In April this year, Glasgow-based DJ Ben Howell shot to online fame and then quickly the radio airwaves with his mash-up of Dua Lipa's «Hallucinate» and the BBC News Theme.
With Dua herself proclaiming it was indeed ‘a bop, as it were’, the bar was set high for the next remix. As it happens, he didn’t need to look far. Venn Smyth grew up next door to Ben in rural Central Scotland and upon seeing Ben on the news, got in touch to congratulate him. Ben heard Venn’s piano-based ballad «Burn Me», and knew he had found his next project. Created remotely over Zoom during lockdown, the new summer-ready remix of «Burn Me» was created. Full of extra bop, of course!
«Burn Me» is a song about losing confidence in yourself and realising you need to burn down some walls that have been built up. For Venn Smyth, many of these walls were built up as he struggled with his sexuality during school years. The music video for «Burn Me» explores this idea further, with Venn returning to an empty school as an adult and dancing freely as he couldn’t do as a teenager. Ben’s remix of the song, lifts the tempo and the energy, whilst still maintaining a nostalgic vibe.
Ben Howell’s background covers a range of creative disciplines. Whilst design is currently his ‘day job’, over the years he’s earned a reputation amongst his friends as «the guy who’s always making something from the parts of something else». Combine his fascination for pulling things apart with his appetite for music, and remixing songs feels like the next logical step in his story!
Unashamedly pop with a strong message, Venn Smyth writes songs that dance around subjects and stories important to him. These include identity, queerness, community and finding your voice. He currently lives in London and alongside writing and performing, teaches and works with young people, including leading LGBTQ+ youth music projects.
Ben Howell’s Dua Lipa/BBC New remix was played on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Manchester, BBC Radio Scotland, Gaydio and GlitterBeam. He was interviewed by Greg James and BBC News and later with Dua Lipa also. His remix also featured in Pink News, NME, and the Huffington Post.
Venn Smyth – Burn Me (Ben Howell Remix) are now available on all major platforms.