Reflecting on a life in music, Jason Bentley is still listening carefully, with a youthful anticipation of that next brilliant sound.
"I have always been fascinated by the power of music, from translating the most intimate moment to commanding the masses, it's a profound connection between us all. It's with respect for that connection that I approach my work every day."
For Bentley, that work includes serving as Music Director of KCRW and host of their signature program Morning Becomes Eclectic, as well as a distinguished career as a music supervisor for film and advertising, and a busy DJ schedule from festivals to bohemian loft parties. He's a tireless champion of new music and culture with an influence close to home and around the globe.
"I think being passionate about music and culture is fundamentally what enables me to be successful. I'm driven to share that excitement, whether it's DJ'ing at an art exhibit, working on a film project, or broadcasting from the radio station every day. It gives me a real sense of purpose."
That purpose has taken shape growing up at KCRW, beginning as a phone volunteer the summer after high school, scoring a nighttime air shift in 1992 with Metropolis running for 16 years, and ultimately being promoted to music director of the station.
Jason is no stranger to the business side of music, having worked in A&R at Maverick and Island Records, music supervising the Matrix trilogy, TRON Legacy with Daft Punk, and consulting for advertising, video games and live events.
"As a natural extension of DJ'ing, music supervision allows me to apply my ideas to different formats. The reward is in seeing things develop and flourish in the mainstream."
Bentley's DJ itinerary is as busy as ever, with recent sets at Coachella, SXSW, the Dorothy Chandler, as well as underground dance clubs and industry events.
"I like to stay in touch with the artistry of live DJ'ing along with everything else. It's such a creative wellspring for me."
While acting as the music director of the station where he had grown up – literally and figuratively – is a challenging task, Bentley is devoted to leading KCRW's team of talented DJ's into a new era.