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Check Out Rob Bennion’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Bennion.

Hi Rob, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I began singing before I could speak, according to my mother. I picked up the saxophone at 10 and was performing in nightclubs with college bands when I was 15.

In 2007, I was working at a club in Japan playing sax six nights a week and I started to get bored playing along with “backing tracks” so I started DJing along with playing the sax, and this has become my main focus and selling point, combining live and DJed music to create an excellent and versatile musical experience with fewer players than traditional bands. My band “Gold Standard is a DJ+band hybrid with live drums, vocals, and sax. I also often DJ solo and my most-requested song is “more sax please!”

In 2012, I founded Echo Talent which manages musicians and DJs. We are a boutique agency not trying to overtake the market with unsustainable “grow, grow, grow” but rather make sure each event is quality and meets our high standards. I performed on average pre-pandemic 4x a week however now in the post-pandemic boom I have been working typically 6x a week, and my bands and DJs are booked every weekend.

My main area of focus is Salt Lake/Park City, Utah, however my band and I travel often to the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Jackson Hole, Vegas, and as far away as Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Paris for events when our clients see the value we offer with a small group delivering a big impact.

This month my band performed events varying in size from an intimate Jackson ranch wedding to a 12,000 person awards show in the Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena. We have storage units with our full DJ+band set up in Los Angeles and San Francisco so often perform for events in those markets.

I’m a father of 2 high-schoolers and love snow/skateboarding and traveling in my free time!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Nothing really goes as planned, but if the drive is there it all works out in the end. After dedicating many hours to the saxophone performing 4+ hours daily during all of high school, winning various awards, and being the youngest member as an 8th grader of my high school marching band in Hawaii, then the youngest of the All-State Band in Salt Lake at 14, then the youngest of the Utah Valley University band as a junior in high school, I was a music major for only one semester of college before dropping out and giving up because the pressure was so high.

It was only after joining a reggae band and touring for a few years that I re-dedicated myself to music. I began performing for weddings on the side with my own jazz band and gigged regularly in Dallas restaurants and bars. Then a surprise move to Japan landed me a regular club gig which led to me DJing which has become a major focus of my music career.

In 2012, I bought my house in Salt Lake and founded Echo Talent. I have been doing music full-time ever since!
I never imagined as a younger saxophone player that I could have a salary similar to that of a Doctor or other “respectable” profession as a musician, but here I am!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
DJs are a dime a dozen, and there are also many live bands out there, from solo artists to 10+ party bands. Combining the best of both live and DJed music is what I do best. I have the versatility of a DJ, covering all aspects of an event, combined with the spontaneity and improvisation of a live music artist. This is what sets me apart and why I have so many return clients.

The fact that I can cover wedding music from start to finish, with various locations and setups: ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing, make hiring me a simple decision for my clients. I am able to maintain a lower price point without compromising quality and easily communicate with one person rather than various music vendors.

And how many people are really that excited about a push-button DJ performance? Combining live music makes it vibe in a completely different way!

A side project of mine which many in the wedding/event world don’t know about me is a club DJ named “Robot Dream”. Complete with an online comic series and loyal fanbase, Robot Dream performs as a cyborg-sax playing DJ at downtown hotspots like Twist in SLC or the Cabin Park City. Wee for yourself: https://www.robotdream.com/.

What makes you happy?
In my career, there are moments that make all the sacrifice and hard work seem like nothing… this month these moments happened when my singer Chloe sang a heartbreakingly perfect rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” during a wedding ceremony at the Montage Park City, or when I was DJing and playing sax at a downtown night club and I looked out to see the lights of a few dozen phones up recording what I was doing, these kinds of moments are what I live for.

I am happy when my clients are happy.

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