Welcome and congratulations on your first track with EGM Records. How did it all come about?
Ben: My manager got an SAE student to mix my previous version of ‘Love Sick’ who then passed it onto Freddy at EGM Radio. Freddy got in touch during summer last year and here we are now…
And you Plumm?
Plumm: Well Freddy at EGM heard me singing and really liked my voice. After a bit of detective work he tracked me down and the rest they say is history.
That’s cool. Love Sick is an incredible track.
Plumm: Thank you. It’s been a journey to see it progress and change from being more pop based to now showing a lot more electric funk and disco. We started recording bits of it at Ben’s house and I’ve lost track of how many layers there are to it!
Ben: Yeah there had actually been about 20 different versions of the single before I even got involved with EGM.
Tell me more…
Ben: Let’s just say that ‘Love Sick’ has been an extremely challenging song to create. From the recording and arranging, to the mixing it’s 100-200 individual layers. I give a lot of credit to Ludovic Morin for his efforts during the mixing process; it’s not easy to have that many important elements in a track that all need their time to shine at some point during the song, whilst keeping it uncluttered. As well as Ludo, Michael Bedder – who played a big part in arranging the song and recording the live instruments, was also an amazing talent to have on board.
So when you’re writing, what’s your process?
Ben: I used to start writing my songs on guitar, but now I tend to start on instruments that I don’t really know how to play, such as the piano. As I usually find that when I make mistakes, I stumble across ideas that I would never have thought of. Then I layer my idea up on the computer and hum a vocal melody over the top, lyrics usually come last.
Plumm: I actually start with the drums.
Wow I wasn’t expecting that!
Plumm: I know! I think it’s because I associate drums so closely to the entire feel of the song that I work to set that rhythm first before adding in notes and a melody. With just the beats I can get a feel and a structure.
Ben: I’ve found that if I have the lyrics down first it’s really limiting. You end up trying to fit the syllables into a bar of music . Whenever I’ve started with the music first the results have always been stronger, I’ve had a lot of people disagree with that concept but for whatever reason it works for me.
What got you both hooked on music to begin with?
Ben: Ok so it’s a weird start into music but I’m going to be honest…
Ok I’m intrigued…
Ben: At the end of the SpongeBob movie he plays a guitar solo and for strange reason it inspired me to pick one up again. So at ten I started teaching myself and haven’t looked back since.
Plumm: Mines definitely not that interesting. I feel like I could sing probably before I could talk. I can’t ever recall not being able to sing or not wanting to. I don’t come from a particularly musical family, my Grandfather sang in a choir which I suppose inspired my classical singing lessons but I developed my love of music in school. I had an amazing teacher who opened my eyes to the world of jazz and really encouraged me to learn and perform.
And what’s next?
Ben: To keep writing, producing and performing music – I want to be able to do this for a living without having to get another job just to sustain me. Music wise I want to strike a balance between the dance music that you can listen to when you go out, but also chill out at home to it and appreciate the musical side of it.
Plumm: Well I’m continuing with, and loving my studies at SOAS in ethnomusicology. Honestly, I believe that the majority of people don't know how much they can enjoy music from all over the world, from Afro Cuban to Indian Classical, you'd be surprised what an instant connection people can have from music they are a lot more alien to.
Incredible - best of luck to you Plumm and Ben. We look forward to hearing your tracks as they’re released on iTunes.
Study audio and be an active part of SAE's joint record label with EGM.