Rawness of Reality

Pittsburgh's Avatar - Benji. #021

February 15, 2020 Kevin Stalker Season 1 Episode 21
Pittsburgh's Avatar - Benji. #021
Rawness of Reality
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Rawness of Reality
Pittsburgh's Avatar - Benji. #021
Feb 15, 2020 Season 1 Episode 21
Kevin Stalker

In this episode, you have the opportunity to meet Benji. Benji. is a rapper singer producer and musician from Pittsburgh, Pa. Featured on NPR’s 2019 Artist to Watch list, Benji. has since become a household name in his hometown, and recently landed an opening slot on the first leg of Earthgang’s Welcome to Mirrorland tour. His debut album is set to be released in 2020.

Where can you keep up with Benji. ?

IG: @avatarbenji
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClBizvVhT1iTv85dr-L2xXg
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Y4AFMyyarPFVfz9o2CRo2

Host: @Kstalker9

Episode beats:

Joe Cal / @josephj_callahan

Don't forget to subscribe, follow us on Instagram @_rawnessofreality, Snapchat @Rawnessreality, and Twitter @rawreality

Remember, Stay Raw with Reality

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, you have the opportunity to meet Benji. Benji. is a rapper singer producer and musician from Pittsburgh, Pa. Featured on NPR’s 2019 Artist to Watch list, Benji. has since become a household name in his hometown, and recently landed an opening slot on the first leg of Earthgang’s Welcome to Mirrorland tour. His debut album is set to be released in 2020.

Where can you keep up with Benji. ?

IG: @avatarbenji
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClBizvVhT1iTv85dr-L2xXg
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Y4AFMyyarPFVfz9o2CRo2

Host: @Kstalker9

Episode beats:

Joe Cal / @josephj_callahan

Don't forget to subscribe, follow us on Instagram @_rawnessofreality, Snapchat @Rawnessreality, and Twitter @rawreality

Remember, Stay Raw with Reality

spk_1:   0:00
have a lot of respect for everybody out here is really, genuinely trying to make This had happened. You know, Pittsburgh. I think now more than ever this is the most talented group of artists that we have simultaneously in all different facets of music and styles and hip hop and R and B and soul. You know, male artist, Zemo artists, you know, non binary artists, like we got everything, you know. I mean, and it's really fucking dope to see right now, like, and be a part of it. You know, 23 people, I think already now, four people got, like, deals in our record deals. You know, Danny Shea won two Grammys on there, I think one of them from Pittsburgh. So it's like dope to see us in in all facets. You know, in all levels. Now there is a Pittsburgh artists like really, really coming up. I mean, shoot. This year, Sierra Cells was on the NPR artist a watch list, and I was on that last year. It was like, two years in a row. They chose a Pittsburgh artist. I was like, Yeah, we can really doing this really gives you chills just like, but not really in it, you know? I mean, really doing this. So And I got a lot of love and respect for everybody else out here. It's really doing it and very appreciative of their respect and love for me.

spk_0:   1:06
Welcome, Top says. 021 For rawness of reality. I'm your host, Kevin Stock. And in this episode, you have the opportunity to meet Benji. Well, there's May know him as Avatar Benji, but whatever you know them as just don't forget the period. In this episode, Benji talks about the Pittsburgh music scene what it was like to go on tour with some of his best friends and how he's mentoring a young musician in the area. But you've heard enough from me. Here's Benji Big Shadow Heaven Benji on the podcast today, other known avatar Benjy Benjy. Some used to call him courtesy. Maybe you even know Emma's Ian. I'm gonna give him a quick chance to introduce himself. Here we go.

spk_1:   1:55
Hey, what's going on? My name is Benji with a period avatar Benji courtesy back in the day. And if you might know me back in my personal life but ah yeah, Pittsburgh boy born and raised me and just happy to be here since the eighties was good,

spk_0:   2:09
so we're just going to jump right into it. So first off, I want to ask what influences your sound? Um, a lot of

spk_1:   2:17
things, man. I've been a musician my whole life, so I've been around all kinds of music, says five. You mean to tell is able to really, like, comprehend sound. And that's when I started playing instruments when I was like Super young. So like a lot of it comes from the old days. My parents is to play back in the house. A lot of it comes from my experimentation days listening to rock and a whole bunch of the airship like middle school. Um, and you know, even like the artists that came up on, got big around my age. Like Chance the rapper Freakin Vic MENSA in Chicago. Sound a lot of West Coast sound. Thundercats, when my biggest artist influences so really comes from a lot, and then when I was like, able to really like package my inspirations and then kind of bring something out of me based off of it and not trying to replicate like their sounds. I think that's been a really find, like, a really good group.

spk_0:   3:13
And so when you were younger, your house was filled with music. Were your parents at all musicians?

