Prior to his headlining set at the Don’t Let Daddy Know festival, Steve Angello talks about his life and new album.
From no-headphones DJing to challenging online trolls and nonchalantly sharing his controversial views on the current state of mainstream electronic dance music (EDM), Steve Josefsson Fragogiannis has always stood apart from the crowd. The co-creator of Swedish House Mafia (SHM)—who has released quality tunes like Woz Not Woz and Tell Me Why, and runs his own popular 13-year-old record label, SIZE records—may be at the top of his game, but he’s also worried about the future of EDM. “My concern is the lack of originality in artistes today. There are a lot of people coming out with mould music,” he shares, stating that, unlike music from the 40s-70s which still sounds fresh, no one will remember these songs 10 years down the line.
Thank you for the music
And this is what the Scandinavian house music artiste is trying to tackle, after parting ways (in 2013) with fellow Swedes, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. With them, he’d formed SHM, one of EDM’s most successful European exports —credited with six multi-platinum hits, including Don’t You Worry Child, and making over $36 million in their final two years as a trio. “We were just these three guys who came together and thought it would be fun to throw parties and enjoy ourselves,” explains the 33-year-old, elaborating, “From playing at Madison Square Garden to headlining at a festival with a band like Coldplay, we did it all. However, we all thought it had become a humongous monster, and we felt tired and overwhelmed.”
Drowning the noise
While Axwell and Ingrosso still perform as a duo, Angello went solo. He spent the next two years shuttling between Stockholm and Los Angeles with his wife, model/Swedish TV personality Isabel Adrian, and their two daughters, Monday-Lily and Winter-Rose, and, in the studio, creating the chart-topping solo album, Wild Youth. He claims the 13-track release (which features several crossover collaborators, including Dougy Mandagi, frontman of Australian indie band The Temper Trap) is a departure from his mainstream EDM oeuvre and is autobiographical in nature. Wild Youth consists of tunes that reflect his teenage years because after his father, a gangster from Athens, was shot dead, he was drawn to seamy pursuits like vandalism and car theft, right up until he discovered music. “My album is an amalgamation of all that. I wanted to produce a record that I could reflect upon and feel proud of,” concludes Angello, who will be heading to Mutiny Festival in the UK in a few days, before playing at Denmark’s Tinderbox Festival
Don’t Let Daddy Know Festival is today at SVP Stadium, Mumbai.
Tickets from Rs 1,000 onwards Details: in.bookmyshow.com