Bennie Pearce: A Producer Dedicated to Making “Classics”
by Devyn Imholt
Bennie Pearce is a musician, producer, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, and head of Phillie-BOP Productions. Bennie grew up in Philadelphia where he had an affinity for music from a very young age. Bennie has partnered with recording artist Rina Chanel to create a unique sonic blend of smooth R&B, jazz, and blues. I had the pleasure of speaking with Bennie about his come-up, his goals with Phillie-BOP, and his future with Rina.
Bennie was around music his entire life, causing him to gravitate towards it naturally. One summer, he locked himself in his room with music theory books and a bass guitar, determined to teach himself how to play. Eventually, by the end of the summer, Bennie had successfully taught himself how to play. Shortly after, he began to receive offers to play gigs in the local area. Even in Philadelphia, a city Bennie compared to “playing at the Apollo,” where “you have to be on your Ps and Qs,” Bennie was embraced for his talent at such a young age. By the time he was fifteen he was playing the bass guitar professionally. Aside from being incredibly talented for his age, Bennie was also remarkably flexible, being able to perform gigs across various musical genres.
After leaving Philly, Bennie went on to spend twenty-four years in the Navy, as well as receiving degrees in Public Administration and Business Management. As busy as he was, music was always first. He always kept instruments with him and continued to play gigs even during his time in the Navy. After his time in the military, Bennie began to formulate a plan for his own business. He wanted to become a producer, and he wanted to create a space where he could freely write and produce with artists he liked. This culminated in the creation of his production company, Phillie-BOP Productions.
Phillie-BOP’s name was dual purpose, being a reference to a Philadelphia dance, the “Philly-BOP,” as well as BOP representing Bennie’s initials. Rather than jump right in after formulating this business concept, Bennie took his time to study the business aspects of the music industry. He attended numerous musical conferences and took songwriting classes in order to improve his writing skills. He began building a production house while continuing to look for an artist. Eventually, Bennie found exactly what he was looking for in Rina Chanel.
Bennie describes his musical relationship with Rina as “yin and yang,” telling me that their connection was evident from the first time they ever worked together. Rina’s smooth voice perfectly fits the elegant production that Bennie creates to surround it. Bennie also emphasized that they work together throughout the entire process, from writing the music and lyrics, to producing and recording the songs. In 2020, Phillie-BOP went live for the first time, releasing “Worthy,” and “Made,” singles by Rina and Bennie. This was followed up with the 2021 releases “More Than Enough” and “Sweetest of Melody.”
The singles ended up being widely successful, topping charts and bringing buzz to the Phillie-BOP brand. Their partnership continued even past the series of singles they created. They ended up re-engaging their collaboration to create a five-song EP to be released this summer. The EP, entitled “Rina,” is set to be a more in-depth look into Rina as an artist and person, providing a more introspective look into who Rina Chanel is.
With Rina and Bennie’s unique partnership, Phillie-BOP is looking to extend itself from a production company into an independent label. Originally, Bennie had planned to establish and operate under a separate label name, but after the success that Rina’s singles have been met with, Bennie decided to keep the name under Phillie-BOP. The label looks to specialize in R&B, Acoustic/Soul, Singer-Songwriter, Instrumental Jazz, and Pop artists, genres that Bennie himself has an affinity for.
As Bennie looks toward the future, his primary goal is to push the music. He is confident in his alliance with Rina, as he sees a superstar in the making. Aside from his partnership with Rina, Bennie is excited to move forward with Phillie-BOP as he looks for new artists to sign. His professional demeanor, talent, and care are evident in the music he produces. Bennie is someone who is patient. He is willing to take his time in order to perfect his craft. Bennie isn’t looking for short-term success, as he explained to me, his priority is making music that can be called “classic.” Bennie wants Phillie-BOP music to sound just as good in ten years as the day it was created.