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A message of hope in music from Norfolk creative

Ben Lawrence, a musician from Norwich, took a break from music after losing his twin brother Dan to cancer. However, during the pandemic, he felt the urge to write songs again, realizing that many people might need music to cope with grief and loss. This led him to release his debut album, O Wide World, after years of writing, recording, and production. The album was born out of the need to create something meaningful and impactful for those going through difficult times, as well as to honor his late brother’s memory.

Growing up, Ben and Dan were known for their creativity, writing songs, playing in bands, and making films together. Dan’s passing in 2016, at the age of 25, deeply affected Ben, causing him to step away from music temporarily. However, the pandemic and the collective experience of grief brought on by the global crisis inspired Ben to pick up his guitar and start writing again. The songs he wrote during this time felt like they could resonate with others who were also going through loss and mental health struggles, prompting Ben to create O Wide World with the intention of providing solace and hope to listeners.

Ben’s home demos of the album were a good starting point, but he realized that to truly reach a wider audience and make an impact, he needed to seek help from a professional producer. Through a successful crowdfunding campaign, Ben raised over £10,000, allowing him to collaborate with producer Iain Hutchison from Glasgow. The two spent a significant amount of time in the studio crafting the sound of the album, bringing in additional musicians and recording sessions to enhance the overall quality of the music. The album was meticulously mixed and fine-tuned over several months before finally being released in November 2023.

Despite his Christian faith, Ben is cautious about being labeled as a Christian musician, as he wants his music to appeal to a wide audience and convey universal themes of hope and authenticity. The album serves as a tribute to his late brother Dan, as well as a means of sparking conversations around life, death, and the importance of being honest and open about our experiences. Ben’s ultimate goal with O Wide World is to provide comfort and encouragement to those who are grieving while also creating a soundtrack of hope for everyday life. The album is now available for download and streaming, marking a significant milestone in Ben’s artistic journey.

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