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Steve Angello: SHM ‘wasn’t having fun,’ new album ‘by the end of the year,’ business people ‘don’t understand’

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Steve Angello recently spoke to the Huffington Post, and the oft-candid dance music icon offered a refreshingly honest take on the state of things — a growing trend these days. “Every city and promoter in the world wants to have a festival, and thinks they can,” says Steve. “But they don’t know how to.” That’s just one of the choice quotes from the interview, which is surprisingly revealing and gives an intimate look at the last-bearded SHM member. Steve affirms his grip on the remaining authenticity of dance music is nothing less than uncompromising and gives us sincere responses on topics such as big business, the state of SHM, the art of DJing, and more.

Steve starts things off by commenting on an outspoken friend of his who got a lot of attention for his “Don’t Push My Buttons” article, A-Trak. He described A-Trak’s comments as “brilliant,” and draws parallels to his own career. “I started out like A-Trak. I was in scratch competitions when I was a younger kid in Sweden.” Still, Steve adds that “Everyone can have their opinion and if you like something, you like it,” but laments that “People like to diss stuff. Especially online.”

Perhaps setting the record straight for those under the impression that Swedish House Mafia is a new act, Steve proudly reminds us that they’ve “actually been doing this since the ’90s,” and that on the verge of his 30th birthday, Steve himself has “been doing this for almost 18 years.” Cut from a different cloth, and boasting that he had a “record collection of 5,000 vinyls” at age 15, Angello is quick to point out “that new fans don’t get technology.” Put more simply: “I didn’t come from the digital age.”

In timely fashion, Steve took the opportunity to talk about his upcoming Size In The Park show, which will bring him and his Size Matters family to the Rumsey Playfield in just over one week. While he “can’t go full-on production” due to Central Park’s restrictions, he maintains that “the main focus here is the music,” hinting that his set will be something special for the New York fans.

In terms of his music, Steve reveals that he is working on a solo album to be titled Wild Youth, “which should be done by the end of the year.” (Editor’s note: Notice how he said “done” and not “out.”) He says it will have “some really amazing vocal performances” but refrains from naming anyone in particular. He also confirms a “bit more rocky” collaboration with Third Party called “Lights,” which he describes as “in the same vein” as “The Island.”

Interestingly, Steve says that he will only be DJing for another “five, maybe maximum of eight years” before fully devoting his time to production and mentoring. He describes himself as “very into the business” and says that he “would like to be there for the kids and be the hand that holds them through the tough times.” It’s unclear what “tough times” he’s referring to, but says that “having them around really energizes me.”

Of course, Steve could not avoid questions about SHM. “We’ve done things I never thought I’d do,” said the Swede. He reiterates that it “just wasn’t having fun any more” and refers to it as a “humongous monster.” SHM was a project that started off as three friends DJing together, but quickly came to “become a very big machine.” Rather than try to fight the realities, they decided to end on a high note. “We grew up loving what we do, and Swedish House Mafia was a special example of the idea that if you love something and you work hard enough, you’ll get there.”

Always a heated topic for debate, Steve weighs in on big business’ influence on the scene, revealing that he receives “the weirdest calls every single day from big Fortune 500 companies who want to come and get involved.” His response is simple time after time, denying corporate America an in to the “EDM space,” replying “How?” “Everyone just wants in,” Steve proclaimed.

He was also adamant about protecting his Size imprint that was born in 2002, “I’ve been given offers by every major label to come and buy [SIZE]. But I can’t sell that — it’s my baby.” Mr. Angello has a firm grip on his accomplishments and isn’t looking to bend anytime soon, going on to say that “If I give up creative control, then what do I do? This is what I worked for my whole life.”

By the time Steve finished speaking with Huffington Post, he had shed light on what many fans have been waiting for — an honest retrospect of his career. Touching upon the separation of Swedish House Mafia, talking DJ technicalities, revealing his upcoming studio album, and standing up to big business’ invasive approach to dance music, Size Record’s head honcho made a lasting impression that defines his longevity as an artist.

Oh, one last thing you didn’t know about Steve Angello: “I don’t really like private jets, to be honest… I find it to be claustrophobic.”

Jacob Schulman contributed to this report.

ViaHuffington Post

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