spk_1:   3:19
Yeah. My mother is a ridiculous singer. Um, she plays the keyboard as well. My dad. Um, well, basically, everyone in my family can sing. Um, there's six of us. Only one of them doesn't play an issue. That's my oldest sister, Asia. But everyone, everyone else could play an instrument. Everyone can sing. You can only imagine, like, make out four kids and they try to like Mika many Jackson five with four of us. So there's a lot of singing going on in the house. A lot of music being played at least have a grand piano in our living room. Somebody was always playing it, you know? Um, so it was just I was very musically inclined, just from, you know, my whole family being the same way.

spk_0:   3:56
Yeah, and growing growing up. Ah, in a music driven household. Was it kind of cool to see, like you were collaborating at a young age with your family? Probably a little baby in here. They're right. And so going forward, would you ever do, like, attractive family? Yeah. Me and

spk_1:   4:14
my brother, um, we've we've worked on a lot. Um, they were, like, 15 months apart until, like, he's the reason why I even got in the hip hop in production and engineering and all that. So, uh, when I kind of, like, started getting good, like, you know, we reduce some small stuff here and there, and then we did like, we have a whole tape. Um, you've got a whole bunch of bees. We bounced back before. Um, me and my brother actually collaborated on my sister's project. Um, she did. She's a nonprofit, and she did this movie with her kids that she works with. And weak Way made one of the songs on that soundtrack. So, like, it

spk_0:   5:00
kind of has happened. In a way, I

spk_1:   5:03
still I'm still waiting on the day where we really, like, dig into, like, a track. Yeah, making forward to that day. Absolutely everyones hella talented. We're all older, and I'm the youngest 27 next month. Um, so, like, you know, there's I don't think there's a Mauri goes with us. Um and I really do look forward to the day because I think at that point in time, like everything will kind of, like, settled in. Um, we'll have the freedom to kind of do so, and I think that's when I think that's what's gonna happen.

spk_0:   5:37
Um, I'm going to take this in a little bit of a different direction. You recently just came back from a tour with Earth Gang and there were a few other people on the toy, but I really wantto hear what it was like being on the tour. Um would swim the deejay. Seems like you guys, I've been to a couple of concerts where you guys perform together and you guys have such a awesome dialogue back and forth. And and you guys really get the people going. Oh, and what's that like just being with him? It seems like you guys are best friends. Yeah, it was Ah, it was Brian. Best part about it, you know, about the

spk_1:   6:11
whole tour is like, you know, get to torch your best friend. He's my roommate. We've been roommates for, like, 33 years now. 34 years now, um and like, you know, we haven't hasn't been as long that we've been, like, you know, working together in this capacity like D j artists producer he produces as well. So he's reduced. Ah, lot of good songs, um, that I have currently in in the stash. Um,

spk_0:   6:37
he's all right, he says, That

spk_1:   6:40
goofball, he's there's a big ass goofball and it's so funny because, like how he is at home is exactly how he is on stage and on tour like he's just, uh, he's a He's a big, lovable guy. And we built this chemistry, you know, performing a lot of Pillsbury, um, that, like, we just recognize, like, you know, this. This is it. We had a we got to keep doing this, you know? I mean, and we eventually developed a really good show. We took that shit on the road and and it was just like clockwork, you know, show after show after show. It was just like, boom, boom, boom! And everyone was getting the same vibe. Like You two are ridiculous together like it's hilarious. It's funny, it's it's engaging, you know, he's a large part of wire shows, a very successful, no pun intended. Um, But

spk_0:   7:30
it's how I was gonna do that once. Thank ee. Got one joke for um but, um, no, it was It was

spk_1:   7:41
perfect. It was indeed a to Z needs my day today. I've known him since high school. Um, he's been my best friend for over 10 years now, Like so touring with two of your best friends there, people you really dug in this thing with and, you know, to have your first tour would be like a major one, like earth game. Yeah, but just like, yo, uh,

spk_0:   8:01
he's right. He's right. Like we supposed to be here. And

spk_1:   8:03
then you actually know you like you're holding your own against, you know, top Terry Talent Guac. Dad killed his shit. Doug were killed here. Shit. Our gang, obviously. And then, you know, you just gain fans. They saw that it was like you belong. But Slim is

spk_0:   8:17
some of that guy. And before that tour, how many opportunities have you had to really get out of the city? A handful? Yeah, about a handful.

