Stonebridge - Interview

12 May 2005


Stonebridge - Interview

Stonebridge - Interview
Contactmusic spoke to Stonebridge, one of Hed Kandi’s biggest DJs whilst he was over in the UK.

So How is your day going?

Very well thank you! I only arrived in the UK a couple of hours ago. It’s a friend’s launch party tonight so it’s been a good chance to get a little work done at the same time. I fly back home again tomorrow.

The past 6 months must have been crazy for you, what’s been going on?

It’s been very good. It’s been a different kind of crazy really, It’s been a lot more focused on me as an independent artist but I have been travelling & DJing on most weekends for the past 5 years so in that sense it hasn’t been to much different.

Can’t get enough, your debut album looks set for big things, how long did it take you to complete?

It was quite quick to lay everything down. I was expecting it to take over a year but it took me about 8-10 months. I actually finished it about 2 years ago but what has taken the time has been getting all the singles and videos sorted out. I wanted to wait to do something special before I put my name to it. It’s actually been 15 years down the line since I started out but that’s a different story. When Hed Kandi approached me they just said they would give me a little money to go off and do what I want. They left me to my own devises for 6 months and this is what I came up with. I think because I had no pressure from the label I came up with some good material.

Do you think that having worked on so many different peoples tracks in the past it has made you a lot better DJ? If you were to have released an album without having all the experience you have had do you think it would have been hugely different to how you sound now?

Absolutely, it’s been an education. I have had the chance to see how so many different people put tracks together. With the hundreds of remixes I have done I have seen so many different things and have learnt a lot about what are good ideas and what isn’t so hot and best left well alone. I’m sure it has improved my work because I have had so much experience. I had to do the whole album in reverse. I did all the simple stuff first then I treated a lot of the tracks like remixes. As you know, I’m not a traditional guy in the way I write. I don’t sit down and play a guitar or anything like that, I need a groove or something to work from.

Your album looks set for big things

Yea, it’s been doing really well. The next single will be the third one to be taken from it. Freak on, the next single, is the one that features Ultra Nate. That’s all looking great, the support I have had on a club level more than anything on this in particular single has been fantastic, the video has also had a lot of support. Whereas the last single had a lot of radio one airplay and the first single was a lot more underground and had a lot of people talking about it.

For you is DJing live your favourite part of your job or do you think the studio is where all the magic happens?

I need to play to keep my beats fresh, I don’t ever want to give that up. I love playing, it’s something I have done all along. I also need to remix because I think it adds variety. I now also love creating my own stuff because that allows me to go crazy and not have any restrictions. I think I need all three. It’s an equal balance.

What was your inspiration behind "Put em high"? Being one of the biggest tunes in club land at this moment in time.

It wasn’t one of my favorite tracks actually. I thought it was just going to be one of the little album tracks that gets tucked away. I thought the piano thing had been and gone. I played it in Ibiza and I couldn’t believe the reaction i got from the crowd. Then I knew that was going to have to be one of the tracks. For me personally it wasn’t one of my strongest tracks.

How is life at Hed Kandi treating you?

Very well! I think we have grown together. When I signed they were a compilation label and now it’s a big machine. It was great to grow with them because if I had been with a major company they would have tried to change my sound and stick things in that I didn’t want, Hed Kandi didn’t do anything like that.

You are so well renowned you must have plenty of offers from people who want to collaborate and feature on your records, who would you like to feature on one of your tracks?

I have had quite a few interesting people wanting me to work on production for them. I have been speaking to Dannii Minogue’s management, That could be a good change for me. I don’t have a problem with people being commercial or anything like that. I think it would be cool to make a really good Dannii Minogue dance record, I think it would sound pretty funky. I would like to approach some of my own favourites for the next album. I would love to work with Jay Kay, I don’t think I would be able to get him but I will give it my best shot! I’ll have to do a storming track and impress him first I guess! Mica Paris is another personal favourite, I love the record Body Swerve record she featured on. She sounds fantastic when she does house music, she should definitely do more. It’s like what happened with Ultra Nate, I had always been a huge fan, and we had a common friend so that how that came about. She was lovely to work with so it would be a pleasure to work with her again.

If you hadn't got started in music what would you have done?

It’s hard for me to imagine myself doing anything but music now. I did study marketing but I found it too boring. I didn’t want to become a marketing guy, then I started DJing, that basically was a lucky mistake. I have now been doing it for 22 years!

So releasing your own album must have always been on the cards?

Yeah well I’d say for the last 15 years it’s been pretty focused. When I started out I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen and how far I was going to go. It’s beyond belief really.

Being a DJ you travel to many different countries playing clubs, do you find the crowds vary depending on which country you are in?

I used to think that, the first time I went to Moscow I wanted to check everything out and really see what was going on with the whole scene over there. I wouldn’t say it’s the same everywhere but now I am starting to feel that the whole scene is more global. I was in Egypt last week for instance, I was expecting for the crowd not to know any of the tunes and not to be able to interact on the same level but that wasn’t the case. It’s getting a lot more similar all over the world. I think we have the internet to thank for that. It’s such a good resource for people.

Do you play any instruments?

I can play the guitar, I don’t often do it anymore. Obviously I play the keyboard. I try and do as much as I can myself, it’s always a last resort for me to bring in a session player.

What has been your career highlight so far?

This album is definitely very high on the scale. I had a personal goal of selling about 5000 copies of the album and that was surpassed in a couple of weeks! It was so amazing, it’s been so good to finally put my name to something after so many years.

How do you unwind? Do you get much time off work?

I watch movies. I have quite a collection. The last thing I bought was the Rocky box set, it’s a shame though because I remember that film in a much better light! I’m going to have to start warming for the new Star Wars film soon, I guess I’ll watch 1 & 2 then watch the new movie and the complete the series with the final 3 films. I have to plan these things!

On a personal level, what is a weakness for you?

Saying NO! I find it really hard. I’m one of those polite Swedish guys who don’t say no! Since the album thing kicking off I have had to be more restrained and decline more things because I just don’t have enough time.

What’s next for you?

I am going home to Stockholm for a couple of days and then I am coming back over here to Bournemouth to play at Slinky, it’s a huge club perhaps one of the biggest I have ever played. I’ve never played before because it used to be more of a hard house club but they are more funky now. I can’t wait!


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