A usual Full Sail Social Scene consists of various student talent performing in front of their peers while students network with each other over simple but fun games. It’s fun entertainment and there’s always a large pool of talent in which one could scout for future projects. On Friday, when the decorated producer and DJ took the stage, people flowed into the The Treehouse from the lobby to eat up the mood that they created with their music, which was infused with personal and remixed tracks of the best records in the industry spanning across different genres including pop, hip-hop, jazz, and EDM.
Although both Ben and Michael had a natural inclination to the music industry as very young ages, they approached it in very different ways. “I’ve jumped in at multiple entries,” Ben laughs, “my parents were accomplished musicians, traveling all over the world on tours. At two, I started drumming, and at age twelve, I was accepted to the Eastman School of Music on a full scholarship" (For those who were wondering, the Eastman School of Music currently boasts a thirteen percent acceptance rate). However, even with all the resources and connections at his disposal, Ben opted for a more humbling approach by taking up an engineering apprenticeship with The Studios at Linden Oaks in New York. As with any other engineer and producer, he paid his dues in the studio, helping the engineers with whatever they needed for a project whether it be setting up a recording session all the way to fetching sandwiches. “I went into the studio and started from the bottom without letting anyone know that I was already skilled,” Ben admits.
After working throughout the day, he would work on his own projects in the studio at night until he moved up from assistant engineer to engineer. Ben recalls his first real paid gig, which involved James Taylor. “We worked on a record called October Road, which eventually went on to becoming multiplatinum. He’s a legend!” Mr. Taylor was even cool enough to stick around after his session and go into Ben’s personal sessions and offer advice and a good ear. “It was definitely my first rewarding lesson.” Today, Ben is a resident producer at the highly respected Plush Studios and is fresh from performing at SXSW and Coachella. Let’s also not forget that he has earned an Emmy for his work on “Hitching a Ride” in 2004 and a Grammy Foundation Emerging Artist Award in 2012. His very well put together mixtape Plush Life Volume 1 on Mixcloud is gaining a ton of plays daily and on June 3rd, Ben will drop his highly anticipated personal record Prototype Alpha.
Meanwhile in Florida, Michael began drumming in a middle school band. He didn’t come from a musical family but found himself tinkering with vinyl and cassette tapes at a young age. Michael took a very common route that most can relate to. He got his first pair of turntables as a kid and interned with UMG during college. Naturally, he paid his dues as well, fetching coffee during the day and mailing out personal demos on the side.
“I got to see the inner workings of how a record goes from zero to one hundred.”
“Ben and Michael are great examples of whom up and coming artists should emulate. They are talented professionals dedicated to their craft. It was a pleasure to work with them on this project.” - Donna Davis