Donny Benét is a Sydney based solo recording artist. He is notable for his anachronistic musical style, borrowing heavily from outdated 80s post-disco sounds but producing and performing the music in a modern context. In 2011, he released his first full length solo album Don't Hold Back through indie label Rice is Nice.
Benét was exposed to music from an early age as his father Antonio Giacomelli Benét was an Italian Disco accordionist and taught Donny to play the accordion and the electric bass. Benét played his first shows as an accordionist and synth player in Italian bands around Sydney until in the mid-2000s when he moved to Las Vegas to perform solo Tom Jones covers and disco classics at the Airport Hilton Ballroom.
He returned to Australia in 2010 and played in Jack Ladder's band The Dreamlanders and began recording his own songs in his father's home studio Donnyland Studios. In 2011 he signed with Rice is Nice records and released Don't Hold Back, which was received with interest from Australian music media, publications praising Benét's sincere take on 80's pop music.
Influences and Musical Style
Benét's music mostly consists of synthesizers, but also features electronic drum machines, saxophone and electric bass, all of which (excluding saxophone) are played by Benét and looped through ableton software in both his recorded works and live shows. Benét cites among his influences Jan Hammer, proponent of the Moog synthesizer and creator of the Miami Vice soundtrack as well as 80's artists Alan Vega and Prince. The sexual nature of his lyrics arise from his experiences playing Tom Jones covers in the Airport Hilton Ballroom, Benét writing that he "had to sexualise his songs a lot more to keep (the audience) interested, make them a little bit more risqué, and I think that carried over to my own songs." In a 2018 interview he explained, "I'm kind of always poking the piss at what a poor lover I am or you know, fictitiously what a great lover I could be."