It’s a rare feat for a musician to become so popular that the biggest obstacle to their art is the size of their own success. It’s even rarer for the ones who get that big to take a plunge and sacrifice the formula that’s brought them so far for the sake of pursuing a vision that means more to them than sales numbers and chart positions.
David Bowie, Radiohead, Trent Reznor, and Kanye West have all done it. Now with his debut solo album Wild Youth, producer Steve Angello has joined their ranks.
Angello is one of the most successful electronic musicians in history, a platinum-selling artist at a time where those have become an endangered species and a live performer who routinely plays for crowds the size of a small city. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, he first discovered his passion for music through albums by Nas and Gang Starr, but became inspired to make dance music as a teenager after hearing Daft Punk’s Homework. He began releasing music alongside his childhood friend Sebastian Ingrosso in 2001, had his first breakthrough hit as a solo artist with his electro-tinged 2005 remix of the Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and broke the UK Top 10 with “Tell Me Why,” his 2006 collaboration with fellow DJ/producer Axwell released under the name Supermode.
After establishing his reputation as a formidable figure on the dance music scene, Angello teamed up with Ingrosso and Axwell to form the supergroup Swedish House Mafia. Together the trio released six platinum singles, including the massive “Don’t You Worry Child,” which achieved platinum status in nine countries, as well as two hit album-length compilations. Over the course of their collaboration they earned two Grammy nominations, became the first dance music group to headline Madison Square Garden, and released a concert film from their international farewell tour called Leave the World Behind that topped the iTunes charts in 34 countries.
The trio rode the crest of the dance music wave that’s swept the globe, but when Angello reached the very top he decided that he was willing to put it all on the line in order to take a new path as an artist and make the album he’d been dreaming of. Two years ago Angello left Swedish House Mafia and signed a lucrative major label contract as a solo artist that reflected the level of crossover pop success he’d achieved. The problem was that he didn’t want to make pop crossover records anymore, so rather than making compromises to meet someone else’s expectations, he cut the label a check and bought himself out of the contract so he could release Wild Youth through his own Size Records.
Free to work without constraints, Angello’s crafted an album that’s both deeply personal and universally accessible. The songs are stories about loss, his troubled childhood, and how he found solace in dance music, and the emotions that echo through them are richer, subtler, and more finely textured than anything he’s ever created. The sounds are also different from what he’s explored before–darker, moodier, and rooted in the analog sounds of the dance music that inspired him when he was a 15-year-old kid haunting his local record store.
Despite what the title might suggest, Wild Youth is the self-portrait of a superstar who’s matured into a serious sonic craftsman, one who wrote the rulebook on how to make a smash EDM hit, and is now bending those rules in order to elevate his music to a new level, where platinum-level songwriting and production skills meet a newfound sense of patience and confidence as an artist. Wild Youth isn’t just Steve Angello’s first solo album, it might be the first time the world’s really heard what he’s capable of.
Sometimes the dance music industry is given a gift in the form of a vision. That vision encompasses what is considered the norm, yet, it breaks the mold and steadily builds outward.
Aligned solely with one of the industry greats, Still Young is that vision. Born and bred within the roots of dance music, Still Young sought out and garnered the support of one solitary artist Steve Angello.
Talented and eclectic, Still Young has filled the ears of millions of listeners already, praised for the remix of 2014 WMC tune of the year “You” by Galantis (Big Beat Records), Still Young is humbled, yet believe the vision of letting the music speak for itself is grabbing hold.
Not fueled by gimmick haircuts or masks, Still Young wants the music to hit your ears and change your perspective of what quality electronic dance music means. Still Young embraces the crowd reaction, are fascinated by watching the movement, and dedicated to the growing interest in dance music.
Driven mad in the studio, major tunes lay ahead for Still Young…Just ask Steve Angello, he hears the vision as well.
Who is CYA?
You wonder. Maybe without knowing, you already feel it. Maybe our shapes, faces, hands may sound familiar to you. Maybe a cadence still echoes inside your head, long gone days for us.
Maybe there was a time when a melody described us, but now none of this matters at all since We Are Not Our Past. We Are Only Made of Music: goosebumps, emotions, a back to the beat. It does not matter who you were, only what you will become.”