spk_1:   8:25
Um, beginning of 2019. We traveled to a new city every month, starting in February 2 like august. You know, I mean, that was on our own money. We were getting booked, and we just had to get our way down there. You know who did couple festivals in Knoxville? Excuse me? We did couple stops in Boston. We've been broken, Got two shows in Brooklyn, D C. Chicago. So it was really dope toe like travel and a lot of those shows with my band who are all my best friends. So it was, like, really dope to, like, kind of see See the country that way, you know, playing music, playing great music, you know, and cities we've never been to before. So we kind of got a little taste of, like, road life because, you know, we're for booking hotels or Airbnb ease and big vans for our equipment driving 10 hours across country you don't mean to like, Is it tiring? Oh, my God.

spk_0:   9:23
Hell, yeah, it's Yeah, it's tiring

spk_1:   9:25
and it's annoying. Could slim snores a lot, and it's very, very loud, and he's using the 1st 1 sleep. So when we're driving and he's gonna I mean it's louder than the music your blasted van, so it's just like is restless. It's funny as hell though, but it is so much you could

spk_0:   9:39
probably drop some bars snowing. Do like somehow it's always

spk_1:   9:44
on rhythm like the's. He's ridiculous, but

spk_0:   9:47
it is very tired. It's tiring, and I can't help but think What is it a little intimidating at all when you go out of Pittsburgh? Because when you perform in Pittsburgh, you automatically get love. Or at least I assume so, yeah, yeah, and, uh, going out of Pittsburgh. You don't necessarily know exactly what you're going to get.

spk_1:   10:08
Yeah, that's the risk every musician and artist takes, you know, when they travel out for the first time, that's what tours like we're going to a whole bunch of new cities. People have no idea who we are, um, at all you know, some maybe just by like, association. But, like, for the most part, the general crowd is not know you like from a can of paint. Um, so it it's a bit intimidating in that sense, because it's like, Well, shit, you know, you really have to do a good job where they're gonna fuck with it or not. Um, you know, you gotta go out there and do it, you know, So at first it gets intimidated. I get stage fright before every show. Um, it just that's just only has ever been to change. Human Exactly. Reminds me that I'm human in, Like I'm not out here. Just being a robot like I and every show is different to me. You know what I'm saying? So, um, after that, somebody step on stage, and you kind of just you know, you do what you prepare, you do what you rehearse, and you just go with the flow. You kind of get over. We've had some shows where people weren't really digging it, um you had a way of more shows where they were, you know, saying that she's really us being ourselves and not really trying to appease to a crowd is just like, this is what we got. And if you like, you like it. If you don't, you don't. So you kind of get over it after a while.

spk_0:   11:17
Yeah, that's cool. Okay, so, going forward, I ah, I saw that you had a album out. Yeah. Then, uh, it was kind of retracted here. Are you gonna re release that as a new album or the same album. How How's that? Yeah. Oh, is that Is that a secret? I don't is a secret. I don't I don't know. D j Am I allowed to say some? I feel like I feel like I am Because you say too much. Yeah. I mean, it's coming

spk_1:   11:50
out. It's coming back out. Um, and

spk_0:   11:55
is that some rain that? Yeah. I mean, really, I really connected with everybody. Everyone is literally in my d m like, Put ran on iTunes right on to it. There's a live one on youtube. Yeah. So you could listen to it live on. Yeah, you do that.

spk_1:   12:09
Um, and, uh, because we were supposed to, um we're opposed to release it while we were on tour. Um, and we pushed it back. The quarter one kind. Let me just finish it out. You know, I mean, um, and I really kind of give it a proper role out. So it is coming. I don't know when, um bridge still, you know, getting things together for it, but it will be a really special isn't very special when it comes out being like the things we're doing, um, to kind of like bring it to life and make it like, ah, you know, classic album. I think we're doing a great job right now.

spk_0:   12:42
Is that the same album that you were working with Stew Frick on Ah, where he was making, like, design? Ah,

spk_1:   12:50
no. So that was That's the next album that I have hopefully slated, Um, after this, but yeah, that that's for an entirely different We've got, like, five or six. It's kind of in the tuck, but it's like basically now, like a big melting pot of songs that I have that we can just pull from while I make me music. Anyway, um, but he was making clothes for a different album, which

spk_0:   13:13
I think we still might be

spk_1:   13:15
able to pull that off. I'm honestly, but he's He's an amazing, amazing maze made of talent. So the doctor at least start some collaboration. Um, was to, um but more to come.

