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Lissy Lü chats to... Steve Angello from Swedish House Mafia

One third of the critically acclaimed trio shares the incredible story of their reunion and future plans.

Ahead of Swedish House Mafia’s first Ibiza residency in over a decade, I had the privilege to sit down to chat with founding member and one third of the trio, Steve Angello.

Since 2008, Swedish House Mafia have helped shape the electronic music landscape with their innovative take on dance music and their smash hit productions.

After nearly 20 years, not many DJs can still pull in crowds in their thousands, yet year on year with their one off shows they've managed to do just that. In recent seasons, we've become accustomed to a single date a summer, but a full residency just makes sense.

We spoke about the collective’s early days, classic hit tracks and what's in store for us with their six week peak-summer residency at Ushuaïa. For all of you '90s kids that spent your teen years listening to Swedish House Mafia (16 year old me, included), this one’s for you.


Lissy Lü chats to... Steve Angello from Swedish House Mafia

Lissy Lü chats to... Steve Angello from Swedish House Mafia

Together with Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell, you're one of the main artists that got me into electronic music in the first place. You guys are true pioneers. How would you say the EDM landscape has evolved since your early days?

"When we started out, there weren't any genre barriers, it was left wide open. Then from the early 2010s, everyone became more boxed in. Now, I feel like they've dissolved again. I feel like dance music is like it was when I first started. Full circle, almost.

I really like the musical landscape now. I think it's really open. I feel like it enables artists to do whatever they feel like. Everyone's mixing genres, working with everybody, there’s no barriers, which is nice."


You went from reuniting on the main stage of Ultra in 2018 to a world tour in 2019. What sparked this resurgence?

"Time. Time went by.

We had this really nice dinner and we were talking about maybe giving it a go, and the rest is history. We've been going now since 2018. We've had a lot of fun. A big tour coming out of the pandemic, the love and appreciation from fans all over the world - it’s been really nice."

Swedish House Mafia | Ushuaïa

Do you ever play the originals of your tracks or do you find you prefer to play them now with a modern twist?

"We still play the original of Leave The World Behind, it's had a little resurgence. One is a classic for us. We haven't touched that. Some age differently than others. With Greyhound, we play both the original and edits. We take it as it comes."

"We can be like 'f*ck it, let’s make an edit of this one.' If we feel like it, we do it."

After two compilation albums, Until Now and Until One, you finally released a much called for studio album. Could a second one be on the horizon?

"Paradise Again, was the last one. The real deal. We go one million percent based on emotions. One day we can be like 'there’s an album here.' It's this constant chase to achieve what we feel is amazing.

Who knows, there might be an album around the corner if we feel like that tomorrow? We've got the music. Summer will be packed with stuff. We're making music all the time."

What's your favourite Swedish House Mafia production and why?

"So hard to choose, but I have to say One. I remember mixing it and finishing it. I was sitting in my bedroom in Los Angeles at the time. I had these two speakers set up. We had no idea what we were doing. But it made sense at the time. And it was a fun process from start to finish."

You're known to collaborate with many talented artists who have featured on some of your biggest hits, from Tinie Tempah, The Weeknd, Future, John Martin. Do you have any plans to collaborate with anyone exciting in the near future?

"We have a couple of things that are out there. We have a few tracks with features, but I can't say anything right now. The problem with the music business is that it's never official until it's out.

I have artists that I've worked with that are like 'I can't do this right now, because I have an album coming out in six months.' So you're like, okay, cool, so you shelve a song for six months to a year, then all of a sudden you think maybe we should take a look at this one again, you know?

It's never just down to us alone."

Lissy Lü chats to... Steve Angello from Swedish House Mafia

"Even if we play a track out and fans react well to it, I wish we could just release there and then.

Sometimes it isn't possible. Often, you need to play a song out to get the crowd reaction. This is good to show record labels, the publishers etc, all these people involved. Sometimes you need to convince people that a track is good.

If it was up to us, we would put out records every week. Everybody has their rules. There's a lot of waiting involved. It's like an endless war to get things out."


What are your earliest memories of the island and how it’s changed since?

