Album Spotlight – Beside You – Somna
There is something so powerful and beautiful about trance
It can lift your soul, heal you and bring you peace. Like all music, singles/tracks are released daily, and anything in abundance can get lost in the shuffle. But when an album is released it is very special, especially when it is an artist’s first. Somna has been waiting for this moment, and so have trance fans because the timing is perfect as we need our souls lifted and minds to be free. To no exageration, I have had the Beside You album on repeat, and have gotten lost to the melodic splendor that Somna delivers. Gem after gem of trance goodness, the uplifting vocal harmonies that you crave mixed with the dynamic richness of beats that only trance can bring.
I believe the community is being delivered a gift; a gift of love, a gift of hope, a gift of beautiful music. The Beside You album will be talked about for years to come, and I was lucky enough to gain a little more insight from the creative genius Somna about it.
Thank you for this interview. The Album, Beside You, is beautiful. Consisting of 14 tracks and a mix of vocals and none. Before we jump into the details, share with us, what made you want to do an album? And how was the overall process?
Thanks for having me! It’s always been a goal of mine to release an album and I had been putting it off and waiting for the right time for many years and felt now was the right time so I just sat down and starting writing music with various vocalists and collaborators over the course of about a year. It was a ton of fun and I loved being able to experiment past my usual sound.
The second track on the Album is ‘Beside You’, which is also the album title. You and Noire Lee really nailed this track. How did this track come together, and when did you decide to make this the album name?
Noire Lee showed me a vocal snippet of what would become ‘Beside You’ long before we started working on it. It was just a phone recording to begin with until she came into the studio (to record something else) and sat down at the piano and started playing it. From there, it really just flowed and it wasn’t difficult given how beautifully written her vocals are. It became my album title because the words “Beside You” really encompassed what I wanted to achieve with my album. A collection of music that could get you through the highs and lows of life and always be beside you, like a warm blanket or soft teddy bear.
You are working with a variety of vocalists, ranging from established and new. What is your process for choosing each artist? How much do you contribute to the writing for each track? In your opinion, how important are the lyrics in a track and why?
There isn’t a huge process to it, if I love someone’s voice then I’d love to work with them! I choose them just as much as they choose to work with me so I’m grateful for all the vocalists I’ve had the pleasure of writing with. As far as the lyrics and vocal writing process goes, it’s almost always entirely written by them with some feedback and change ideas I’ll throw in if needed.
To answer your question, I think the lyrics of a vocal is extremely important. The best songs tug at your heart string with both the melodies and the lyrics.
With these 14 tracks you deliver us a variety of tempos, BPM range. There is something for everyone, in my opinion. What was your thought process as you were creating each track? Did you have a plan beforehand? If so, did you stick to it why or why not?
Honestly I didn’t have a grand plan to it, I just knew that despite possible BPM and stylistic changes within each song, I wanted to capture emotions, feelings and retain a melodic edge. Even a song like “Moon & Back” which I wouldn’t consider to be trance is very melodic.
Listening to the album, there are definitely some tracks that have been played live. What tracks have been played live or released already? And what tracks will be the first time fans will be hearing them?
A few songs made their debut at Dreamstate SoCal last year, Stars Collide with Jennifer Rene, Long Way Down with ENZO & Roxanne Emery as well as a few others I had been testing throughout the year. Once the album arrives in its entirety, there will have been six singles released by then and some of the fresh tracks include Morse Code with Michele C, Rebels with Emoiryah and Constant Fire with Melissa Loretta.
So my two personal favorite tracks on the album are Rebels and More. Tell me how each of these tracks came about and your decision to have them on the label?
Emoiryah and I had been chatting for some time about working together and we had thrown lots of ideas around together. Rebel was actually one of the ones I got more involved with lyrically than usual and we fine-tuned it until we were happy with the lyrics and vocal. Emoiryah did such a great job and she’s one of the most vibrant and easy going songwriters I’ve worked with.
More on the other hand was an amazing vocal from BLU EYES who I’ve worked with on multiple songs and I had this idea of combining crowd vocals into the later chorus sections. I made a call on social media asking friends and fans to submit themselves singing and I blended them all together to create a crowd vocal. I can’t wait for them all to hear their contributions!
Now the album is not all vocals. You have an amazing track with LTN on here called Dreamcatcher. This track definitely has the fist pumping element I love in a track. How did your collaboration with LTN come about? This is the first non-vocal track on the album that fans will hear, why there?
LTN is such an underrated talent. He’s a fantastic producer and a really gentle soul and the two of us had discussed collaborating for some time. We’ve done 2 collaborations (1 of which isn’t on the album) but for Dreamcatcher, LTN showed me an idea which was a bit more mellow and laid back but had a killer triplet groove to it and from there I worked on making it techier and heavier. The final track has become something that has gone down well in all my live sets.
There is always some fun behind the scene stories that happen when making an album. What are some that you can share?
Hmm, we shot a music video for Beside You and managed to destroy a granite coffee table (by accident) which was an unfortunate turn of events. Also a fun fact, I had 21 songs on the album at first but was advised to trim it down to 14.
Can fans expect any music videos to follow the album? If yes, when?
Oh yes! There is a music video for Beside You and that comes out on April 30th! I’m so excited for you all to see it. We worked with a VFX artist as well which was a totally new and exciting experience for me!
And to wrap up this interview, will there be an album tour?
There were a variety of shows around the world planned for a tour but given the restrictions we are faced right now, they all got postponed. I’m itching to get back out there and do an album tour though and I hope it can happen after the pandemic!
Fingers crossed but in the meantime I’ve been doing lots of streaming on my Twitch.tv/Somnamusic channel!