Hello Vents Magazine, thanks for having me. I’ve been well, in between Deejaying at events, working on technology solutions and in the studio making new music for you guys. I’m having the best time of my career.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Came Here For You”?
Yes, of course. Since I was little boy, one of my dreams was to unite people through music. From starting my music journey as a ringtone composer (yes in those Nokia 3310’s – *laughs*) in high school to now being a DJ/Producer, I’ve been blessed to actually be united to people across the world and I hope my music does the same.
Therefore one of these nights as I was working in the studio, I produced the instrumental in 30 minutes and somehow came an idea to my head of a particular voice I envisioned for this track. I searched for many months and finally when I found Leela Thompson I was grateful that she accepted to collaborate and made the song super special with her powerful vocals.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
*laughs* yes indeed. Because I’m a songwriter as well, I tend to sometimes observe people’s behaviors so that I can put myself in their shoes and emulate the feelings through writing. For this particular song I’ve noticed that when people secretly like each other, they tend to turn up to events just to be next to the person of interest, and they’re just too shy to say ‘I Came Here For you’ 😊. So I decided to put it on a song and allow the music to speak on people’s behalfs and unite them. Playing cupid here (laughs)
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Currently speaking to video directors and hopefully we come up with a good one.
How was the recording and writing process?
I had the idea of ‘I Came Here For You’ as a title of the song, given the scenario imagined. So I approached Leela with the theme and she liked the idea, so we collectively wrote the song. She was super fast, which I liked, so within a couple of days we had the solid idea recorded.
How your upbringing has influence your writing?
I believe that to become a better writer you have to remove the fear of experimenting something new as each experience can provide inspiration. My upbringing has been in multicultural environments, and I think it helped me write better because I grew up in Angola, Cape Town (South Africa) and London (U.K). Each country has strong distinct cultures which I fully embraced growing up and taught me to appreciate the beauty in different sounds and the movements/cultures attached. I have a background in hip-hop/R&B and I’m big Dr. Dre fan, which brought melody, simplicity and strong drums to my house music production (I was also blessed to work with his team in Atlanta). Now using my background I’m taking a fresh perspective on house/dance music and hopefully unite more people.
What role does the UK play in your music?
The UK has always been phenomenal in terms of providing worldwide hits. Lots and lots of talent here! The first song my parents told me I sang when I was a baby was ‘Sacrifice’ by Elton John. This tells a lot about how music in the UK has influenced me.
On another note, the UK has been one of the epicenters of dance music so my exposure while living here has given me the ‘juice’ I needed to complement my influences.
What was it like to work with Leela Thompson and what did she brought up to the table?
Leela is an amazing artist that I had the pleasure to work with. We agreed to co-write the song and she’s super professional and a perfectionist like me.
Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Before I used to think I could do everything and had a big ego, which I noticed was limiting my potential. Now my belief is in collaboration with people; I’d bring to the table my strong assets which are ability to convey emotions through music production and melody while I’ll let somebody else do what they’re also good at. But at the same time I have no ego when making music and I’m very willing to allow somebody else to share any ideas while I drop mines. At the end of the day what I aim for as a DJ/Producer is a good song, not that my ideas were the best and prevailed.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
This single marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life as it’s my first release as a DJ/Producer, as before I used to only write and produce. I’ve been collaborating with many songwriters lately and definitely you’ll hear new music. I’m grateful that my audience is growing and I hope it continues.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Hehehe surprise. Actually I’m running a competition where I’m inviting a lucky winner to come watch me produce my next single in the studio. To participate people post a video on their social media page shuffling to my new single “I Came Here For You” with the hashtag #benpauloicamehereforyou, tag me, follow me on Instagram @iambenpaulo and my team will select the best video so the winner comes to the studio with me and watches me produce my next single. Because I like to shine a light on my supporters, I’ve seen amazing videos so far from many talented shufflers such as @susanitaabonitaa and @ippolito69. The competition is getting tough 😊
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I’m currently in talks with different organizations and promoters and arranging my agenda for shows in the near future, so when the arrangements are done I’ll announce on my pages, so make sure you sign up on www.benpaulo.net to keep up to date.
What else is happening next in Ben Paulo’s world?
In Ben Paulo’s world there are lots of things happening. My plan is to hopefully bring my flavor of House/Dance music DJing to different places such as Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, Glanstonbury, Lollapalooza and many more festivals. I also want to play in Ibiza this summer 2019 so hopefully my music takes me there 😊