Born in Iran in the early 80s and of Assyrian Heritage – Raised and Educated in Europe … Ben & Vincent‘s life and music has been deeply inspired by both Eastern and Western cultures. His mother being an Iranian & Assyrian folk singer has created a deep connection and appreciation of old middle eastern melodies, poems and instruments. Many fascinating personalities, liberal minds that had fled Iran post revolution have been amongst close family friends and manifested a deep interest in many flavors of art.
Musicians, painters and writers have left a profound impression on his thinking as well as his expression through music. In addition to this, growing up in Europe and the access to Jazz but also Electronic music has been a great influence which translates in all of his compositions.
Ben & Vincent compositions range from laid back Jazz & Lounge, deeply Meditative & Spiritual, catchy Organic House & Downtempo all the way to more Uptempo music for the dance floors. While the music is touching on a variety of slightly different genres, storytelling is at the core of every composition. The music combines traditional instrumentation with electronic grooves, the melancholic and the hopeful, the ancient as well as the modern.
How did you get into Music Production and DJ’ing?
I was born in Iran and my mother is an Assyrian and Iranian folk singer. I’ve been listening to music of that region all my life.
When we moved to Europe in the mid 80s I also got exposed to all sorts of music influences here as well that I really connected with. In addition I grew up playing the piano, both classical and jazz, so essentially i have always listened to and played a lot of music.
There has always been a drive to also be creative myself. At some point producing at home in a good quality became easier and more accessible, which sparked my path to music production. That spark has been accompanying me ever since.
As for djing… as a producer, even if DJs around the globe start picking up and playing your tunes, you’re usually not part of those moments yourself. Which is quite tragic to be honest. people might have a wonderful moment listening to one of your tunes at sunset somewhere and you’ll probably never know.
So essentially the best way to see how people react to your music is play it for them yourself I guess.
Could you tell us about the state of the scene of your home town and how it inspires or influences you?
My home town cologne has quite a nice electronic music scene. Most of the events here happen indoor in clubs at night. It therefore hasn’t really influenced my own music as I believe my tunes are for the outdoors, daytime, sunrise or sunset themed. My main influences come from traveling, listening and being curious about traditional music and cultures around the globe and also influenced quite heavily by film music.
Are you thinking about the audience, the dance floor, a certain club or setting when making music?
I try not to. I heard one of the most impressive musicians of our time, Jacob Collier, say that when it come to composing music „the inner child is always right“. I fully agree with that. I have had the best results when I compose completely intuitively by trusting my musical imagination.
Starting to rationalize, think about a certain audience, label or club has always killed my creative process. Also I believe that if u think of a certain sound that is already out there, u will start producing music that will just sound the same and not unique to you.
How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?
Most of the time an idea is sparked by something i hear. If I find something captivating in it, something that creates a certain emotion that i like, I try to deep dive to understand what ingredients create that certain mood. So for example when I listen to Danny Elfmann music, there is this weirdly unique combination of certain chords and playfulness of sounds that create this otherworldly, fairy tail mood.
His music inspired my song „the old man and his lemonade“. When I heard the outstanding White Lotus soundtrack for the first time I was blown away by the percussive elements which then again inspired my tune „Okoa“.
How did you come to release on WAYU?
I had pitched my first song that I ever released, Porteños, to Wayu for one of their Spotify playlists. Julian the label owner really connected with the tune and asked me if I would want to release an EP with Wayu. A few months later I had 3 originals ready and we got amazing remixes done by two outstanding artists, Xique-Xique and Dr Parnassus.
I truly love Wayu as a label. They are very kind, professional and helpful in amplifying the music of especially new artists that are just starting within our music community. I feel like we will for sure release music together in future again.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
I have learned that at least to me the most essential ingredient of composing music is musical imagination. Trying to create and transport a certain mood and emotion with sound. It is astonishing that pretty much every human being has a natural understanding and feel for sounds.
People don’t need to be musically educated to feel music. If u compose a tune using melancholic musical vocabulary, they will feel sad. If u play something uplifting they will feel positive energy. It’s a language that everyone can understand and feel.
For this I believe that u don’t necessarily need fancy hardware, expensive plugins, not even musical education or ability to play an instrument … those can all be helpful but essentially u need to focus on the musicality and musical imagination at its core.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I’m am looking forward to releasing music with some really beautiful labels this year. I have music upcoming with Cosmic Awakenings, Bercana, Desert Hut and also Yulunga which is Valerons new label. On top of that there will also be some tunes that I will be releasing through my own label.