Bentley Dean, a Chicago based DJ, was born and raised in England. He moved to Chicago and attended Northern Illinois University. There, he was introduced to electronic music by one of his friends. While working at a bar on campus, Bentley Dean watched his friend perform which caused his interest in the genre to grow. Fast forward a couple of years and Bentley Dean is making his rounds to weekly parties hosted by some of Chicago’s most forward thinking patrons. Tonight he opens up for Malaa and Rezz at Concord Music hall. Check out the interview below.
WhySoChi: Let’s start from the beginning. Where did your love for music originally come from? How did that inspire you to become involved in music?
Bentley Dean: I’ve always loved music since I was a young lad. I can remember being obsessed with “Firestarter” by Prodigy and listening to it on repeat on my cassette player which I think came out in 1996. When I moved to the U.S. I started learning to play the guitar and all I wanted to play and listen to was metal. Some of my favorite bands would have been Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Shadows Fall, and all that kind of stuff. Listening to all that music now, I realized the reason I fell in love with it so quickly was because of the guitarists. If the guitar was boring then I probably wouldn’t be too amused and the same logic applies to sound design in the electronic music that I listen to now.The metal aspect of things will probably start to be noticed a little more now in my production, darker sound design, similar drum patterns and sounds as well.
WhySoChi: Who are your biggest influences? Why?
Bentley Dean: Easy answer, Deadmau5. Everything he creates is amazing, his sound design is so refreshing to hear, and his melodies can range from dark to uplifting.
WhySoChi: Before you became a DJ what were you doing?
Bentley Dean: Before all this I planned on going to law school, but after I fell in love with the producing I don’t think I could do anything else.
WhySoChi: What is your opinion of Chicago’s EDM Scene (by edm I mean the entirety of the electronic music scene I don’t mean the top 40/bass music purists categorize under EDM)?
Bentley Dean: I am extremely grateful for Chicago’s electronic scene, I actually just finished up interning for one of the most legendary electronic artists in the city, Vince Lawrence. Vince was one of the pioneers of house music, if it wasn’t for him and a few others in Chicago, we wouldn’t be graced with house music at all. I spent around 4 months at Slang Music Group in the studio with Vince and his audio engineer, Yuki Tasaka, watching the way they worked together has taught me more than I could have possibly imagined. Chicago will always be the “Home of House Music” and we can all thank Vince Lawrence for that. We’re spoiled here in Chicago, there’s always a hot act in town on the weekends, from Rezz and Malaa at Concord this weekend to Jay Lumen at Afterlife next weekend. There’s always a show for everyone, regardless of genre and I think that more people should appreciate the talent that is brought into this town. As for the local talent in Chicago, there are A LOT of phenomenal artists in the city (both DJs and producers) however, there are also A LOT of people that firmly believe that they are the hottest act in the world. I just wish that the talented ones would stand out a little more to the public eye.
WhySoChi: Can you name a local artist or artists that you think highly of that might not be on anyone’s radar?
Bentley Dean: 3 names right off the bat: Galago, Mielo, Stratus. I chose those three names because I work closely with all of them, they all work harder than a lot of people and it shows for them.
WhySoChi: What is your dream collaboration?
Bentley Dean: ‘BSOD’ (Deadmau5 and Steve Duda)
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