Q&A with noteworthy 90’s house music inspired DJ Ben Hemsley
Launching renowned DJ Lee Foss’s imprint South Of Saturn with EP NE29 in 2019, rising house producer Ben Hemsley has seen a wave of support from industry heavyweights(Calvin Harris, Patrick Topping).
His 2020 hit ‘Blind’ picked up traction in recent months with regular support from Pete Tong’s Radio 1 show. Ben’s latest offering, ‘Through 2 You’ is a wave of 90’s rave nostalgia, and is sure to make any dancefloor wake up within seconds.
We chatted with this noteworthy talent – Ben Hemsley below.
What’s your “secret sauce?” What makes your sound stand out?
Hmm, that’s pretty hard to answer. Since I began making music I think I’ve always known how important it is to be unique, so I always make my tracks sound new and fresh, and exciting. What I’ve released so far has just been me having fun and messing around in the studio or just trying to make a weird club banger! But recently the stuff I have made does have some “secret sauce” … I can’t explain it, but I’m sure you’ll hear this new sound come the second half of the year!
What made you decide to pursue a musical career?
My mother. She always played dance music around the house. Then my brother showed me a video of Tiesto when I was 14, and I decided I wanted to be a DJ.
Pros and cons of the industry from your perspective?
I can think of a lot of pros! I get to do what I love for a living. Creating music, and playing it is amazing! Travelling, meeting new people. I love it all! Maybe the only con is I forget to reply to my friends quite often now. Everything I do on my phone is to do with music, emails, talking to my manager or agent, etc. And sometimes I just forget cause I’m quite busy. And it makes me feel worse at the minute cause I can’t make up for lack of contact by going for a pint with them!
Please list some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:
Honestly not many dance music albums have inspired me! The early compilation CD’s my mam used to play in the car did. Ministry Of Sound Annuals, Classic Trance Nation, Mash Up Euphoria. Mainly trance compilations.
However, Tiësto – Magikal Journey was referenced a lot when I began producing.
What key pieces of gear/software do you use to define your sound?
I’m absolutely hammering the Moog One at the minute. It’s an unreal piece of kit. The Virus TI for those trancey 90s sounds. A sub 37 and mother 32. That’s it for hardware.
I use so much software and it’s different every track, so I don’t think it does define my sound.
Vinyl or CD?
CD, I’m lazy and sold my turntables years ago haha!
Tell us about your upcoming releases or projects?
I think I’ve developed my sound in recent months, and I’m excited to go down this new route. It feels really special to me, so I hope it is to others as well. It’s really exciting for me because it allows me more freedom to do what I want with my sound. It’s more melodic, a bit trancey and euphoric, and sometimes very heavy! I’m working with songwriters and vocalists too. Because I can’t write lyrics at all and I 100000% can’t sing haha! It’s also great because I get to move away from spending hours having to look for a vocal sample or acapella that will fit over a tune.