spk_0:   13:29
Yeah, and speaking a little bit more on collaboration. I may be wrong with their name. Many, but here, money, money. But here, a younger, a musician. And you were there. Mentor? Yeah. Talk about what's like being a mentor for a younger musician and oh, Yeah, yeah, Just what that says fun man. It's a lot of

spk_1:   13:53
fun. I usedto work. Me and Slim used to work at, ah, organization called crunk. It's Ah, hip hop after school program and, like myself, cleric Kent for one year. A lot of local hip hop artists on dancing structure instructors, grabbing designers, all that like we you know, we teach these kids these high school kids, um, think the ends announcing production, engineering, recording, making, songs, making projects. You know, they put out projects every year. Monty was one of those students when I first started working there, but she wasn't using crunk. Ah, for what I think all four years of high school. So she was first, um, under X limbs like direction. He's been there a lot longer than I was, and kind of just like there's my first time like teaching in that aspect, you know, like kind of teaching what I know, um, toe like someone who's quietly trying to the same thing. Let me tell you something. These kids away more talented than like a lot of us like myself included, especially at such a young age, you know, like they have something already developed in them that like it's just really crazy. Monty is one of those talents. She's an amazing singer. She d J. She produces. She wraps bass guitar like she's a crazy talent and feeling 17 right now, Um, and her band more crunch to it. There are Kappas students to, um, and they're just like they're really amazing being able to like, you know, pour into them everything that I'm learning and currently learning, you know, as I'm going on in my career and has, there's air starting. Um, it's really, really cool to, like, kind of see yourself in them and see like, you know how far they can go. Um, because ultimately you're trying to train them to be better than you, you know? I mean into thio in half the time, almost. But where they're, like, ready, really ready. You want them to be better than you to succeed and exceed everything that you've done to them. They can pass that along. That's how you know generations generations continue to move forward. I think she's one of those generation with talents, man. Um, she's got all the makings to be a star personally, but It's just it's really dope that I get, you know, have the privilege of like, putting my hand in there and, uh, try make some things work.

spk_0:   16:04
What? It was it like seeing her perform after you've, like, help is dope, man like it sze policy I get It

spk_1:   16:11
reminds me of me and my band. Um and you know, we've all had ah, you know, some time to, like work with these kids as well. So we see a lot of similarities. And us and them it's really don't like she's He's polishing it up every chance you can. Um, her and her banner solid together. Excuse me, Um, and it's just it's really cool to see, you know, it flourishing, you know, as as much as it has already seen and shoot. By the time she's 26 27 she's going to be there, you know? I mean, it's just it's really don't really don't.

spk_0:   16:46
And could you talk a little bit now about your own music? And, uh, what kind of motivates you to do? You write your own music? Yeah. Okay. So what motivates you to, right? And when you are writing where you're writing And if it's like a secret spot, you don't Yeah, No, it's cool. I I enjoy the writing process a lot of times, too,

spk_1:   17:05
because, like, you know, I don't Why don't we just wrap? I guess you know, I sing a lot. Um, and I really try to make you know, the best song that I possibly can to like, more warm. I like a lot of songs like R and B songs like I write with other people, you know, just like John Ideas down, you know, because we're really just trying to make a really good song, all my raps. All right, Um, that's different. You got a restaurant wraps, but, um, you know, I don't really have, like, a secret spot. First. Say I'm very comfortable in my house. That's where I record and mix on my own music. Um, introduce all my stuff. Um, very comfortable there, for the most part, all the music, I mean, in the past two years have made of my house, um, kind of just like on a five, especially with me and some first linked up, you know, he was just like little woke up one day and he's living across the hall, and he's like, you know, working on these beets And I'm like, What the hell is this? And I actually let's catch a bug, you know, saying and the next day the song's done. That would happen literally. For six straight months, you made crazy projects together. Roommates. That's probably it was so convenient. It was easy. It's like, you know, I would wake up, bounce ideas. He go to work. I work on those ideas, he comes home and songs done. And then we're like, Cool next, you know? I mean, we just keep that shit rolling. It's just like it was a good vibe, tohave so like it made me comfortable being home just cause, like, I had more time to work on things more time to, like, really a possum stuff up and think and kind of walk around. Other times that, you know, kind of comes, you know where does and and all right a lot like on the go, you know? I mean, you

spk_0:   18:41
type or right, like pen and paper phoned. It depends. It depends

spk_1:   18:46
on what I have like around the majority of it is on my phone just cause it's just mobile and easily accessible. There are times drive like sad that I turned my phone off and I just, like, take a few sheets of loose leaf in this scribble ideas, um, you know, Kremlin offer whatever. Um, I do have, like, a writing books, just in case. You know, I really feel I could have to be, like, penned a pad. And I just can't that's from, like, my journalism days. Or do cane like I always have to write something down. Yeah, you know, by hand. But yet writing comes like whenever, wherever, but the majority of its really in my house just goes like it's around the most comfortable. What kind of experiment?

