Born and raised in San Jose, DJ Benofficial has been a mainstay on the local DJ scene for over a decade. These days he can be found keeping crowds energized at San Jose Bar and Grill.

Name: Benjamin Custodia  aka DJ Benofficial

Occupation: DJ

How long have you lived/worked in San Jose?

I’ve been in San Jose pretty much all my life, and I’ve been working as a DJ since 2005. I grew up on the West Side of San Jose

At what point did you decide to stay in San Jose and pursue your career?

I stayed because of the people I felt I needed to work with, and accomplish our goals. I do plan on branching out, but I am still in the middle of accomplishing some goals here with the team I am working with at this moment. We are still strengthening our presence out here in San Jose with our music. San Jose will always be my home, but not my final destination.

Where is your favorite place to DJ at in San Jose and why?

I’m going to say San Jose Bar and Grill. At the moments it’s one of my better nights and I have a better crowed there, and a lot of energy. My goal is to bring out energy whether it is 10 people or a 1,ooo people.

If you could change one thing about San Jose, what would it be?

I want more venues, platforms and more access for the people to be part of the music scene. I feel like there aren’t many platforms out here, and there isn’t a middle ground for performing artist. I’m not just talking about DJ’s. When it comes to music, in general—to emcees, singers and producers and what not—it’s pretty much bars, clubs and the arena. There isn’t a middle spot for us. I want for our night life to reflect how exciting and advanced our technology is.

Why the Live Drummer at The Brit DTSJ?

I use to have a drummer, and I don’t do that anymore. Actually someone initiated it, and a friend of mine was the one who initiated it couple years before. We just started working together with the drummer, and it’s a lot of fun creating on the fly. It was another outlet for our creative energies.

What do you like to do when you’re not spinning?

I like to produce music and work on music—that’s all I do.

When did you realize you wanted to be a DJ?

When I found out that I can accomplish most of my goals in life if I just focus. I have goals of working with people I respect, helping people, and being able to travel and I can accomplish all these things if I focus on music. As a creative person this is what I want to do.

What is the hottest jam these days?

At the moment the song is “Hotline Bling.” It always depends because right now it can be this song and in couple weeks it can be something else.

Who is the most interesting person you know in San Jose?

There’s a lot—too many people to mention. The people that stick out to me are: Loco from the SickHeadz, Kenny May from FunkLab Prod & Mighty Zulu Kings (Zulu Nation), Dem One, DJ Vex, DJ Traps, and DJ Quantum. I view them as talented and well-rounded people that have helped me in my pursuit of music. These people are key because they continue to help people grow.

What is the best advice you can give someone from San Jose who is trying to pursue DJing as a career?

You need to work hard, believe in yourself and have a great team behind you. Put all your effort into it. The more you put into it, the more it gives back. Also, create a catalog—whether it’s mixes, edits, or music that you produce. The more that you create the more likely are your chances of success.

What did you learn working at 90.5 KSJS and what elements of that experience do you incorporate into your work today?

Definitely a lot of the on-mic skills. Just being comfortable on the microphone and talking to a large audience—for sure that helps. Also for networking and getting styles of music out that didn’t have a platform at the clubs.