Ben Ma’17 involvement at Bellarmine is extensive. He participates in KBCP Radio; track and field; and speech and debate. However, what you may not know is that he has achieved moderate success as a DJ outside of school. In fact, he recently signed a contract with Cadillac Records, an Italy-based record label specializing in electronic dance music. This contract will allow him to release his music for sale to the public.
Ben’s musical journey started long before he came to Bellarmine. “I’ve had a background in classical piano for a long time, but I first started producing electronic music on my own after a summer camp in middle school where they had recording equipment and Garageband,” said Ma. However, he says he only became serious about music production a few years ago, “I really started delving into the more technical aspects of electronic music production around freshman year.” This is when he started producing music on a regular basis, and through his SoundCloud page and YouTube channel he released his songs independently. However, he was able to take his hobby to the next level earlier this year.
In July, Ben released a new song called ‘Purple Elephant’ which garnered the attention of a representative of Cadillac Records. Ben was initially skeptical of the offer, saying, “It seemed pretty sketchy at best. But I did a little research into the label, looked at their website and previous releases, and came to the conclusion that they were actually legit.” After that, he was ready to negotiate the terms of his contract, which usually include a €100 publication fee, but Ben’s terms were quite different due to the label’s poorly translated website. “I thought that Cadillac Records could use my proficiency in English more than my money, so my current contract is that I can continue to release songs on the label as long as I continue to provide English editing services for the label.”
Though signing a record contract is a big deal, Ben still considers music production a hobby. “I’m still making songs; I definitely have things like school, college apps, speech & debate, and track & field prioritized over it,” said Ma. And he does not plan on stopping here, adding, “I’m hoping that this first record deal will be a foothold for me to continue making music in college, where there may be more opportunities to both learn and perform.”
Ben will continue to release new songs every few months, and they can be found on SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, and Beatport.
Ben’s new single “Purple Elephant” is available on Spotify, Beatport, iTunes, Youtube, and Soundcloud.