Interview: Steve Angello

Electronica house producer and one-third of the fast dying Swedish House Mafia on going solo

Sharin Bhatti November 27, 2021

Picture: Carl Lindstrum

A little more than a week ago, a frequented electronica venue in Noida played host to one of the city’s most memorable gigs – One Last Tour with Swedish House Mafia. The 35,000 strong crowd “reacted” to a badgering two hour plus set from the electro house legends. Even as their gig in Mumbai got postponed owing to the demise of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray, the trio of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello brought the party to Noida. While the trio promise to add dates for January 2013 for Mumbai and Bengaluru, their end is inevitable as they travel around the world for their One Last Tour before they hang their V-necks and call it a day. But for the members of the trio, things are just starting to get interesting.

We spoke to indie label boss of SIZE Records and house producer Steve Angello about the road ahead and he’s already started working on his solo album due early 2013. He recently released the video for his new single Yeah, which has been earning huge airplay on television and radio networks worldwide. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

Q-1. Congratulations on Yeah. I’m sure by now you must have received enough awesome feedback on the release. It’s a groovy Angello house track. After many in-the-works promos, you finally put the song out. Why the multiple promos before the release? Were you apprehensive?

Thank you.  I had a version I did over two years ago that I’ve played a lot and since I’m super active I got tired of it pretty quickly and never really felt that it was the highlight of my set anymore.  I felt it needed a rework to fit my current style or musical choice.  It’s always hard to hold on to music for too long.  It takes the excitement out of it a bit so it just felt right doing it this way. It’s going down like a storm at my shows and I’m already working on a vocal version that will be the featured single on my forthcoming album.

Q-2. How is work on the album coming along? Can we expect some collaborations or is it an out and out solo album? When is it expected to release? Are you recording it in Sweden or LA?

The album is coming together really nicely.  I have some great features in there and I’m really excited.  I don’t want to jinx the collaborations yet so I won’t mention too much of it right at this moment.  What I can say is that all the guys from SIZE (Third Party, Qulinez, Wayne & Woods, An21, Max, Junior Sanchez, Tim Mason, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano) are on it.  I’m recording most of it in Los Angeles but sometimes the laptop comes to work on the flights or the hotels.  Usually I prefer to be on a proper studio so I don’t feel so limited.  Hopefully the record is done soon, so I would say that we’ll aim for February/March release. The singles will start dropping very soon!

Q-3. How many tracks and remixes (if at all) will there be on the album? Can you build on the sound, direction? Who is producing/mixing/mastering it?

My main goal is 12 original tracks and then some bonus material. Knowing myself, there will be a “Live” album with versions of the album no one has ever heard! I’m producing, writing, mixing and mastering everything myself. I’ve done that since I was a kid and I won’t let anyone get involved in my writing or producing like many other artists do. I leave the lyrics and melodies up to the vocal artists featured on the album but I do all the musical writing.

Q-4. This has been a momentous year for you, with the break coming with Swedish House Mafia, you have been performing all over these past few months. What have you taken from all that has happened this year?

This year has been the best one yet.  Some unbelievable shows around the world! Solo and with the guys (SHM).  One thing I’ve learned this year was that it doesn’t matter how many people you have around you, at the end of the day no one cares about yourself more than you!

Q-5. What were some of the biggest rumors you’ve had to dispel since the break of SHM was announced? I’m sure it hasn’t been easy.

Nothing major.  People haven’t been saying bad stuff at all.  They are very sad.  So are we, but at the same time it would have never come to a world tour unless we had decided to end it. Taking a decision like that is never easy on anyone, especially for us three.

Q-6. What’s happening with SIZE Records? You turned it into a foundation recently called Size Matters. What are some of the releases and some of the interesting things that SIZE is doing currently?

SIZE is doing really well!  It’s a really healthy label with a lot of young blood running through it.  It’s always nice to be part of the development of such diverse artists/DJs.  I fell in love with music because of my passion to create and therefore being a label boss has its benefits.  I choose what comes out and no one could direct me or tell me anything based on numbers.  It’s a really refreshing feeling!  The foundation is focused on helping kids in need of a home, family and education.  Making sure that they can take care of themselves in the future and provide for their future kids, etc.  A meal lasts a day, education lasts a lifetime!




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