Derek Benjamin is the definition of a modern-day entrepreneur/producer: A masterful engineer, musician, songwriter, vocalist and business owner. His ability to combine creativity, advanced knowledge and versatility truly opens the door for any artist, project or concept. As a full time studio owner and record label founder, Derek is actively building a legacy in the local music industry by developing tools and support for local artists and has been a part of 2000+ recordings for over 200 unique clients over a 12 year span.
Shortly after graduating high school while working in the northern Alberta oil sands, Derek received the gift of a lifetime. It was a simple USB mic, but it allowed Derek to realize his deep passion for creating and performing music. The love of recording and experimenting musically grew quickly, as did the belief that a future in music was attainable. From then on, Derek spent countless hours writing, producing and recording many different genres of music. This led him to start performing and collaborating with other artists within the Hip-hop community. After meeting Marc Herve in 2011, they formed a duo called “6Sigma”. 6Sigma went on to release an EP and multiple singles. They gained regular radio play on stations such as Virgin Radio, as well as a regular feature in a TSN commercial and regular play at Winnipeg Jets home games. 6Sigma also performed over 15 shows in a short time, with some performances reaching 3000 in attendance.
After the success of 6Sigma, Derek moved to Vancouver, BC to enroll in the Audio Engineering and Advanced Production Program at Nimbus School of Media. He learned from some of the best in the business and solidified the skills he had been building for years. Derek graduated top of the class, receiving a letter of recommendation and a Nimbus gold record for most outstanding student.
Soon after, Derek moved back to Winnipeg and rebranded and managed Blackli$t Studios for over three years, working with a multitude of artists and genres. Derek left Blackli$t to operate his own recording space in downtown Winnipeg for 2 years, until he and his partner purchased a new home in Winnipeg. They renovated the basement into a fully functional, accredited recording studio and production suite that has been in operation for over four years.
In May of 2019, Derek attended a business program through the YMCA, which helped him make the jump to working as a full-time engineer and producer. Derek has also been working closely with the CVE Performing Arts Production and Industry program to take on and train students as interns throughout the school year.
Derek’s love of live performance and sound presented a new opportunity. In 2019, Derek joined “The Village Idiots” crew in producing the “Live at The Roslyn” live video series. Over time, The Village Idiots have ventured into live video production for events, festivals and concerts. Derek has been the head of audio for these notable projects which include Philadelphia Folk Festival, Jazz Winnipeg, Festival Fransaskois and many more.
During the Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020-2021, Derek partnered with Private Ear Recording and moved into Studio B to expand his business to a commercial location. Since early 2021, Derek’s business has been developing a wider set of multimedia services including mobile recording, video work, live streaming and a new record label.