Benjamin Bronfman

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Benjamin Bronfman
Born Benjamin Zachary Bronfman
(1982-08-06) August 6, 1982 (age 34)
New York City
Nationality American
Other names Ben Brewer, BZB
Children Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman (with MIA)
Parent(s) Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Sherry Brewer
Relatives Samuel Bronfman (great-grandfather)
Edgar Miles Bronfman (grandfather)
Vanessa (sister)
Hannah Bronfman (sister)

Benjamin Zachary Bronfman (born August 6, 1982) is an American environmentalist, entrepreneur and musician. As of 2014, Bronfman is a strategic advisor and principal investor with Algae Systems and an associate managing director at Global Thermostat, two "green" firms. He was a member of rock band The Exit (going by the name Ben Brewer) and he is currently a member of the music collective Teachers and co-founder of the Green Owl record label. He is the second-eldest child of actress Sherry Brewer and Edgar Bronfman Jr. the former CEO of Warner Music Group.

With musician and activist Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, better known under the stage name M.I.A., Bronfman has a son named Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, who was born on February 11, 2009.

Early life[edit]

Bronfman was born in New York City, and then lived in London briefly, during his father's tenure as managing director of Seagram Distilleries Europe. The family returned in 1984, once his father became President of Seagram's U.S. marketing division. His mother is African-American and his father is Jewish American.[1][2] He's a member of the Lehman family via his paternal grandmother, Ann Loeb Bronfman.[3]

Bronfman attended The Collegiate School in New York City, graduating in 2000. He enrolled in Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied Politics and Law before dropping out.

Environment and technology[edit]

Bronfman became interested in progressive environmental technologies & geo-engineering in 2007. Teaming with Columbia University economist Graciela Chichilinsky he embarked on a project to reduce the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. In 2007, he became associate managing director of Global Thermostat, Chichilinsky and fellow Columbia Professor, Peter Eisenberger's technology firm focused on developing a technology for direct air-capture of carbon dioxide.[4] The firm recently[when?] completed construction of its first pilot plant at The Stanford Research Institute.[5] He was integral in convincing his father to invest in the firm, and thus the subsequent appointment of Edgar Bronfman Jr. as chairman. In 2010, Benjamin Bronfman was named Strategic Advisor of Global Thermostat. On November 13, 2010, Bronfman presented Global Thermostat's vision and process as a speaker at the TED Brooklyn Conference at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.[6]

In 2010, Bronfman also became a principal investor and advisor at Algae Systems, LLC,[7] a third-generation bio-fuel company founded by Matthew Atwood that takes waste water from cities (using CO2 captured by GT) and generates jet fuel and diesel.


Bronfman performing with The Exit in 2004

Bronfman was guitarist for The Exit, an indie/punk/reggae rock band he started with Gunnar Olsen and Jeff DaRosa in 2000, while he attended Emerson College. During this time period, he went by Ben Brewer, using his mother's maiden name to avoid unnecessary associations between the band and his father. In 2007, shortly after the official announcement of The Exit's breakup, Bronfman founded Green Owl, an independent record label distributed by Warner Music Group, created to be the first environmentally conscious sustainable record label and apparel line.[8][not in citation given]

In 2010, he started a music collective known as Teachers (sometimes stylized T∑∆CH∑RS) with Grey McMurray, Steve Borth, Matt Kranz, and Scottie Redix. The first single, "Gold", debuted on the website of the music editorial, The Fader, on July 12, 2010.[9] Bronfman and Teachers worked with Kanye West and contributed to his single "Monster" featuring Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and Bon Iver.

In 2013, Teachers co-produced New Slaves, the first single out of Kanye's Yeezus album, earning Bronfman his first Grammy nomination.

Personal life[edit]

Bronfman met British recording artist, songwriter, painter and director M.I.A. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They became engaged and M.I.A gave birth to their son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, on February 13, 2009.[4] In February 2012, it was announced that she and Bronfman had separated.[10][11]

Bronfman has two sisters, Hannah and Vanessa.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ogunnaike, Lola (15 July 2011). "EBONY: Meet The Black Bronfmans". Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Seagram chairman admits he never approved of son's marriage to a Black woman", Jet, 23 March 1998.
  3. ^ "Ann L. Bronfman: Obituary". The New York Times. April 10, 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Pompeo, Joe. "The Bed-Stuy Bronfman", The New York Observer, 24 November 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  5. ^ Gunther, Marc. "Can a 'Global Thermostat' Turn Climate Change Around?",, 23 December 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  6. ^ Jovanovic, Rozalia. TEDx Brooklyn: Elitism worth spreading",, 25 November 2010. Archived January 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Kanellos, Michael (22 June 2010). "Sewage-to-Algae Unites Whiskey Fortune, Dead Lyricist, GreenFuel, and NASA". Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Green Beat: The First Eco-friendly Record Label". Vanity Fair. 8 April 2008. Archived from the original on November 30, 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Macia, Peter. "Teachers, 'Gold' MP3 + Teaser Video", The Fader, 12 July 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  10. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (8 February 2012). "M.I.A. splits from her long-term fiancé Benjamin Bronfman after 'living a separate life' from him". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  11. ^ SF Gate: "M.I.A. goes public with child custody battle" March 13, 2013

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