Ben Hemsley on Patrick Topping's Mentorship

Jonah Flint

3 min read

Ben Hemsley on Patrick Topping's Mentorship

If you asked the average dance music fan to name a DJ from North Shields, they would likely stare and ask what you’re talking about. Despite that, this small town in the northern region of the UK has become a hotspot for electronic music. Paving the way is the legendary Patrick Topping. In his stead, many young artists from the region have decided to pursue DJing; one, in particular, has been a stand-out.

While he started his journey with housier offerings, Ben Hemsley was initially inspired by the sounds of Ibiza in the late 90s and early 2000s and is now helping usher in a new era of classic trance.

“During my sets I want to channel every emotion with the crowd. My music is euphoric but I don’t just want everyone’s hands to be in the air the whole time. I want to see their faces go crazy especially when I play the harder stuff. I wasn’t really sticking to a genre but now I’m trying to hone in more on the harder, faster type of music.”

Growing up in North Shields, he discovered electronic music through his mom, a woman who still significantly influences his life. She played electronic music constantly in the house during his childhood, with a major focus on trance music. At around the age of 14, Ben began DJing. It took him nearly a decade to find his footing, spending his formative years making “so much bad music” and figuring out what genre he wanted to pursue. After spending a summer season in Ibiza in the late 2010s, Ben finally understood the sounds he wanted to dive into, and his career quickly took off.

“‘Bebe Musica’ is my favorite track that I put out, it’s more trance. During lockdown, I got bored of tech house and just wanted to start making what I feel passionate about. Late 90s early 2000s Ibiza sound is what I want to start focusing on.”

Just a year before “Bebe Musica,” Ben had a chance meeting with Patrick Topping. His brother knew Patrick, and they connected at a birthday party at a bowling alley. Patrick had heard that Ben made music and invited him back to his house to play some tracks. Luckily for Ben, Patrick took to his music.

“He liked them and started putting them in his sets and then eventually asked for an EP to release on the label [Trick]... He was the first DJ to really support me, and he’s been a mentor my whole career. The fact that we’re from the same town and I’m on his label now is just incredible to me.”

For Ben, success seems to follow him everywhere. His first official release, “Caress Me,” received immediate support from the likes of Solardo and Latmun. It also caught the eye of Calvin Harris, who eventually invited Ben out to a show in the states, and has since begun supporting Ben’s releases.

The future is bright for this young star out of the UK. His favorite BPM to play at is 135, and he is now at the forefront of a new wave of high-energy, uptempo electronic music that is taking the UK scene by storm.

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