What I’m Listening To is a series where we talk to exciting artists, musicians, and community members and get a five-song slice of their current playlist.

“As I continue my journey in life and exploring my own self, it’s with the music I find along the way.”

Benjamin Bradley. Image courtesy of the subject.

Since the days of dancing in his high chair, Benjamin Bradley has loved music. “My parents joked when I was a kid that I was a slave to the beat,” says Bradley, co-founder of MilesBradley, founder of Midtown Adventures, former Army Sergeant Medic, and this month’s WILT playlist curator. I would always find beats and rhythms in everything to dance to.”

Though Bradley played drums and guitar as a kid and did a few gigs at bars around Sacramento, he was “never really dedicated enough to start with a band. I know enough to get through a song by the campfire though,” he says with a laugh. But while he has turned his focus to more business and community focused practices, music is still important to him. “As I continue my journey in life and exploring my own self, it’s with the music I find along the way.”

When he grew up, Bradley did a tour with the army where he worked as a Sergeant Medic in the Korean DMZ. After his tour ended in 2007, he returned to his hometown where he founded Midtown Adventures, an underground exploration group in 2011. “Sacramento had a lot more vacant buildings at the time so …I would lead a small group to explore neglected and abandoned buildings in the downtown area – while inside we would go over the history of the building its owners and how it came to be neglected and unused.” Eventually, many of those buildings were demolished and rebuilt, and the group dispersed. “At that time I would definitely say it was, uh not legal, what we were doing [laugh] … but it was really exciting.” Bradley then took all that knowledge he gained and used it to become a tour guide for the city, giving historical tours all over Sacramento.

So how did he go from tour guide to founding a consulting firm? Well, first he joined the California Cannabis Industry Association and spent five years as its Operations Director. While he did that he noticed many of the entrepreneurs he was working could benefit from his skills. He decided to “pass those reins on” in the cannabis industry and focus on consulting for the other entrepreneurs. He and his partner Chelsea Miles started MilesBradley in January of this year to help businesses with “government compliance, strategic development, and financial efficiency.”

Bradley has lofty goals for the company, which he says is “based on a foundation of having integrity with our clients, having a shared success. We’re invested into everyone we work with. And we don’t just decide to work with people, we actually personally believe in them as well and grow with them. That’s the professional side, the other arm that’s established here is actually to prepare a foundation to give back and invest into the community and social justice too.” They are putting together community empowerment events to this end, from block parties to park days to events focused on issues like rent control, housing prices, female empowerment, and the environment.

So what is the multi-faceted Benjamin Bradley listening to?

Talking Heads-‘This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)’-“Not only is it the first love song David Byrne wrote but also I’ve always felt a connection to this as it reminds me of the community around me, kind of a home reference. And it’s also Byrne’s weirdness, he always has this great style that resonates hard with me.”

William Onyeabor-‘Body and Soul (Scientist Remix)’-“Onyeabor has carried a distinctive sound for year[s]… this remix is no less impressive”

De La Soul feat David Byrne-‘Snoopies’-“I love hearing David Byrne’s iconic melodies being featured in this track.”

Chris Joss-‘Rififi Rococo’-“[An] international instrumental funk infusion [track that] sets the tone for [being] at the river.”

Justin Jay-‘Let Go’-“A cool vibes summer song [for] biking through town.”

Starting in January, every Monday MilesBradley will be hosting a morning Dance Party call RiseUP at 6:30-8:00AM, more information TBA. In addition, Bradley will be hosting a Valentine’s Day themed Performance Art Warehouse show on February 9th called Love: Downtown at the Downtown Guild. For more information, click here.

Find out more about MilesBradley here.

Words: Katta Hules.

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