Repopulate Mars founder Lee Foss has teamed up with upcoming house DJ, Ben Hemsley ahead of the launch of a new label, South of Saturn. The launch will come with two-track releases from Ben, the first being on Friday the 13th of September, titled ‘NE29’. The second track will be ‘The Brig’ – release date to be announced.
Hemsley himself is a young 22-year-old DJ from Newcastle who, despite his age, has been making waves in the House scene. Creating music since he was 12, we see a rare talent for picking up a tune that will appeal to the masses with his most recent original track, ‘Caress Me’ receiving 202k plays on Soundcloud as well as a successful remix by acclaimed DJ Latmun, all within three months of the first release.
Tell us about your earliest musical memory?
The first time I remember being hooked on a song was probably when I got my first mobile phone when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It had this weird Nokia cover of that Christmas tune by East 17, “Stay Another Day” haha. Still a guilty pleasure! The first time I actually made music was on a mobile phone too, it was an app called “Music DJ” on Sony Ericsson!
At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create?”
My brother showing me videos of dance events on his phone, I already loved dance music but when I was around 14 and he showed me that, I started saving for my first pair of decks.
What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?
Just a good computer and decent monitors! I do have the hardware, for example, the Moog One and a sub 37 being the most used however, I think I could still manage without them as I did for 6 years.
What inspires you outside of music? What do you turn to when the creative well runs a little low?
Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Anything Synth Pop.
What is your opinion on the ever-spreading sub-genre vine? Are there too many? Do you think there’ s perhaps a sub-genre that doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
I don’t really care for genres, its all just music to me!
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?
My favourite club in the world is Amnesia Ibiza so to play there would be unreal!
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
People need to stop being so snobby. It’s all music, and people are allowed an opinion. I know people who can genuinely make an opinion on someone’s personality just by the music they like. For example, if they don’t like music that’s as “underground” as their opinion they will dislike them or at least not want to associate them. Bearing in mind these are the same people claiming electronic music unites us and brings us together and is about being free.
Any new or upcoming artists on your radar? Who shouldn’t the world sleep on?
Sosa – If you haven’t heard of this kid go and check his Instagram! He’s not got loads on Spotify yet, his Soundcloud has more. But the releases are coming! He’s getting some proper support of the heavyweights in the scene, Camelphat, Solardo, Patrick Topping to name a few. I actually went round to his studio when I played in Liverpool a little while back and hopefully, we’re making something together.
Sorley – Another one getting loads of the support at the minute. He’s absolutely class, a mint DJ too! I think I’ve played every tune he’s sent me. I buzz of artists like this when they bring something fresh which is super hard in such a saturated market but he’s nailed it. From what he’s shared with me as well he also has a few releases coming soon that you will definitely hear on the dance floors! He’s pretty local to me too which makes me buzzing.
Smyth – A bit heavier than the previous two, Smyth has been sending me tunes since I met him through a mutual friend last year, and bloody hell they’re wicked! He’s also nailed getting his sound, its so fresh! Ive never heard music like it!
He’s got support recently from Alan Fitzpatrick and Patrick Topping, he’s actually going to be releasing on Patrick’s new label Trick soon too!
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Just more music really! I am getting some pretty exciting gigs now too that should be announced soon.
Famous last words?
I’ll be home soon.