Worldtown Sound System

Hanging Out with Worldtown Sound System

Listening in on Worldtown Sound System’s rehearsals is something else. It’s confounding that eight distinct musicians could set their ego aside and collaborate in a way that blends each of their individual sounds beautifully─ but it’s what Worldtown Sound System does. It takes effort, practice, and no small amount of compromise, but eventually each player and each sound seem to fit together like a puzzle piece.

It was no surprise then that when I spoke to some of the bandmates about how Worldtown Sound System came together, their responses were a dreamy, “It just happened.”

Jonifin Marvin (Vocals)

“Worldtown Sound System is the epitome of artistry. You never know where a project will go with so many like-minded talents focusing their energies on a common goal.”

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“Ben didn't really ask me to be in the band… He asked me to come and rehearse a song that he and I recorded and during that rehearsal, he told me to add something to the other songs that were in our Halloween Party set. After the Halloween show, we were like, 'Yeah... this works... let’s stick to it.'”

“I think my years of experience as a performing artist allow me to be able to work with the others in the band cohesively and constructively. My range goes from sounding like an emcee with the call and response, to singing on the tracks, to providing harmony with our awesome bass player Jay.”

Jay Powerz (Bass)

“We are just babies, but we are like babies on steroids about to take down the giants.”

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“Ben and Femi didn't really approach me directly to join Worldtown Sound System. Ben was coming to Music Church at the Boom Room and through our interactions there we became friends. Ben expressed that he had been collaborating with musicians and would like to work with a live bassist. I explained to him that I had a vision which could work well with the Worldtown Sound System project, so I encouraged him to get together with me and drummer Gary Dann. He was actually resistant to the idea but I pushed because I knew it could work.”

“My bass style brings the funk, dance, disco, rumble to the mix of Worldtown Sound System. I’m still working on developing my sound for Worldtown and there is much more to come. I also bring creative vocals and vocal harmony to the mix. I’ve been working to make sure the songs have hooks and vocal melodies that people can grab on to, not just straight electro beats.”

Ben Arsenal (Producer/Percussion)

“WTSS breathes new life into dance music.”

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“The concept of Worldtown is a natural magnet for people from different places, who have traveled, and who have interest in global culture. I think my bringing the dance music background in production and DJing has definitely fueled the vision of Worldtown Sound System. Based on my reputation doing both, the folks in the band have given me the green light to push the group forward as a dance band.”

“We are looking to wrap up a few singles this summer, solidify and extended festival set and play a few festivals we've been invited to. Next summer we hope to have more traveling opportunities and set up some gigs in NYC and DC.”

Learn about the rest of the band, DJ Oluwafemi, Mateo on piano, Gary on drums, Basskitty on sax, and DJ Paul2Paul, here.

Worldtown Sound System's newly released EP, "We People" can be streamed on SoundCloud.


(Photos and GIFs by Clarissa)

Worldtown Sound System at Rehearsal

As Worldtown looks forward to its 3-year anniversary celebration, we look back at some of the company’s best moments with Ben and Oluwafemi, the two friends and DJs who together founded Worldtown.

Oluwafemi     Ben Arsenal

What were the highlights of Worldtown’s third year?

BEN: Definitely the Halloween party.

OLUWAFEMI: The Halloween party was the most effort we ever put into a party. It was five months of work. It was the first time we had some solid investors and really big partners. Essentially, it was a big ass production.

We also incorporated and became an LLC! It took us two years and afterwards we were finally able to release music as an entity.

Jonifin     Mateo

BEN: Worldtown Sound System coming together was also huge…

How does Worldtown Sound System, Worldtown’s 8-piece live band, fit in?

OLUWAFEMI: Worldtown Sound System coming together was a game changer. Worldtown morphed into something new. The party was the seed, then it grew into a movement. Now we have Worldtown Sound System, which is a band of artists with the same outlook on music. It’s new, fresh, and bangin’.

Jay     Gary

BEN: We’re kicking up the music factor and pushing barriers. We’re separating ourselves from the crowd. Who else has the resources, motivation, and mind-set to do what we’re doing?

What can we expect at the 3-year anniversary party?

OLUWAFEMI: We’re launching our record label, Worldtown Productions! We’ll also have a superbly sounding Worldtown Sound System, a line-up of polished acts, new merchandise, and new designs.

Worldtown Turns 3

BEN: We’re coming out with a more refined presentation. We want to offer everyone a glimpse into the direction we’re headed.

(Photos and GIFs by Clarissa)

Worldtown Sound System Live at the Boom Room

Finally, we can give you all a virtual taste of what it’s like to party with Worldtown. On January 18th, Worldtown Sound System played for a fantastic crowd at the Boom Room. The energy was dynamic and the night intoxicating.

Jonifin Marvin, lead vocalist of Worldtown Sound System, talks us through the night and the making of the video:

What’s it been like editing the music video for Worldtown? It’s been fun because I was there that night and I’m always taken back to how I felt. The moments being featured are high-energy moments: the crowd is smiling, they’re dancing with one another… it’s genuine and it’s attractive. I keep rewinding and seeing how people were enjoying themselves. Just being at the party itself, I was high on that for a week! To see it and relive it makes me look forward to all of our other events that we have coming up.


What does Worldtown Sound System bring to the stage? What’s dope about Worldtown Sound System is that we’re not artists that stick to one particular thing—we like to create and cross several different genres. We all have experience with different skills and we bring that together.

What can we expect from Worldtown Sound System in the future? Moving forward, we’re going to see more elements being added to the show to where it’s not just a musical experience but a visual and interactive one too. When people come to our shows, we want them to be a part of the high energy we're giving off because we want to keep it high energy.

The Making of the Royals Remix

A conversation with DJ and Worldtown Co-founder Ben ArsenalMaking of Royals Why "Royals"? My good friend Isaac Jordan came through my studio to check out acapellas. He suggested I check out this song by a singer named Lorde and it went from there. What inspired the mix? I wanted to make something funky and groovy— that hit hard as a late night beat. What influences are we hearing? Sexy, deep house meets the Worldtown sound, which is always a mix of global, funky rhythms.


Groove to Ben's remix of Royals below: [soundcloud url="" params="color=00cc11&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

(Photos by Clarissa)

Race Street Pier

Worldtown at Race Street Pier!Worldtown Sound System is all set to introduce its debut "mixshake" with an exciting perfomance on Thursday July 18th! The venue? None other than the brand spankingly new and beautiful Race Street Pier right on the Delaware river. Worldtown will be headlining a line-up carefully curated to showcase electronic music in Philly. The mixshake will feature original tracks and edits from Worldtown Productions as well as awesome dance music from around the world.

The event goes from 6pm till 9pm, it's all ages and best of all, free.

See you there!

The Happy Birthday Song by Mateo Jiminez

Screen shot 2013-04-16 at 7.59.19 PMIn preparation for our upcoming festivities, we've decided to show you how fun we are! Check out our video: "The Happy Birthday Song," written by Mateo Jiminez and recorded at Philadelphia's own Elevate Sound Studios.


Worldtown Birthday Song by Mateo Jimenez from Worldtown.

The Blockley

© Nicholas B. MilesThis past Wednesday, Worldtown was very fortunate and honored to join forces for the second time with Balk Beat Box. We were also introduced to the sounds of Delhi to Dublin. We hope you all had a great time and we look forward to seeing you at our two year event taking place Saturday March 30th. While you're marking your calendar, take a look at a few of the photos and relive the good times!

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(Photos by Nick B. Miles)