spk_0:   19:21
Okay, so almost second podcast I ever had your name was brought up, and since then your name's probably been brought up in about 80% of like, not even kidding. That's okay. And it's always people saying, either they really like your music, and you kind of are like the the one who's holding like the Pittsburgh Sound in a way, and it's like they want to collaborate with you. Are they really respect you? And I would like to work with U S. So with that in mind, what do you think about that compliment from your peers around here in Pittsburgh is dope,

spk_1:   19:59
man, you know, because, like you tryto remain, his humble deposit became. You know, I'm very competitive by nature, just from, you know, collegiate sports track and field, right? Yeah. Rent tracker Do came, uh, two

spk_0:   20:13
time champ put him up. Duke's put him up and still got two

spk_1:   20:17
records, too. So, second, but, like, you know, I have competitive nature, but a lot of it is within myself. Like track has a very individual individualistic team sports. So you really got to bring it out of you on your own. Um, music's the same way. I'm just competing with myself, competing with yesterday, trying to get better and be able to, like, already wants to contribute, you know, to what I know Pittsburgh has and actually, like, you know, my peers out here like they make incredible music and I just want to like, I don't throw my two cents in there to make an honest, like, sharing each other's successes. So it's really mean to me is really dope, You know, I have a lot of respect for everybody out here, really, genuinely trying to make this had happened. You know, Pittsburgh, I think now more than ever, this is the most talented group of artists that we have, um, simultaneously in all different facets of music, um, and styles and hip hop and R B and soul. You know, male artist CMO artists, you know, non buying area artists. Like we got everything, you know? I mean, it is really fucking dope to see right now, like, and be a part of it. You know, 23 people, I think already now, four people got, like, deals in our record deals. You know, Danny Shea won two Grammys on there. I think one of them from Pittsburgh. It was like dope to see us in in all facets. You know, in all levels. Now there is a Pittsburgh artists, like, you know, really, really coming up. I mean, shoot. This year, Sierra Cells was on the NPR artist a watch list, and I was on that last year. It was, like, two years in a row. They chose a Pittsburgh artist. I was like, Yeah, we can really doing this really gives you chills just like, but not really in it. You know, I mean, really doing this. So And I got a lot of love and respect for everybody else out here is really doing it and very appreciative of, you know, their respect and love for me. You know, I'm lazy sometimes. So, like, I know a lot of people want to collaborate, and I really just be tired, but, like, you know, I promised to try, try my best, just get around. But, you know, people got people got, you know, they can pull it to the grip. It's cool.

spk_0:   22:15
Speaking of being lazy, uh, said this this is Ah, this is something a lazy person wouldn't necessarily do. You reached out to your instagram followers, and you said text me. And I thought that was one of the most wild thing that somebody in your position could do because a lot of people surviving with your music's following you keep it up. I'm sure you got so many text message. There was a lot a lot. Not only that you were keeping up conversations. Yeah,

spk_1:   22:48
man, like you know, is, um it's a really cool way, you know, and one thing we wanted to do to stay connected to the fans and connected because even gonna live a while to say that I got fans right now, you know, like really and you do and I do, which is like

spk_0:   23:04
shit, you have my Spotify a top five for the year. Next insane. It's

spk_1:   23:10
really crazy. So, like, you know, one of things that were really trying to do is just stay connected and state transparent and honest in with our fans, you know, And really just like, you know,

spk_0:   23:21
at the end of the day, like we're humans, too. It's Are they so

spk_1:   23:23
we can't treat anybody any different, You know what I mean? So is opening up a line of communication, you know, so that they can, you know, shoot me a text. We could stay connected, you know, whenever I could get back to the response, because it's a lot certainly a lot of text messages, but, you know, it's all it's all doped. It's there's so much support in love with, You know, within this world, realistically and like, you know, just want to be able to spread that directly to the outside of social media in real time like it's legitimately there. People who really don't think it's me like that. They're texting like after, like, show them it was one person, maybe like draw the date or write the date down and my name out of the Senate that's sent to them. They're like, Can you hold a picture up

spk_0:   24:07
next year? Face, I was like,

spk_1:   24:08
What the sure click, you know, it's in it and then they started passing out. It's like, Yeah, this is the real deal, you know? Yeah, and more artist. You should definitely do that. And even if it's a, you know, a lesson for up and coming artist and younger artists coming up like money, you know, like, really stay involved in connected with your fans as they grow as you grow. You know what I mean? Because you always want to have a pulse on your fan base, and you want your families to have a pulse on what you're doing. Everything keeps coming together. So I thought was a great idea. It was overwhelming the first day. It has since calm town. Uh, but it is really dope, you know? And I'm able to like, you know, share our families content, give him clips of stuff I'm working on, you know, see if they like it, see if they don't. But it's really it's really don't campaign. And, um, you know, excited to see what happens a year from now. Text messages I get.

spk_0:   25:00
Are you still going to keep that gun?

