The first block-release collection from Somna (real name Benjamin Leung), the DJ, producer & AVA Recordings co-owner has been one long sought by fans.
Throughout his production lifetime, Somna’s always been in his element when working in synergy with singers and songwriters. That ‘beside you’ connection that can bring voice, message and extra dimensions to his studio creations. That dynamic’s reached a new apex through his debut album that – almost without exception – is built around the producer/singer simpatico.
In pursuit of it, Ben’s tapped the talents of many remarkable songstresses. Some he’s worked with previously whereas others mark first time artist/singer unions. There are those who Ben is essentially introducing to the electronic music scene, while others will already be known-names to the ‘Beside You’ audience.
Their single common denominator, however, is the ability to articulate Ben’s music into words and vocalize his innermost. Amongst the album’s co-production coterie you’ll find the inimitable likes of HALIENE, Jennifer Rene and Roxanne Emery – singers whose renown is already foundation deep in dance music. Newer-to-most names that Ben’s engaged for the album include gifted local talent like (fellow Canadians) Noire Lee and Emoiryah, and from those from further afield, including Sally Oh and BLÜ EYES.
While Trance runs true through ‘Beside You’s veins, stylistically it explores the genre to its furthest reaches. If the album had one hashtag above all others, it would be #contrast. Through the likes of Rebels, White Noise, HALIENE collab Secret and Constant Fire, high altitude uplifters arrive thick & fast.
Offering a sharp distinction are those of a more melancholic beauty, not least the album’s title track and its former single Long Way Down. Equally there’s also more pumping floor-minded fare – Morse Code, Stars Collide and the LTN-paired Dreamcatcher to pinpoint just three.
On occasion the album also becomes simply more Trance channelling, with cooler, more downtempo creations like More, The First Year and Moon & Back adding context.
Of his motivations to write his first long-player, Ben commented: “Beside You are two simple words that speak volumes. When I set out to write this, I really wanted to capture the emotions and feelings that encompass trance music to me – the warmth of that beautiful melody at the right time. Transporting us to a moment in our lives where you can remember every little detail, the feelings, location and even the sights and smells. I remember, having moved across the world from Canada to the UK, traveling on the train between Bournemouth and Manchester on my own and feeling very alone. I would listen to a certain Oceanlab song and in that moment, everything would melt away and I felt peaceful. My sincere wish is that this album can be like a light in your darkest times and a constant companion that is always beside you.“
Beside You Tracklist:
01. The Journey
02. Beside You (with Noire Lee)
03. More (with BLÜ EYES)
04. Dreamcatcher (with LTN)
05. Morse Code (with Michele C)
06. Stars Collide (with Jennifer Rene)
07. The First Year (with Cari)
09. Rebels (with Emoiryah)
10. Moon & Back (with Aloma Steele)
11. Secret (with HALIENE)
12. White Noise (with Sally Oh)
13. Constant Fire (with Melissa Loretta)
14. Long Way Down (with ENZO & Roxanne Emery)
Somna – Beside You (Magik Muzik / Black Hole Recordings) is available now.