cover photo by Hazlo Films
Ben Cofresi, an Illinois native, has been pushing the boundaries of electronic music with his hybrid style of DJing and jamming out on his digital-acoustic drum setup. He has been an opener for artists such as Pretty Lights, Gramatik, Autograf, Ganja White Night, and Manic Focus to name a few. Wrapping up a spring tour with a stop at Summer Camp Music Festival, CŌFRESI is an artist that you should be on your radar. Without further ado, CŌFRESI!
Festival Squad: Thank you for taking time during your busy schedule to sit down with Festival Squad! How does it feel to be at Three Sisters Park for Summer Camp Music Festival?
CŌFRESI: It is pretty tight. I felt a little groggy at first, but I honestly just got in a good zone and vibed out. You don’t really use sound checks, you usually have to go off the cuff and they ease into it with the first song or two, but it felt good once everything was smooth and was like “Yooo crank that sub, crank that bass!”
Festival Squad: I see that you are on a handful of festival lineups this year. Which one are you looking forward to the most after Summer Camp Music Festival? What festival is on your wish list to perform at?
CŌFRESI: Definitely a few ties, but one that really pops into my mind is 515 Alive Music Festival. Grid Life will be sick. North Coast will be sick, shout out Ed Walsh. Mainly those three I am stoked about and I am playing at Camp Bisco, but don’t know much about that yet and I am opening up for STS9 that week. One festival I am looking forward to playing in the future Is Lightening in a Bottle. Maybe one day Coachella, some more California shit.
Festival Squad: I saw that you were the drummer for ProbCause for 3 years. Aside from your own producing and DJing, do you have any side projects or artists that you work closely with?
CŌFRESI: I was just on a 3-month tour with Autograf and I was drumming for them since their drummer took a leave of absence, so I was basically out there drumming with them and full on playing in their set. That was a full-on project in itself. I was also doing a solo set at the same time on the tour; solo set and full set with Autograf, it was insane.
Festival Squad: Who are some of your favorite artists that inspired you to begin producing your own music?
CŌFRESI: When I was growing up I listened to a lot of bands. Everything from Incubus to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to heavy stuff. Then I got into electronic music so some of the foundations of electronic artists I like are Zeds Dead, Seven Lions, Mr Carmack, KRANE, Oshi, and Alexander Lewis; there is so many artists. I actually made a list of all the artists I like because I have to do Spotify playlists and I will be doing more tracks mixed in my sets.
Festival Squad: If you could realistically collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
CŌFRESI: Honestly, it would be fun to collab with Boombox Cartel even though they are a little out of the range, but you never know. Autograf is another artist I am collaborating with since I was just on tour with them too. Ramzoid and Medasin are super tight, but they are both holding it down right now.
Festival Squad: I got to peek your setup with all your gear on your site. How complex is the setup and is there any other controllers, launchpads, or instruments you would like to add in the future?
CŌFRESI: Yeah it is a core version of a setup, but I could add some more real drums and stretch it out more right or left and jump to those setups.
Festival Squad: I read an article from 2015 discussing how you wanted to bring electronic music to children and teach them how to produce. Do you have any goals set for yourself similar to this in the short term? Long term?
CŌFRESI: Short term, I would love to travel more and open up for more artists I am inspired by, collaborate with artists I appreciate and want to work with, and setting up clinics to show off the pieces of how everything works when you produce music to inspire those who are interested.
Festival Squad: Since you currently reside in Chicago, I have to ask:
- Cubs or White Sox?
- Favorite spot for Italian Beef?
CŌFRESI: I don’t really eat Italian Beef, I like chicken wings though. Buffalo Joe’s on Howard Street are some of the best buffalo wings ever. As a Chicagoan, I have only had a few in my life and was weirded out by them. Best skirt steak though is at Cross-Rhodes in Evanston, that shit is amazing and giving y’all the secrets.