spk_1:   25:02
Yeah. I must give you going. I'm

spk_0:   25:03
gonna have an independent phone just for that. Seems like you're gonna need that. Yeah, you're

spk_1:   25:08
gonna need that. You don't think that, but definitely keep it going and probably upgrade. You know how we do it in a way, you know, just to, like, kind of keep things you no more or, you know, just different. Like, if I'm in your city, you know, I'm go eat lunch here like pulling, you know, saying team. So, um, you know, we're trying to keep track of everything a CZ closely as we can. Um, do not overdo it, you know? I mean, not released two months. Don't get in trouble. Um, but, you know, I think it was a really good idea to founders over that line of communication.

spk_0:   25:37
And did you have people from outside of Pittsburgh, reaching out as well since

spk_1:   25:41
you just tore. Dude, everyone, Mike, that majority people were attacked me were from tour. That's gonna like they're they're sending pictures of, you know, the pictures we took after the show autographs I signed. Um, you know, the favorite memories of the show and whatever else you know,

spk_0:   25:56
What's that feel like? Just because these these air people you may have had an interaction with, but you might not necessarily remember. Yeah, So going back, seeing like this, like material area you what's that even feel like is it's crazy. I have a really

spk_1:   26:12
good memory. Like I have a really good detailed memory of a lot of things and tour screwed that up completely. You don't like aside from the drinking, but like it was just like there are so many memories. So many people I met, you know? I mean, like after the show signing autographs, you know, with Earth Gang and everybody on stage. And, you know, people come with me just as much they're coming up to them. So, like, I'm interacting with a whole bunch of people. And then tomorrow you doing the same thing for an entirely new crowd, so it's like repetitive. But every face is different Every day you're reading hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands of people you know, over a month, you know, and some you definitely remember like and then there are the ones you really don't. And then they send you a picture like you remember this and

spk_0:   27:01
it's like, Oh, snap, that did happen, you know, is really dope because it's

spk_1:   27:05
like, you know, those are memories that are gonna be shared between me and my fans for life. You know what I'm saying? And you'll always be constantly reminded of things that happen, You know, fire fans. And, you know, it's really dope to kind of just, like, See that, you know, first thing. Like, you know, my brother has been doing this for years. Man turn rigid like, and I kind of see it for myself after I watched him do it for years. It's like, Oh, wow, this is really cool. This is really, really cool, you know? But, you know, it's just like you want to, um, you really want to just, like, be as genuine every single time. You know what I'm saying? to really start creating those memories when I was No, I like it.

spk_0:   27:44
And and, uh so So one thing you kind of hit on Waas like connecting with people and staying in touch with your fans. And as I as I talk to different people, artists and non creatives and creatives alike people have a struggle with social media and about how we feel obligated to post on social media. But I could imagine being creative, you feel more obligated to post day in and day out. Ah, what's that like? Is that a struggle, or is it easy for you at first was a struggle because

spk_1:   28:16
I I'm not gonna lie like you. You know, social media makes you wonder and worry about. We will think about you, you know what I mean. And you know, everyone won't be as honest about that. But that's the truth. That's okay. It happens to everyone, not just creative regular people would, you know, 95. But like, um, understanding, like the business of music like you have ah, public facing job and you have, you know, ah, public speaking job innocents. And you have Ah, you know, you have to be in the public eye like you're a public figure. Yeah, So you have to market yourself and you have to put yourself out there and you have to, in a sense, communicate with your fans through posting on social media. So on one hand, you know, you do feel like obligated to do it, because if you want to sell, that's what you have to do. Um, on the other hand, like you still don't want to compromise your own integrity with, like, who you are and what you want to, you know, show off to the public. But for me, you know, I enjoy it. You know, whenever I do have something that I feel compelled to share, um, you know, outside of like an analytics post that I have to keep up, like, you know, I like it like I've been playing. I've been practicing my base a little bit more and like I've been one to show off, You know what I've been working on? It's not the best. I'm trying to be better than anyone else is just like my personal growth. I like posting shit like that, and when I'm with my friends, my friends of the funniest people on this planet, you know? So, like, I like sharing, you know, kind of my side of life. You know what, everybody else and I think it's important because, you know, if you want to build that trust, you know, with the people who are watching you and looking after, do you like you have to be transparent since, um, but also again, not compromise your integrity about you know who you are, Um, and how you want to operate things. But the end of the day is the business. Yeah, I'm an artist, and I want my work to be shown. And I'm you know, that work includes in my face and that we're going to lose, you know, everything that I'm doing, you know, it will be weird to go on tour, not post anything in tour. Yeah, you know, I mean, as successful as it was or even if it wasn't successful. Like you don't always have the post of good shit like it's a personal journal for you. But like, it will be very weird if I didn't post any shows or, like, didn't post any pictures from photo shoots because and I'm supposed to be an artist. I'm still in the wrapper door saying whatever, like, doesn't make any sense.

