Ben Scwag is the archetypal hands-on music all-rounder. As a young teenager, he coaxed his friends into starting a band to play funk at local venues. He grew to play multiple roles: arranging, producing and performing. He attacked each task with his trademark gusto. Along the way, he had a number of hits in Europe with the soulful “Les choses de la vie” and “Amore” which did particularly well on French, Dutch and German radios as well as “Vienna Calling“.
The first time Ben Schwag was in a studio for a professional recording it was with Doug Shawe, Mike Kouzzi and David Shelley (check them on Google). He later produced and/or wrote with Johnny Guitar Watson, Curtis Mayfield, Rufus Thomas and his daughter Carla as well as George Williams of The Tymes.
To further his producing skills and activities in movie-making, he earned PhDs in both sound engineering and cinematography.
Over the years, he accumulated tracks with a number of soul greats that were never released for a variety of reasons. “Some of these recordings are invaluable,” says Schwag, “They are often the last known recordings. So we’ve given ourselves a mission to get them out before time – or a fire like the one that destroyed so many Universal masters in 2008 – means we lose them forever.”
Ben currently works from Europe, where he is restoring and re-mixing his large back catalogue, as well as coaching sound professionals in Europe and Tunisia. “It’s great to be able to connect a newer generation with the skills of the previous,” he says.