"I remember playing the old Space, with Ed Banger and the Justice crew. They had this little party up on the Terrace in the early 2000s. You could play as long as you like, there was no close time.

We could finish at 13:00 in the day. It was this super organic, free soul vibe. You'd bounce from party to party. We had the Pacha residency. That was insane. At the time, it was the golden peak of our careers. It was the perfect elevation to the next step in life."

Steve alongside Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso at Pacha, their first Ibiza residency

"Some of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in dance music have been from the island - listening to people, meeting people. I had a show last summer with Solomun. We did a back-to-back. We have so much history there.

(Even though the owners may have changed) It's the same people running it when we were there. I've known these people for like 20 years. It was nice to play with Solomun, as it's so out of my comfort zone. People don't know about the after party Steve."

What vibe did you go for?!

"We played like darker, techy House and Techno. We went super melodic. We played for seven or eight hours in total. It was a blast. It's one of my fondest memories."


Swedish House Mafia | Ushuaïa

Returning to Ushuaïa with Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso

This summer marks your first Ibiza residency in over a decade! Will you be bringing out any special guests this summer?

"We have special DJs playing before us. We’re going to have some guests for sure. We’re in planning mode right now."

For a global artist with the world at his feet, why is it important to keep returning to Ibiza?

"I think here is where the culture is. It's a melting pot of sub-genres, and electronic dance music. Everything from DC10 to Pacha and Ushuaïa to Hï Ibiza, there's always something happening. DJs from all countries. It's a really beautiful thing. It's hard to replicate.

It's a full summer of constant mayhem. I'm happy it's back to where it deserves to be after the pandemic. Last year was a blast. I can't wait for this year."

Did you ever expect Show Me Love to have the longevity it has? It’s a club anthem, and especially an Ibiza anthem that’s known all over the world. 

"It's like the national anthem! It's a great original that we re-did well.

It's crazy to think, when we sit and do stuff and go back in our catalogue, there's just so much music there. It's always nice to have the catalogue, because when we do shows, we can always dig deep and bring things out."

"Songs like yourself grew up listening to that you have fond memories of."

Turn On The Lights again.. emerged from an impromptu studio session in Sweden, which was the second time Fred again.. has worked with you on record, after the album track Calling On. What’s it like to work with Fred?

"He's such an amazing person. Before we even made music, we became friends. When you get to know someone personally, there's a whole different side to it when you make music.

Like with the Weeknd and ASAP Rocky, everything starts with friendship. It all starts with a vibe. There's many people that we were friends with that we haven't made music with. It's not natural. But working with Fred was great."


Swedish House Mafia | Ushuaïa

You founded your record label Size in 2003, so you've just celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year. How did that go?

"Wow, that makes me feel old. We're going to roll out a vinyl box set. Like a collectors item in the next four to five months. Then we kind of wrap up 20 years and start thinking about the next 20."

Do you have any artists you think we should be looking out for? Up and coming?

"There's a lot. We're in a pot of talent right now. There might be some cool collaborations coming in the next six to seven months with some really raw talent."

Do you enjoy working with upcoming talent, as much as you do established artists?

"More than it is to work with established artists. It's more interesting to help someone.

When we did the Konny contestants thing, and even with John Martin and Save The World, even Tinie Tempah to a certain extent when we did Miami To Ibiza, those were his early days. It's nice to work with an unpolished diamond once in a while and be a part of their evolution."

What other DJs or clubs will you be checking out when you're here?

"Hï Ibiza has some interesting stuff happening, I'm going to check that out for sure.

I'm going to go to Solomun, as he's on a Sunday, so after we've finished we can walk straight down. There's always hidden gems and secret things happening on the island, so some bird might tell us where to go, you know. I'll be based out here for the full residency."


Steve Angello's latest single Skip with Sebastian Ingrosso is out now and available to stream and download from all reputable platforms.

Swedish House Mafia | Ushuaïa

Steve returns to Ushuaïa with Swedish House Mafia for a six date run starting 21 July. Tickets for all parties are on sale now and available to purchase below.

Swedish House Mafia listings - 2024

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia Opening Party

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia

Ushuaïa

Swedish House Mafia Closing Party

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