spk_0:   30:36
Yeah, people want to see what's going on.

spk_1:   30:38
Yeah, you have kind of a duty to let them know. You know, this is what is going on. You got to show the growth. Um, just as much as you're growing,

spk_0:   30:47
I think you're hitting on the idea so much about community and you're seeing you shook us. How You're part of the community and the community is part of you. So it's kind of like a give and take what you put out there. You get back and vice races. That's really cool. Ah, how you can do that and kind of have, like, a level headedness. Yeah. I mean, it's kind of

spk_1:   31:10
how we are as shows me and slim. Um, you know, we we're going to give you our mission of our energy, you know? I mean every time. But, you know, it does some effect that's take into account when the energy isn't as reciprocated. You know what I mean? But it's a constant give and take every single time because you got to see what works you know, as you're going through it as opposed to what you've already prepared. And that's that's how we approach our shows. But, like life in general is kind of just like that. You know, you always want to reciprocate the energy received to the best of your ability and within, like, you know, proper means and methods think it's very important reason. That's how your state in tune with you know who you're putting your energy into or what you're putting your energy into. Ah, and vice versa. Um, you know, that's it's community okay? Yeah.

spk_0:   31:57
Before we switch the second part of this interview discussion I don't like Yeah, um, could you talk about just the name advertise? I personally love the movie. Yeah, that's what I think of fresh air, because I just want to know what made you pick that name. And I'm sure our listeners air eager to know if they don't already.

spk_1:   32:20
Yeah. So is it's like a cross between the two. So I was a big avatar, the last Airbender fan of the cartoon. Um and that's where it started from. Okay. Ah, the avatar is an airbender. Why red? If I buy her a vendor. So he's a match of all elements. Um, I kind of like in that, And my friends kind of, you know, because they're also fans to show my friends kind of done the same thing. Kind of deem me that, uh, because of mine, like musical ability. So I could play, like, six different elements. Four. Very well, but six and total. Um, and I use all those elements, you know, and creating music. I'm also a producer. Moss one engineer Robert. I'm a singer. So I do a whole bunch of different things that you know, our Ah, you know, usually one person strong suit. Um, and I was able to turn it into essentially a career. So that's where the Avatar nickname came from. And now with the movie, though, because it's like, you know, you're in essential like a different body. You know what I mean? Um, that kind of just played on with me, you know, like when I'm at shows like when I'm really creating music like I'm kind of like, outside of myself. Um, and it's more so just like a powerful being, like, you know, Dude was paralyzed, then gets his avatar body and gets legs, you know, I mean, so it's kind of it's like a more powerful being when I'm not creating music, but majority of it really does play on the cartoon. Oh, yeah, Just cause I could do a lot of shape. That's basically what it is.

spk_0:   33:52
All right there. I hope you all have enjoyed listening to the first part of this episode Are genuinely enjoyed speaking with Benji, we're now going to segregate to the second part of this episode. It's called first time. This isn't very psalm for burst on. Let me break it down for the way it works is Benji and I are gonna split a pack of starburst. I'm gonna burst out some questions and I'll shoot him back over to me If you happen to have Mr Phone yah, I do apologize ahead of time, and you probably won't enjoy the second point. But if you don't listen on, this is Barry's time. This isn't the first time for Bree's time, but here we go. I'll break it down for you. The way it works is this. I'm gonna break out this pack of Starburst right here. All right, and it's an original king sized package Starburst. What? We're gonna d'oh Whenever d j joins us, he'll have some as well. We're going to put the pack if you if you don't eat starbursts are very good. Act like, you know, Here you go the way it works with the yellow one first. Let's go. I should stop rare that you like the l over. That's cool. I don't know what you don't like. The yellow yellow was fired of you. That's what's up s o the way it works. Just we're gonna open this pack. It is open Favorite album of all time. Ah, sit. Ah! Um Ah! All time. Goddamn.

spk_1:   35:08
Um Oh, wow. That's crazy. First question

spk_0:   35:14
Who ate away the heartbreak

spk_1:   35:16
or No, my my beautiful, twisted fantasy Kanye West heard

spk_0:   35:21
all time him? Yeah, I go down Favorite book to read on a deserted island

spk_1:   35:31
order. I'm, um, probably the alchemist.

spk_0:   35:35
Oh, yeah. Did a great book. If you haven't read it, please do every document. That's a great book. Um, that I blanked out. Ah, one artist. You would liketo work within the city of Pittsburgh that you have not yet worked with Cam Chambers. Cam Chambers, Right. Shadow the cam. Head him up if you haven't. Gloria. Yeah. He's supposed to come over last week. He fold it. Calm attitude, bro. School event that you're looking forward to. And 20 Tony, it doesn't feel myself myself myself. Us are Any chance you're involved in it?

