Ben Hall Munn
Party goers in Marbella will no doubt have danced to tunes accompanied by the sound of bongos. Whether it was in TIBU Marbella, a Marbella pool party or even a Champagne spray party, the chances are that you have boogied along with Ben.
That highly addictive sound of the bongos being played in time to the latest dance tracks seems to en-trance us all and for some reason we all feel we can go up and play them. Sadly for the majority of us we just sound awful as it is something best left to the pros.
Playing bongos is an art form and let’s face it, quite a glam job at times so we thought we would catch up with the ultimate bongo player himself, Ben Hall-Munn.
Visitors to Marbella may well have seen Ben thumping out the beats at Nikki Beach Marbella or Sala Beach. Others might have seen him doing his stuff in Ibiza or maybe some of you will have seen him at the famous Essex nightspots of Faces Essex, One9five or Sugar Hut.
1 – So tell us how you first got in to playing the bongos?
I actually started off as a club promoter back in early 2010 when I was attending the same nights regularly and I was bringing a lot of people with me so it seemed silly not to promote the nights and in return receive a few perks here and there. The nights also had percussionists performing and it didn’t matter what and where the night was, I was fixated on these guys. I’d then research and youtube them and very quickly I was introduced to a club circuit of DJs, sax players and percussionists where I formed good relationships. It was then I was offered a trial run to play alongside a popular drummer at the time and immediately impressed. After that word just spread.
2 – What was your first official gig playing the bongos?
It was a local House night in Buddha Lounge, Romford which at the time was called Opium Lounge.
3 – To date where is the most glamorous venue you have played?
Glamorous…? Buddha Beach last August Bank Holiday for the all day LOVEJUICE Pool Party. I’ve never seen so many bottles of Ace of Spades in my life in one place.
4 – What would be the ultimate venue for you to play?
It’s neck and neck – The Rehab Pool Parties in Las Vegas and the main room in Space, Ibiza
5 – Do you get to meet many celebs along the way?
I have met a few when playing yes. I regularly play at Funky Buddha in Mayfair which is visited by many footballers especially. I’ve had the pleasure in playing to Dynamo Magician, El-Hadj Diouf and was also tipped my Obafemi Martins. The TOWIE gang are also always about where I’m performing whether it’s One9five in Epping or Thursday nights at Faces for Loveplay and it was great to meet Wayne Lineker out and about as well.
6 – What was your most embarrassing moment playing for a crowd?
I like to switch my kit round from time to time depending on the venue, the brand and type of music and it was during a period when I was playing the bongos with sticks. During a performance at One9five for a Hed Kandi event, one of the skins on my bongos split in half as it had been tuned to tightly. This was just at the beginning of a 2 hour gig so I had to improvise. I think i got away with it?
7 – What was your most memorable moment playing?
I think if i could nail this down to 1 performance i’d feel my career so far hasn’t been that exciting… If I was to break it down to countries then I might be in with half a chance. In the UK I haven’t had a better crowd to play to than Pacha. It’s not on the same levels as Ibiza granted, but when I was on stage in front of 1000 people back in November, it is definitely up there. Ibiza is of course going to be top 3, having the opportunity to play in Ibiza in only my first whole year of playing is an honour, but to play in the worlds voted no.1 club Space on Carl Cox Revolution night in the Red Box was an unbelievable gig. BUT on par with these 2 was definitely Marbella last August Bank Holiday. They are famous – The Marbella LOVEJUICE Pool Parties at Sala Beach. It was a privilege and I am very grateful to be doing it all again this year. All 3 of these performances I was joined by my good friend CJ Turner on his live sax!
8 – What plans do you have this year?
I have many plans and just as many goals. To keep going from club to club smashing the bongos on stage and creating an impact on the people that go. To definitely travel as much as possible, to get myself on radio and have another opportunity at recording in the studio which I was lucky to have last year. I now have a set of bongos that I strap round me and get to walk around, perform on bar tops, stand on VIP tables and connect with the crowd on a whole bigger scale. Look out for me especially in Marbella at LOVEJUICE’S pool parties at Sala on Saturday 2nd June & Saturday 25th August plus more Marbella dates to be announced!