In the past few years, Malaysian Trance duo Simon Lee & Alvin have earned a place in the very heart of Trance society.
First introduced to their cutting-edge sound back in 2007, the rising duo have come a long way since, releasing a non-stop barrage of quality productions, scoring support from Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, MaRLo, Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz, plus they’ve shared the stage with some of the biggest Trance acts in the scene including Above & Beyond, Aly & Fila and Cosmic Gate.
Armed with a pulsating bassline, acid lines, banging kick drums and building into an atmospheric breakdown and all-out drop, ‘ATTN’ is sure to rage through the clubs with unbridled drive.
With ‘ATTN’, Simon Lee & Alvin prove their diverse and exceptional producing skills and ensures a tidal wave of power every Trance clubber can pump his fist to.
“We noticed that there were many progressive releases in the trance space right now but they were starting to all sound a bit too similar and generic. So we set out to create a track that is more edgy and one that will pop out in a DJ set that makes people go ‘Whoa what track is this?!'” Simon Lee & Alvin exclusively told Trance Project in a recent interview.
“Having spent several years in the trance scene now, we’ve been able to experience a bit of that first wave of early Trance music, and now more of the new generation sounds. ‘ATTN’ is a combination of influences from all of that, so I hope we have accomplished this,” they added.
Their slamming new single is available here and is destined to wreak havoc across the world of Trance. Listen to ‘ATTN’ below!
Interview with Simon Lee & Alvin
Can you tell us a bit about how your thrilling new record ‘ATTN’ took shape?
Simon Lee: Hello Trance Project! Thank you for sharing our new track! I like that you used the word “thrilling” because that’s exactly how we wanted ‘ATTN’ to be! This is our first venture into the higher BPM zone as Simon Lee & Alvin. We noticed that there were many progressive releases in the trance space right now but they were starting to all sound a bit too similar and generic. So we set out to create a track that is more edgy and one that will pop out in a DJ set that makes people go “Whoa what track is this?!!”
Alvin: Well apart from being able to say “May we have your ATTN please?”, it is after all our foray into this tempo and we hope it captures attention! Having spent several years in the trance scene now, we’ve been able to experience a bit of that first wave of early trance music, and now more of the new generation sounds. ‘ATTN’ is a combination of influences from all of that, so I hope we have accomplished this. It is, however, a festival track designed for the dancefloor, so I wouldn’t claim it to be anything otherwise.
After having eight incredible releases on Armada Music throughout the years, how does it feel to be part of the Armada Music family?
Alvin: Yes, we really appreciate being part of a label that continuously believes in our sound and constantly challenges us since the early days of our music career. The entire Armada Music and A State of Trance team from Armin, Ruben, the A&Rs, social media team, and marketing team work cohesively to really propel artistes from around the world and we are privileged to have access to their expertise, support, and resources.
Simon: The great thing is that the label is essentially run by a group of music lovers. Every step we progressed has always been about the track itself. Most labels would give you a yes/no if you get a reply at all, but with Armada they are really interested to build our sound and they give us constructive feedback that we can use. This makes them a great platform for us to pin our music on the world map – for a trance act from Malaysia this goes a long way.
With two people behind the decks and in the studio, do you find you influence each other?
Simon: I’ll be honest about this and say that it takes several years and countless hours to forge a synergy. If anyone ever tells you that they start collaborating and everything just clicks right away, they are making it up! It takes a lot of effort and compromise. Lately I just try to enjoy the entire creative process as I realise we’ve taken more right turns then wrong ones, and over time we seem to get better at leveraging off each other’s strengths.
Alvin: Let’s just say I am the fussier of the two and this somehow gives us more breathing space especially when working on production projects. Now there are always two sides to every coin and the negative side to this is I start overthinking things which then leads to more scrutinization and changes and before you know it, we are right back where we started. As for Simon, being quick on his feet and more on the agile side, gets things sorted out quick and he is already eyeing the next item in the list. That being said, the end results are amazing and I am always at the edge of my seat thinking “Oh, it actually worked!”. So as you can see, we have dissimilar traits but I think what keeps us going is the passion for music.
What’s the most exciting part about having a career in music?
Simon: Well there’s never a dull moment in trance music is there?! This is a genre that creates so much interest, conversations, controversies, and debate. It is a privilege to pursuit this passion and I’m always learning new things – from the geekier stuff like the track productions that most don’t see, to the more front-facing aspects like social media. I also love that we’ve been able to position and popularise electronic music on Malaysian FM radio, and this continues to be a great launching platform for many artistes and labels. The radio show made it accessible to a whole new generation of music lovers and music makers.
Alvin: And also, being able to witness electronic music evolve from a niche underground genre with so much negative stigma and perception, into a mainstream sound that is heard in festivals, malls, and radio was really an exciting phase. There is also this incredible close knit community of international fans and artistes who are supportive of what we do, that’s really fulfilling and I never take that for granted. Sites like the Trance Project help to ignite conversations and gather the trance family!
What do you hope your fans get out of your exquisite musical creations?
Alvin: Ultimately the Simon Lee & Alvin experience! We are always experimenting with new styles but we hope that every one of our musical creations bears our signature sound and at the same time marks our progression in our musical journey. We hope we have done our fans justice with all our releases including ‘ATTN’.
Simon: We hope our music transports you, ignites your imagination, and brings back memories! I’m happy to see people stream our music, add it to their playlists, and share it with their friends. This is the biggest compliment and encouragement, and we love that you love the same music as we do. In this age of social media hype, it does get difficult to standout, but quality music is still the core product of what we do and will continue to be. This music lives on because of how it makes us feel and the emotions it captures.
So what’s next for Simon Lee & Alvin in 2020? Do you have any new music in the works?
Simon: There is definitely new music coming and we already have a few releases lined up for 2020. We have not really been DJing lately but it would great to do a few shows in 2020 if there are opportunities. We are really inclined to play more trance-centric shows, and we really love being opening DJs that help to properly set the tone for the night.
Alvin: We would also like to focus on enhancing our weekly radio show as the number of listeners have grown this year, so perhaps we will make it more interactive. Apart from that, we do have a few collaborations prospects plus other projects in the pipeline so do look out for them! We’re excited for what’s in store for us in 2020!
Would you like to share any final words for all your die-hard fans?
Simon: Our fans remind us of the dancefloor. They were there at the start of the first beat and they stay till the end, from open to close! They enjoy the music, come to the shows, and are always encouraging and pushing us. Thank you for every tweet, comment, message, and share. We appreciate the handful of promoters and organisers who develop the local talent in our city. Everyone including us should promote the music and artistes we believe in to grow the trance scene. We won’t forget the ones that supported us, most of them are our best friends today. We will always remember where we came from and how this whole thing got started!
Alvin: We hope that the Simon Lee & Alvin’s musical journey has brought our fans together. With each milestone we aim to achieve, we do it with our amazing fans in mind. In this manner, each one of our fans can truly appreciate that they are always a part of our music. Our journey was never easy to begin with, so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been with us from the start. You are our inspiration and what keeps us going!