spk_1:   36:18
Yeah. No, no. There. Hey, let me tighten over time. Yeah, I've been detected either, except that big ass airport in Dallas gets bigger to see. We missed, like, three flights in Dallas. We had to take the strain back before between the gauge train, Like every stop, like, 10 minutes.

spk_0:   36:38
That was toward too. Yeah. Were you late for a show? Because,

spk_1:   36:41
you know, we had a show in l. A were trying to tell a and me my Ben and we just missed our first light. We're fucked rest

spk_0:   36:49
of the day. Yeah, but we made it good. What is your favorite? Something that you've been a part of I've

spk_1:   36:58
been a part of, Um Mmm. Maybe loner type. Like Larry can't or Ah, pretty much any song me and Mark Jackson ever made. Um Ah. Every song being peek a delay made ah cheese made out to five by my favorite color We did that has verified that Go really good time. A song God and his name like That's what Lee, 50 years longer his name between all of us

spk_0:   37:40
to to those artists cleric n and p k have both been on this are over. Mark my people They both talked about you and the collaboration of two songs One waterfall, your water and then loner type She talked about as well. I

spk_1:   37:54
love wonderful. Maybe they got this drink caught Eugene Air fire air. I'm hoping I'm hoping it comes out this year, but math, right? We made a lot of little while Harbor made a lot of good

spk_0:   38:07
joints. Service gets you every time. And then anything coming up in your life that you'd like the listeners to be a part of.

spk_1:   38:17
Yeah. I mean everything, you know.

spk_0:   38:19
Where should they keep up with everything? Re prime. My

spk_1:   38:22
instagram. You know, I'm involved in Monty's, you know, the start of her career. Lea d j and ah, partner of ours go. Sara Johnson, um, man to her and her band, you know, just kind of get her started. Really believe in her. So I want my fans and listeners to, you know, help us with that. You know, give her all the support. You know, she's got, Ah, an event coming up Arnold's T on the 28th. You could pull up to them. She's that Pillsbury's very own on March 6. That's her big debut. Sobriety. That and, uh, prime my health Dirty My fitness journey.

spk_0:   38:58
I'm not running a lot more. Yeah, I let myself go. Um, said I

spk_1:   39:03
love you Came and probably put on £40. We have a real

spk_0:   39:08
shot at the track and field,

spk_1:   39:09
not tracking field. Kept me coming nice and right and then turn into a big bowl of grits after that? Um, yeah, probably a health and fitness joining. I've quit a lot of things already. Um, trying to be more mentally intact, more physically intact and energized. Tour can take a lot out of you having to perform, and we only have 20 minutes. That's the boy. We would give it 1%. I'm coming out huffing and puffing, you know, just like trying to get better performer moment on that. So everyone is everything I got going on. Just let anyone keep up with it? And

spk_0:   39:47
then what is rawness of reality and mean to you?

spk_1:   39:50
Mmm. I mean, truth hurt. You know, truth definitely hurts, but, like, that is what it is, You know? I mean, like, reality had The rawness of reality is like sandpaper. The arms seem like Did this the texture of it, like, might make you cringe a little bit, but, you know, um, just realize fuck. And really kind of the more the more we can't accept it, you know, as reality is and you know, things that you do to kind of like this change it like that rawness is really just, like, kind of straight up. You know what it is, and it's not really like, Ah, not really, like, offensive to people, you know? I mean, um, but it's just like, you know, people like to do you like the sugarcoat shit? I'm not one of them. Oh, yeah. I'm really not one of them. And, um, you know, it's kind of just yeah, if I could just talk in circles about that, but it is it Get truthers.

spk_0:   40:53
That's, uh yeah, that's all I have for you today. We're, um If you have anything else you want to say, said if not, so be it. You guys keep up with Avatar Benji period. Bam on instagram. Or you could text him. You can

spk_1:   41:11
You can You can text me. Oh, shit. What is the number? Truck that still got two numbers. Um Damn, damn it Ended them. Damn

spk_0:   41:20
them! Yeah, Follow me on Instagram at Avatar Benji Twitter and Avatar Benji Text me for 122183913 And and have a conversation And come to Texas

spk_1:   41:34
on March 27th birthday and I'll be itself. I said West. All right? Yeah. Do that piece Starburst

spk_0:   41:42
Starburst. Please don't sue me for using your Starbucks. I genuinely just enjoy eating. Also big shout out to having Benji on the podcast. It was honestly an awesome discussion. I hope you guys enjoyed listening. If you did subscribe to my channel Radius five stars and follow on social media are episodes can only get better from here. I want to give a big thank you to Joe cow on the beats. And remember, stay raw with reality