Hey everyone, welcome back to another edition of Tipsy Tree Thursdays, here on Music You Need. This week I’m featuring Ben Hayes, a London-based electronic musician, bassist and producer. He has been working with music and playing piano since he was 7, (he’s currently 21) and has been producing on and off since then. He’s performed Jazz as well. He’s been DJing since age 17 as well using anything from a custom controller running Ableton to turntables and a mixer.
Ben has released a brand new EP this week titled Ben Hayes EP, released on Quite Alright Records. It’s a down tempo electronic music EP that has three tracks. I’m excited to share them with you today. It’s going to give you chills and a unique, powerful experience, so turn up your speakers and let’s go on a ride.
Up first is the track that originally turned me onto Ben’s work, “Colours.” This song has amazing vocals by Naomi Banks. Naomi is a 20-year-old classically trained Jazz musician and enthusiast. She’s also based in London and studying music professionally there. I think she sounds like Amy Winehouse, but with some actual passion behind her voice. The vocals are clever and well structured. The music production is top-notch by filling the frequencies with blissful and pleasant sounds that support Naomi’s headlining. When I asked Ben about what he learned while making this, he replied:
“This is a great question. I absolutely learned a lot when producing this track and the whole EP. I won’t bore you with the technical skills it taught me, though I did discover a lot of new techniques when making it. What I will talk about is the beauty of collaboration in producing electronic music. See, normally it is a solitary process – almost painfully so. And whilst I absolutely love the ability to freely create and manipulate something to my preferences and whims, it can get beyond frustrating. The lack of human interaction, the lack of friction between slightly conflicting ideas – it’s very easy to stagnate or lose the ability to make a decision. When you’ve heard the same half a second of music one hundred times in a row whilst you try to equalize a sample or decide on the length of a note, it starts to lose its magic and it becomes near impossible to engage with on a musical level. And that’s why having someone else’s musical contribution there in front of me is so great – I have a never-ending source of inspiration to suck me back into that sense of wonder and musical flow that keeps me doing what I do. It could be as vague as the overall sound of a given take, or as specific as the way her vibrato subtly slows down on the tail of a single note. Whatever it is, dealing with somebody else’s creative decisions makes it so much easier to make your own. ~Ben Hayes May 8th 2013“
Ben tells us how much a collaboration can free and inspire the mind and it really shows. I can see this track as a major single, share it with your friends and download it for free below!
The next song on the EP is “Island.” It’s another vocal track that really showcases how a minimal amount of key vocals and components can really transform a production. It’s beauty in its purest, simplest form. I absolutely love the transition into the crescendo of the track. It has some amazing synth work with delicate vocals draped on top. Fantastic track, one of the best tracks I’ve heard in months. You must download and enjoy “Island.”
Ben gets to showcase his instrumental skills on the last track off his EP. He does this by creating a melody that progresses through different emotions throughout the four and half-minute track. I feel like this is almost a headphone track. It’s so powerful and I’d hate to miss out on the details. What an emotional roller coaster “Things Left Unsaid” is. The breakdown in the middle prepares your mind for the final ascension. Great track, download it below!
As a bonus, here’s one of Ben’s older tracks, “Nothing Means Anything.” It’s a down tempo track that progresses into the pit of madness. I hope I left you wanting more, grab his work below and listen to your heart’s content!
Ben is now working on some remixes for other artists including London’s Southpaw. After that, another EP that is cloaked in shadows for now.
Guys, seriously, Ben Hayes is amazing and I can’t wait to see where he goes this year. Give him some love at the links below (how does he only have 161 followers on soundcloud!)
Connect with Ben Hayes