Original photo by Martyn Pepperell.
If you asked Benny Salvador (Benny Lindsay-Williams) what he’s been up to over the last couple of years, he’ll tell you that he’s been at home making music, hanging out with his family and walking his dog, Roy. That’s what he loves to do.
Photo by East Abernethy.
Benny started making beats at an early age, learning from his family and playing music with his dad and his dad’s friends. He started collecting and spinning vinyl, and was playing on a rough peel radio once a week after school when he was 10 years old. Over the years he has continued to perform at festivals and clubs around Aotearoa while making music in his parents basement.
I remember when I first saw Benny play a DJ set - I was blown away. He was 16 at the time. I couldn’t believe it. It has always been clear that he has a knack for sound, mixing and production, that music wasn’t just something he did but something that he was raised on. He was already a pro then. So of course, when he dropped his album, I was very excited to see what he had been cooking up.
Family Fruit was born in the wake of the 2020 lockdown in March when Benny, his dad and his uncle Riki (Riki Gooch), started jamming. The first draft was one long Ableton session full of long improvisational songs. Salvador let the project simmer for a while, chopping sections up and inviting more friends to add parts, such as uncle Lucien Johnson on saxophone uncle Sam (Dr. Samuel Lindsay) on guitar and uncle Will Ricketts on vibraphone. Each element marinated into a beautiful concoction of nu jazz, lounge, funk and soul. The end result - Family Fruit.
Collage (album artwork) by Benny Lindsay-Williams.
The name of the album came from an unlikely place.
“My mum had ordered My Food Bag. We would get the fruit box for a while - the name of the box is called ‘My Family Fruit’.” Salvador would steal the boxes because they were the perfect size for his 7” records which he stored on a shelf in his studio. “It would sit at the top of my record shelf looking at me. When I’d make beats I would think, oh that’s a good title for something. Eventually it seemed right for this.” Coincidentally, each track was named after the meal eaten on the day the song was worked on or completed; each dish being a family favourite. “We would make a track or jam one night and struggle to think of a name for the track. I’d be like ‘oh we just had that for dinner! ….Laksa!!’ Okay! We just had Laksa!! So then that was it.”
It is said that you can taste when a dish has been cooked with love. I think that the same goes for music. The sounds are uplifting, full of nuance and masterfully produced by Benny Salvador. It was an effortless and serendipitous series of events that resulted in the album’s creation; one that came to be very organically. Although it was made during a tumultuous time in the height of the pandemic, Benny managed to capture a certain energy that would make any listener feel comforted. An energy achieved with patience, time and of course, friends and whānau around.
Listen to Family Fruit by Benny Salvador Bandcamp. You can purchase the digital album there, too.
Photo by East Abernethy.
The music video for the track ‘Schnauzy’ is out now. Directed and shot by East Abernethy and starring Benny Salvador alongside his dog, Roy (Roy Schnitzel Schneider Schnauzer). Shot on a long walk on a hot summer day in Miramar. Dedicated to his cat, Kimberly Princess.
Photo by East Abernethy with text by Zara Olifent.
Watch the video for 'Schnauzy' below.
You can support Family Fruit and Aunty Records on Bandcamp.