with you to your music, how would you sell them on it/explain it to them?

Hmm… catchy, heavy, bouncy, chiptune-injected electro. Groovy enough to make your grandmother dance in her chair and say “That sounds just like the slot machines!”

What, if anything, do you believe has placed you into the musical niche you are most often associated with?

Definitely OverClocked ReMix. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to MAKE electronic music, let alone perform it. Naturally, working with video game music and having a love for chiptunes pretty much allowed me to settle into the perfect genre classification.

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What one artist who attended the festival this year, whom you haven’t already collaborated with, would you most want to work with on a future project? Why?
I’d say Dj CUTMAN, but we already collabed together! So that being said, uh… DJ RoboRob, and MC Lars. Sorry, had to pick two. RoboRob’s productions are OUTSTANDING and mind-blowing to boot, and MC Lars is probably the coolest dude I’ve ever met and I would love to do some remixes for him!
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Theoretically, if you could have written any song, other than one of your own, which would it be?
That’s easy. The Legend of Zelda theme song.
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What does your general recording process entail?
Lots of mouse-clicking, playing parts on loop while using my keyboard to figure out the next melody, applying lots of effects to instruments, and then finally turning everything up as loud as possible. I usually make remixes from memory or by ear, but sometimes I sample other songs.
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Upcoming releases/tour dates?
Well, two that I’m HOPING for are MAGFest 11 in January, and then after that Nerdapalooza NYC in February. Crossing my fingers for both of those! Other than that, there should be a music and arts festival happening in October in southern Indiana that I am booked for. Again, none of these gigs are guarantees… yet! I’m always on the lookout.
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Now for the final question, I give the artist three categories to choose from, though they are more than welcome to answer all three if they feel they are capable. The categories are: superheroes, Pokemon or literature. And, for the first time so far, someone chose the Pokemon question!
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Who would your dream team consist of for facing off against the Elite Four?
Hand-trained level 100 Jolteon (no rare candies): Pin Missle, Double Kick, Thunder, Thunderbolt. That’s all I need.
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Make sure to check Ben out at all the following links:
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