We catch up with Axwell, renowned Swedish DJ, Producer and member of the Swedish House Mafia to chat about his year and his latest single ‘Nothing But Love’ which has taken dancefloors across Australia by storm.
Hey how are you?
I’m good thanks, I’m great.
Fantastic. Where are you right now?
I’m in a Wallmart in North Carolina.
Hilarious. What are you buying?
Oh you know…just stuff. My girlfriend, likes to go into Wallmart and just walk around. So just the random stuff that you can get there.
Well thanks very much for your time; it’s been another huge year for you and congratulations on your success. What have been some of this year’s highlights both personally and as part of the Swedish House Mafia?
A highlight would definitely have to be that I reached number 10 in the DJ Mag Top 100. That was a big jump for me. It’s just been fantastic - pretty much every gig has been very memorable. Then with the Swedish House Mafia all the tracks’ success with “One” and “Miami 2 Ibiza”. Finally I can put some gold records on my empty wall (laughs).
Fantastic. And how was Ibiza for you this year?
That was crazy! It was really, really good. It was my second year, so I knew that we’d done some ground-work on the first year, but to see how it worked this year was just above all expectations. It was really, really incredibly rammed every night. The energy was so intense. So it was really great.
And were there any stand-out gigs for you this year?
Well I think that pretty much every one was stand-out because they just got better and better. Like the whole thing just went up and up. It was kind of memorable when we had Kylie Minogue as our guest. That was special.
We love Kylie Minogue down here - she’s our golden girl.
Yeah! She’s good. That was crazy to have her there, I mean, I was in my diapers when I first heard of her. It was funny, when we took a picture of all of us together it felt like somebody had fooled with the computer to put us in there, like we didn’t fit in there.
Now you’ve got a new track out called “Nothing but love” and it’s already a huge hit in clubs in Australia. A lot of your productions are focused on melody and strong vocals, how important is this to the music you produce?
Well all I ever want to do is make people feel something when I play my music. I want to make them feel touched. And that’s how I listen to music, the best music is when you’re like “Wow, I can really feel that”. That’s what I try to do. And I guess the best way to do that is to have melodies and chords and vocals and stuff. So yeah I try to stick to that formula.
Excellent. Now let’s talk a little bit about the video clip. It features a modern-day take on Jesus - what message are you trying to get across with both the song and the video?
Well it is pretty much what it says, that I want to get the love message out there. It’s a bit cheesy, but that’s how it is. I want to spread happiness, because that’s how I associate music. When I listen to music, I don’t want to get down, or dark, or hate on people. So that’s kind of the vibe. And then the video came about; it was the director who suggested that idea and I thought it made a lot of sense. And I thought it was interesting his take on it: what if Jesus was just one of us, just a random guy on the street? That’s pretty much the idea. So it wasn’t deep, or Christian or any of that.
You’ve got a documentary coming out, “Take One”. How long have you actually been filming behind the scenes for this?
This has been going on for like two years. We have this amazing guy called Christian who is our sort of video guy, he’s done all of our Youtube vids, and all of our music videos. He’s done “Leave the World Behind” and “One” and heaps of things. As for filming a film and being part of the team, we didn’t really plan to make a documentary as such. He was just filming for fun. And then one day he said “hey, here’s a documentary about you guys. Kind of like a documentary slash… family guy episode” (laughs). So we were like “woah, that seems fun,” because we didn’t commission it. It wasn’t a plan like “yeahhh, let’s do a documentary about how mad we are” (laughs).
So what are we going to see in the documentary, what’s it going to reveal about you guys?
Well it reveals that there’s more to it than just a happy face at a Dj gig. It shows our everyday discussions, how we speak. Within your group of friends I’m sure you have a special talk, you know, and this is how we talk and how we do. And how we are not always friends. And how we suck also at some times as well. It’s like a family guy episode in a documentary.
So you’ve got all these tracks coming out, you’ve got this documentary coming out; you’re a very busy man. How do you juggle your time between your family, working in the studio, running your own label and touring as Axwell as well as the Swedish House Mafia?
If you ask my girlfriend I’m not doing a great job at it. But you know I try, I try. I’m busy; I guess that’s how I manage to juggle it, by keeping busy. And trying to make the most out of every day and trying to focus on what I’m doing. When I’m making music I try to focus as much as I can. I try to be present in everything I do. Make it count when I do something.
And what aspect of your life actually gives you the most personal satisfaction?
Well that’s when I see my son eat. I have a two year-old boy, and when I see him eat, that gives me the most satisfaction. There’s nothing like seeing a two year-old really stuff it, you know?
What’s his favourite sort of food?
French fries. Yeah, healthy stuff.
Now you’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the world, including Pharrell. Is there anyone else you’d like to work with, given the opportunity?
Oh yeah. Chris Martin from Coldplay would be a dream come true.
Is there a collaboration coming up between you and Chris?
I don’t know. But Pharrell was also a dream collaboration, so if you can dream it, you can do it. We have our feelers out there and hopefully one day we can do it. I hope.
Who or what is you favourite:
DJ :: Erick Morillo.
Live act :: Coldplay.
Album :: Xx, The xx.
Gadget :: Macbook Pro.
Food :: Any Australian food.
Restaurant :: Sushi Samba in New York and Miami.
City to play in :: New York
Way to relax :: Being by the ocean.
Tv show :: Family Guy.
Movie :: Right now, Inception.
Website :: Kvr-audio.com
Best piece of advice you’ve given or received :: Nobody’s going to care more about your career than yourself. Meaning whatever your manager or agent say, it’s all down to you at the end of the day.