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About benny blanco

Before Benny Blanco was a name people put their chips on, the man born Benjamin Levin (in Reston, Virginia, in 1988) used to pretend to be JAY-Z’s lawyer to get label execs on the phone. It didn’t work, but it was a sign nevertheless: Here was someone with the hustle and ingenuity to make things happen. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Blanco started making hip-hop beats as a teenager, messaging artists on MySpace from his school library and sleeping in McDonald’s while trying to land meetings on weekend trips to New York. His work—in particular a hyperbolically sleazy collaboration with party rapper Spank Rock called Bangers & Cash—caught the ear of industry powerhouses including songwriter-producer Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Kesha, Britney Spears), who enlisted Blanco as an apprentice. From there, he became one of the most bulletproof forces in modern pop, writing for and producing artists from Ed Sheeran (“Don’t”) to Kanye West, Ty Dolla $ign to Sia, The Weeknd to Maroon 5 (“Moves Like Jagger,” “Payphone”)—resulting in a résumé that effortlessly yoked together the vanguards of mainstream pop, hip-hop, and R&B. In 2018, Blanco stepped out as an artist in his own right, releasing his guest-heavy debut LP, FRIENDS KEEP SECRETS—an ongoing release that he plans to continue to add songs to over time, and a rare, progressive turn for someone so well established behind the scenes. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years,” he told Apple Music. “After that long, it’s good to switch it up.”

Reston, VA, United States
March 8, 1988

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