Ben Stunden, Kelowna DJ and music producer, has a goal to follow his musical passion full time.
The Capital News sat down with Stunden, 26, to discuss his career choice, what a typical day looks in the life of a DJ (it involves coffee) and why he goes by STUND.
Q: How did you get into deejaying?
A: The reason why the whole music thing started was my parents used to run a music festival back in the day so I would volunteer at it and I played music myself. I think it was deadmau5 that got me into it. I’ve been taking the whole music production/deejaying thing seriously for four years now.
I went to the university of Lethbridge and started doing my own shows. It was more people I knew who would be making music so I took that on with my friend.
Q: Did you go to university for music production?
A: No, I’m all self taught. My brother went to KATO and took audio engineering so that helped me. But I basically taught myself off of YouTube videos. I have a business degree.
Q: There seems to be a significant number of DJs in Kelowna, how do you stand out?
A: I think if you want to see any form of success you have to treat it professionally. I have a studio, I try to work. It’s not just a hobby for me so I try to use all the resources available to make it a career. I also make tracks for other artists so it’s not just my music. This one guy I was recording, it was acoustic.
Q: Are there benefits to working in Kelowna?
A: Working in the BEATLAB (a music studio above Social Lounge) I have access to all this equipment. I think having a crew who thinks like you— you’re all sharing tracks, putting on shows, and talking in the same space— really helps.
Q: How do you divide your time?
A: I try to make my own stuff everyday. It’s funny, I solve all my studio issues away from the studio. Then with recording artists it’s all in the studio and I’ll have them sit with me for a bit. I’ll wake up, get a coffee and then hit the studio for a good six-hour stretch. When making songs from scratch I usually start with drums and I build a baseline, and then I can hear in my head a theme for the song. Then I search for catchy hooks.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next few years?
I want to be sustained off of music. That’s the idea of success for me. The fact that I can record artists, get paid for shows, and work in the studio, if I can keep it all as that, that’d be good enough. But eventually, three years after that my goal will change, but right now I just want to be fully immersed in music. I also work at KRAFTY right now. I’m a busy guy.
Where did STUND come from?
My brother Thomas, his DJ name is Berg. He started doing serious music production before me and he said he needed a DJ name. I said you should call yourself STUND, it’s part of our last name. It’s one syllable, it’s a word, artists play with their last names and he said ‘I don’t know.’ I said ‘fine, I’m going to do it’ and I don’t think I’m ever going to change it.
Q: What kind of music do you and your brother play?
A: He’s all bass music and I play house music.
Q: What’s the difference between bass and house music?
A: House music is roughly 128 beats per minute. When you listen to mine it’s groovy. (My brother’s) is on the low end and sub bass stuff. I like stuff that has a really good groove. It’s more approachable I’d say.
Stunden is a part of the Capital New’s latest video project called Carli’s Corner. Every two weeks throughout the summer, reporter Carli Berry will interview local musicians in a quick Q&A on kelownacapnews.com. Check online Friday, Sept. 1 for the final edition of the segment.