We continue our journey into
Tune in to Anita Benner’s globe-spanning
music, inspired by a life of travel.
By day, Anita Benner is a music designer from Austin, Texas who helps create the sounds of famous brands, and by night, she writes the music that make your favorite television shows come to life, with her songs featuring on nearly 20 prime-time programs. In her free time, Anita travels the world singing and entertaining in three languages!
Multi-lingual (Spanish, Portuguese,
Uruguayan), singer/songwriter, music designer, blogger…there are so many descriptions
that you could use for Anita Benner. We talked to the multi-talented artist
about her track for
Hi Anita, how would you
describe your music?
Ever since I was little I’ve loved traveling and exploring other cultures. My travels have motivated my music, and I love mixing different genres, languages and instrumentation. I’ve sung in a bossa nova quartet, a 13-piece salsa band, a Latin hip-hop group, and recently I’ve been experimenting with electronic music.
How did ‘Destapa La Felicidad’
With this song I wanted to celebrate travel and knew there was only one person I wanted to work with: my friend and producer Rodney ‘Ale’ Alejandro. Despite being in the middle of a world tour with The Script, he agreed to help me and produced this amazing track while on a plane somewhere between London and Vegas.
Wow! We’re guessing travel also
plays a big part in your choice of a Placelist?
Yes, definitely. I’ve chosen Old San Juan in Puerto Rico as it’s a beach town I truly love, but ‘Destapa La Felicidad’ is inspired by all the beautiful beaches I’ve visited, from Rio, and Punta del Este in the Americas, to Ibiza, Capri and Cassis in the Mediterranean. The songs I chose for my Placelist all remind me of those magical places.
Acoustic punk rock band King’s Tonic knows that music is the way to bring
King’s Tonic is a punk rock duo from Dortmund, Germany with a pop undertone, whose live shows are an insanely fun, loud affair. Very loud most of the time! James and Swen O told us about their song for 52 Songs of Happiness and their choice of Placelist.
tell us where you wrote your song ‘Jetzt Und Hier!’?
Swen O: Actually, the idea came up during the Olympic Games in London where we played a couple of shows. Watching the athletes waiting for their chance: a single event that they’ve been preparing for months, years, maybe all of their life. This rare moment that can mean everything to you, this glimpse of infinity, that is the main topic. The writing process and adding a composition, hook and lyrics was done back in Germany throughout the Ruhr Area.
you play a huge amount of live shows?
James: King’s Tonic is 100% acoustic punk rock! Over the last 10 years we have played close to 400 shows in more than a dozen countries on three continents. We’ve played shows in front of 10,000 spectators, as well as just two, and enjoy every second of it. A good song should always work played on an acoustic guitar in front of thousands, or sat with friends by the fireside.
about the location you've chosen for your Placelist?
James: The Brandenburg Gate is a very special place to us. It’s a symbol for Germany and its unity. It reminds us of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, but also of our new, peaceful democracy.
of Germany, where would you love to perform?
Swen O: I think Madison Square Garden in New York would be great, but also Australia and Africa; the continents we haven’t been to yet.
James: I grew
up in Tanzania so it would be awesome to play a show in my old hometown
Morogoro or Dar es Salaam!
Hailing from the vibrant music
city of Austin, Moving Castles (pictured in the head at the top) are the most exciting new indie-rock band you’ll
The next band we’re featuring is Moving Castles, self-confessed “nerds that play epic, fun indie rock music in the purest sense.” Their track ‘Midnight Show’ is a joyous celebration of one of their favorite places in their hometown. We talked to John Eric Hetherington from the band.
you write ‘Midnight Show’?
In my old apartment in Austin on a sunny, cloudless morning. I love creating music with my friends in a relaxed environment where everyone can be great at what they do.
about the location you've chosen for your Placelist?
It is an area known as Slaughter Creek Acres in Austin, where you’ll find the incredible Alamo Drafthouse movie theater – a place that’s trying its best to maintain the movie-going experience in this crazy internet world. If you go, remember to turn off your phone, else you’re out! The Placelist features the likes of Tegan & Sara, Ra Ra Riot and even Van Halen.
real mix of artists on your Placelist. Who are three musical heroes that have
inspired Moving Castles?
I’m always motivated by Alex Chilton from Big Star for writing some of the most poignant songs and being able to step away from them without overstaying his welcome, Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene for putting everything on the plate and going all-in when he writes songs, and Jim Ward of At The Drive-In and Sparta for demonstrating to the 16-year-old me how to play out-of-the-box guitar while still being tasteful.
The heart of Paris is where
Nephaste Melody finds inspiration for their special contribution to 52 Songs Of
Stephane Prin, songwriter and producer of thrilling French electro-pop band, Nephaste Melody says, “I always aim to make our music punchy, melodic, and fun, and it always has to get people dancing.”
Nephaste Melody’s contribution to 52 Songs Of Happiness is ‘A Coup De Cils’; an upbeat, summer treat that’s impossible not to love. But although it’s a great party track, Prin is an obsessive music fan, inspired by a range of artists from all genres. For his Placelist, he’s chosen a special area in his hometown of Paris where he’s been lucky enough to witness a number of unique shows.
What made you choose the location
for your Placelist?
I’ve selected Boulevard des Capucines in the heart of the city, as this street is where you’ll find L’Olympia, one of the most beautiful music halls in France. It’s been there for 70 years, and many of the biggest artists have played there, from The Beatles to Edit Piaf.
I saw Jeff Buckley there 20 years ago and it was just magical. There is a special atmosphere in that place and the gigs I've seen there, such as Noir Desir, PJ Harvey, and Portishead, are part of the reason I'm making music today. It always has a special community that’s warm and unique.
Kuypers is senior creative director and music supervisor at Music Dealers. Together with Josh Burke, he is the creator and curator of
the "52 Songs of Happiness" campaign. Dan has been with Music Dealers from close to
the beginning, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the company;
having spent over a decade running EV Productions, a highly respected Chicago
indie label, distributor and studio with nearly 50 releases to date. Dan is
also a former touring musician. He
is now the dedicated creative resource for
Continue reading the '52 Songs of Happiness' series:
- Be Inspired by Our First Two Artists
- Let's Hear It for the Girls
- From Blissful Nature to the Rocking Party Scene