BENEDEK is an L.A. native who makes gliding music that mines funky ooze from the deepest depths and exposes it to sparkling West Coast sunlight and a splash of cool seaside foam, alchemizing the combination into solid gold modern funk music. A pioneer who also follows in the footsteps of giants from a wide variety of genres, Benedek has a new album out this Friday on Leaving Records, which you can pre-order here. We caught up with this rising young music producer and got some info back on his relationship with L.A., his music, and of course his favorite taco…
What’s your favorite taco spot?
Taco’s Leo in midcity. I grew up going there and they’ve got some of the best al pastor in town.
What are your predictions for the future?
More tacos! More music!
Are you part of a movement or crew?
I have a lot of friends I collaborate with, but not really part of an official crew. I don’t really identify with a movement, I’ve kinda been doing my thing here on my own for years, although there are likeminded people with whom I feel a musical kinship from all over the world.
How has LA changed in your lifetime?
I grew up in West LA, and I’ve definitely seen a lot of gentrification since I was a kid. Many parts of the westside were pretty grimy when I was coming up, but now it’s like silicon beach tech zone. Longtime residents aren’t too thrilled about it, especially in Venice. Same with much of the East Side, it’s become way more yuppified. There are definitely upsides and downsides to that…
What makes you happy?
Making lots of tunes, eating good… My friends and family.
Tell us about your new album… and the ideal place to listen to it?
I made this record at my current studio in Koreatown and my old studio at my folk’s place on the Westside. So I think it fits equally well with beachy, mountainous valley vibes or a more urban pace. Its good music for late night driving wherever you are…
Do you have a lucky number?
13. It’s my birthday.
What neighborhoods in LA do you like the best and why?
I love where I currently live in Montecito Heights right next to Highland Park. It’s quiet and pretty central, lots of greenery… some great food nearby and close to some nice hikes. I love Koreatown where my studio is… we used to throw pretty wild parties on the roof… K-town gives me a taste of urban energy and lots of the best Korean food. I also love the Westside and the Valley…. Ladera Heights… the list goes on.
There is another musician named Benedek (a polish rocker), do you ever listen to his music?
Haha, no I haven’t heard it!
What are your favorite films?
Sonatine by Takeshi Kitano, Alien.
Describe a perfect day in the life of Benedek.
A beach adjacent hike in the earlier part of the day, jam out on some tunes midday and top it off with a BBQ in the evening.
Or just a whole day alone in nature!
Photos by Rob Klassen.