Sydney’s freshest pop-fusion duo Ronnie & Benni

Sydney

3 Jul 2019

RonnieBenniPHOTO01

3

Jul

Sydney’s freshest pop-fusion duo Ronnie & Benni

3 Jul 2019

Ronnie & Benni are Sydney’s freshest pop-fusion duo and two of the nicest guys you’ll meet in the local music scene. 

Surya "Ronnie" Luthikurthi had success in India as a DJ but grew disillusioned with the monotonous creative process he was experiencing. “There was no ingenuity. I was playing at big festivals and to big crowds, I was collaborating with international artists but I wasn’t being authentic and I wasn’t following my own sound. I decided to come to Australia to pursue another path,” Ronnie says. 

Moving to Australia in 2016, Ronnie started a Bachelor of Audio course at SAE Creative Media Institute Sydney. Here he met Benjamin "Benni" Peterson, a folk singer/songwriter from the Central Coast, immediately clicking with him personally and musically. Originally pairing while working on their coursework, they decided to pursue their musical partnership professionally, formalising Ronnie & Benni that showcases their unique creative fusion; Benni brings the narrative element to Ronnie’s electronic sound. 

The duo have now released their first single titled Fake Smiles and Ronnie’s initial experience of moving to Australia and the undercurrent of xenophobia, is what inspired the lyrics for the track. Benni who wrote the lyrics based on his friend’s experience says that Fake Smiles is also a story of positivity; “it’s about spending time experiencing the real Sydney, noticing sincere smiles among the fake ones. It’s about finding your tribe and the true inclusivity of Australia,” Benni says. 

An amalgamation of East meets West, and a clear vision of culture and art is something Ronnie & Benni strive for in their project. Putting this into practice, Benni spent hours hand painting each frame for their Fake Smiles lyric video. 

Joining Ronnie & Benni is SAE studio supervisor and band manager Tye Pennington on guitar, SAE audio lecturer Dean Belcastro on Drums and SAE audio graduate Kristina Maggio on guitar and bass. 

Ronnie & Benni aren’t the only two bringing their eclectic music backgrounds to the outfit, band members Tye and Kristina come from metal scenes and Dean has extensive experience playing in rock bands. Tye believes their rock and metal histories brings a tight sound to the electronic outfit. “The diversity of our talent brings a dynamic sound to Ronnie & Benni, this isn’t your ordinary electronica,” he said. 

Embracing differences is the ethos of Ronnie & Benni - and all band members embody this philosophy. What sets them apart also brings them together and aside from the commonality of SAE, from mentor to student to colleague, all five share an authentic friendship and genuine affection for each other. 

Ronnie says “We want to send the message that the spirit of our sound is about life, love and culture. We want individuals and audiences to connect with our music and through it we extend the hand of love, we want to transcend sexuality, race, religion. At the heart of Ronnie & Benni lies friendship.”

Dean helped Ronnie & Benni refine their sound and is the mix engineer and co-producer of Fake Smiles. “Although Ronnie & Benni wrote and produced the track it sounds as good as it does because of Dean - he leant his expertise to it,” Ronnie says. 

“On the other hand, our manager Tye has a tough love approach, but he was the first one who knew we had something special, who thought we should go out and spread this love, who believed in us,” Ronnie says. 

With their grand plans of world domination, Ronnie & Benni are going to go far with their nice guy attitude, unparalleled sound and unwavering support of their friends and bandmates. 

Listen to Ronnie & Benni chat to Brad on Energy Groove Radio


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