This blog and become more than just about music but it is most definitely all about the things that make me who I am!
Whats up everyone. My name is Ben “Benzilla” Stewart. Artist, musician, producer, entrepreneur, world traveler in pursuit of becoming an ethnomusicologist. I currently live and work in NYC, my home town is STL! And now some back round about me…
Benjamin "Benzilla" Stewart is the culmination of 2 great decades of musical influence and experience. Growing up as a product of the 1980’s influences, Ben was heavily influenced by music and culture. Excited about the prospect of combining his love of music, production, performance and cultural influences to maintain that essence of a time when urban music shaped the industry into what it is today, his passion steered him towards studying music in college and now moving on to study the cultural influence of music in different cultures especially in the underground and independent music environment. He has been involved with a number of musical promotions, events and projects during his college career at Truman State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music. During that time he was fortunate enough to meet several other talented musicians and form the funk band known as Hazard to Ya Booty, a group that has grown in popularity throughout the Midwest. Hazard to Ya Booty’s popularity and name spread and soon became one of the most popular live bands in the area due to its unique sound and live stage performances.
Soon after, Ben left to study and perform in Tokyo, Japan. There he found a renewed love for music in the form of underground HIP-HOP!!! Networking with a group known as S.C. Crew and exploring famous clubs like Vuenos in Shibuya and Lexington Queen in Ropongii confirmed a love for his passion of learning about music in different cultures.
In ‘02 he returned to Truman and met a rap artist buy the name of Al_e_Baba who felt the same way about the music. The industry was letting them down. Together they started distribution of an underground publication named 4shigadare. This magazine featured and showcased local underground artist throughout the area as well as articles of discussions about the current music industry and who was representing and who were letting “us” down.
After graduating Truman he struck out to follow his musical passion by performing over seas in Shanghai, China and Tokyo, Japan once again. After that he then began the next chapter in hes career by moving to NYC where he earned his Master in Business Administration in International Business and started his own music studio 4MATA Studios where he works with local talent producing and recording the next generation of great music and musicians.
These numerous opportunities instilled in him the confidence to take on any task with extreme vigor. Along with this he has acquired a valuable international contacts. This combination an excellent opportunity for him to pursue a career in the music industry. In the fall of 2003 Ben and his business partner Alex decided to take matters into their own hands to form an organization to for those artists who want to make their mark by rejuvinating that revolutionary music movement; thus, the birth of 4Shigadare Undertainment, the new path of the independent music industry!