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Wednesday 21st, November 2007
B.E.N. Interview

If you are not familiar with the name B.E.N. yet then trust me, this boys gonna be big in 2008. Markus Schulz tipped him as his artist to breakthrough next year in his DJ Mag interview and he has an amazing mentor in John 00 Fleming. Hes had tracks released on some of the biggest trance labels going whilst running two imprints of his own and played all over the world and hes only just turned 20. Find out a bit more about the talent behind the letters here

Hi B.E.N. how are things with you right now?

Not bad thanks mate ... you caught me with my eyes glued to the Mac screen as usual!

We have to touch on this point first Markus Schulz named you, along with Mr. Pit, as his tip to breakthrough in 2008 in his DJ Mag interview. How much of an honour was that?

This is a big honour for me personally, lately it's been all the big named DJ's talking about my productions but then when one of those big names turns around and comments on me as a DJ then that's something else in my eyes. Being a DJ has always been (and always will be) my number one priority and a boost like this from such a long-standing established name is just unbelievable!

What are your own opinions of the various DJ Polls, DJ Lists, Trance Awards etc. Do you consider them important in your own career?

There's mixed opinions across the board from every individual and I'm no different. I see everything as having two sides, one good and one bad and that applies 101% to these polls and voting contests. For me personally it's never going to be my number one priority to enter the top 100 DJ's or win a certain trance award but if I got placed up there amongst the rest then at the end of the day it's certainly going to give me a major boost... DJ gets more gigs, more gigs equals playing more of the music you love to more of the people that love it... simple, now that can't be a bad thing can it?

You were born in 1987 in Halifax, UK (not really a trance hotspot) yet in a short space of time you have found yourself with releases on such huge and diverse trance labels as Armada, Coldharbour, J00F and Banshee Worx as well as running two labels of your own. What do you attribute to your rapid success?

Hard work and lot's of it! I've had to sacrifice so much to get where I am today and if it means sitting at the computer networking and getting things done for a whole 12 hours then so be it... it's working for me so I'm happy. You've got to know the right people and be 101% dedicated to what you do. The support of various name such as John 00 Fleming, Markus Schulz, Armin & Tisto have been a huge part of me driving forward with what I do and also my family, especially my dad, I think if it wasn't for him then I wouldn't be half the person I am today.

What tunes and DJs first turned you onto trance?

I've got to say, Rank 1 - Airwave got me hooked immediately... super tune! DJs that I grew really fond of in the early days were the likes of Tisto and Ferry Corsten. Although I must admit when I got my first set of decks I had a collection of vinyl ranging from House to Trance and even some Breaks and Drum 'n' Bass. I guess Trance just captured me and everything just went from there upwards.

What were your first breaks in the trance scene?

I think my first real breakthrough in the scene was the release of my first solo effort "Raised". Backed up with a remix from my good friend The Digital Blonde that got the eyes and ears locked onto not only my music but for me to be taken seriously as a person as well. Remixing for John 00 Fleming on his JOOF label was also an early breakthrough that got me some 'well earned' attention.

You held your first DJ residency at the age of 14. How did you get that and did you experience any problems because of your age?

I had my own nights going at a local club in Halifax and was putting out monthly five and six hour sets, from there on the club manager let me play every Friday and even though the club was primarily House music orientated I still managed to worm my way through to play out some good old Trance!

Youre the resident DJ for John 00 Flemings J00F Recordings have you learnt much from the mighty J00F?

John has been my key ally in this industry. I sent him a demo DJ mix and a few of my really early productions, he immediately got back to me and liked what I was doing and from thereon he's always been there to guide me along the right path. As well as a great mentor he's also a good friend, a really down to earth guy.

What advice can you give to other young producers trying to make it in DJing and production?

Three pointers basically... stick at it, try to be different and work like there's no tomorrow or else you'll get left behind amongst the many others worldwide who are trying to do the exact same thing as you.

Youve already played gigs all over the world where have been your favourite places to play?

There's been so many great clubs and event's Ive played in so many really amazing countries that it's hard to choose one that really stands out for me. I guess Vancouver (Canada) was a great city to play in, also Sweden is a cool country too... although it was absolutely freezing the last time i was there!

How would you describe the B.E.N. sound?

My sound has changed so much over the last seven years both as a DJ and a producer. As a DJ my style there consists of pumping Euphoric Trance with lashings of Psychedelic and Techno-minded input and edgings of minimalistic Electro tipped beats with varied use of the mixer and on/outboard effects added to top things off! Where-as as a producer my style consists of material that stays true to Trance but has generic input from all styles of music whether it be House, Psychedelic or Classical ... anything goes as long as it rocks a dancefloor!

What have you got coming up release-wise, both in your own productions and for your labels Total Digital and Mainframe?

I think it's going to be easier if I just list some of my 'bigger' upcoming productions or-else I'm going to be here all day!

The Fearless - San Salvador (B.E.N. vs. Mr. Pit Remix) Captivate / Fektive - December 2007
B.E.N. vs. Mr. Pit - Superstition / More Manners Please Coldharbour / Armada - January 2008 (TBC)
B.E.N. vs. Mr. Pit - Meteorical Label TBC - 2008 B.E.N. feat. Elsa Hill - Untitled Label TBC - 2008
B.E.N. feat. Richard Bedford - Untitled Label TBC - 2008
Digital Nature & B.E.N. pres. Multilingual - Untitled Label TBC - 2008 Markus Schulz - Trinidad To Miami (B.E.N. vs. Mr. Pit Remix) Coldharbour / Armada - 2008

What have you got coming up gig-wise?

Gig-wise Ive just joined a new management company; Vibe Management, which is ran by 4 Strings so I'm waiting on receiving news from them about where I'm heading next. There's a proposed mini-tour of Canada to take place towards the end of Jan / start of February and also March will be seeing me head 'down-under' for a tour of Australia which I'm looking forward to, we're just in the process of taking bookings for that one actually so if anyone's interested then head over to the contact page of my website www.ben.dj

If you had to pick one thing, what would you choose, DJing or production? DJing ... 101% its the best thing ever! What do you think of the current trance scene, especially in the UK?

The current Trance scene is starting to get back up onto its feet after a bit of a bad run over the last couple of years. I think in another two years time there will be a lot more going for Trance, especially in the UK, it's on its way up there so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Apart from yourself, who do you tip to make the breakthrough in 2008?

Jimmy Vallance & The Digital Over from Canada are 2 really cool DJ's and very good friends of mine. Also they're quite a dab-hand on the production side of things too... so good that while I was out in Canada in July I managed to get some free time to get in the studio with them... working on a track that is to this date is still unfinished!

Youve already achieved so much at a young age (younger than me dammit!) so whats next for B.E.N.?

To continue with the DJing and get as many gigs as possible into my schedule. As well as that just enhancing everything I do and working to become the best I can be!

Many thanks for your time and best of luck for the future!

Thank you! happy

www.ben.dj - www.myspace.com/benworldwide www.vibe-management.com (Europe) - www.icon-management.se (Rest Of World)

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