Merging the universal sound of dance music with the structure of a rock band together with exquisite attention to detail around their aesthetics and artwork, Highly Sedated is a unique concept that promises to take electronic music forward to incredible new levels.
Comprised of five friends who all have a strong background in the music business, the group provides an electrifying live experience; the fun, the laughs, the dancing, the memories –fuelled by raw passion and unwavering love for music. In place of formulaic DJ-led shows, Highly Sedated aim to combine the energy and impact of a rock band with the immersive visuals of a high-spec electronic music show to create an unforgettable show. Signed by Steve Angello for his influential Size Records label, Highly Sedated are poised to set the world alight with their music and live shows, it’s time you got to know them…
Formed in July 2015, Highly Sedated is five good friends who work as co-producers on the project, a troupe if you will, all making a contribution to the music and the performances. They are; Leo, the insane Lithuanian techno geek with wizard-like skills when it comes to production.Vocalists Patrick, the crew’s lyricist, who comes from the Stockholm hip-hop scene, and Verner, a man who is a 150% rock & roll and blues singer whose dulcet tones add emotional depth to the music. Both men write all the lyrics, but also furnish the Highly Sedated project with their production skills. Sebastian works alongside Leo on the musical side of things. He’s a pure techno rock & roll man who also manages everything with Hannes -head of content and marketing, who’s a photographer by trade and also handles light and special effects at the group’s show.
In Lithuania is where their story began, when an initial collaboration between a few of the group led to a crazed trip that culminated in a special feeling as they performed on stage for the very first time. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where an impulsive, almost chaotic plan resulted in bizarre synchronicity and connectivity between all of the those involved in that fateful trip. Their rehearsals and subsequent performance exceeded expectations -they were an instant hit and are now one of the most popular bands in Lithuania.
Buoyed by this magical burst of serendipity they immediately got together on their return to Stockholm and kept the vibe alive, resulting in a several more killer cuts. Their growth has been exponential and organic, with hardly a word spoken in terms of plans or direction -just a natural, fun project that gave all five men the freedom to channel their collective experience into something that has become an inspiring venture for all of them. Tracks such as ‘Got Some Water’, ‘Existence’ and ‘Make Love’ have established their emotive approach to production, incorporating underground elements with the catchy vocals supplied by Patrick and Verner to create scintillating sounds.
Hannes had been working as a photographer for Swedish House Mafia star Steve Angello and happened to play some of the group’s music to him during a trip to LA. The music struck a chord with Steve and he immediately signed them his label, Size Records, giving them studio space at Size HQ where they have created a fertile creative environment where their tracks continued to stack up, flowing out of their laboratory and eventually leading to the idea of an album. Their relationship with Steve led to a career-defining moment when they performed a live mix for his Radio 1 show.
Alongside their music, Highly Sedated have been mindful to focus on the artwork that accompanies their releases. Conscious of the shift that has occurred within the music industry with regard to both aesthetics and stage performances, they have carefully selected the artists who contribute to the artwork on the sleeves of their releases. With authenticity at the foundation of their artistic outlook, Hannes and Sebastian have made sure that, whether the music is released digitally or physically, the art that accompanies their music has meaning and comes from credible artists. They include British painter John Clark, Sara Brant Lundin and Sohan Qadri, all of whom have their own artistic fingerprint.
On stage the aim is to provide incendiary, high-octane shows that deliver the music in a polished, yet raw, passionate and awe-inspiring way. Highly Sedated aim to send their fans into a frenzy, to create life-affirming moments and to communicate directly with the audience. The connection with the audience is paramount, “It’s what gets us flying!” says Sebastian. With that in mind, their live show does exactly that with the guys rehearsing and refining the show as often as they canto make it the best it can be. A project that began on a whim, now becoming more solidified as they channel their collective knowledge, tastes and experience into this extraordinary endeavour.
A pioneering new force in dance music, Highly Sedated will evoke smiles, and spine-tingling moments of pure euphoria across the world. As the group prepare to unleash their project on Planet Earth, make sure you’re in the front row when they pass through your town, it will be an experience you will never forget…
It seems there is no stopping Corey James. Whether it be playing Creamfields or being a guest on Steve Angello’s BBC Radio 1 Show, 2016 was a massive year for the artist.
An eagerness to learn and progress, a determined work ethic and desire for success have served him well towards a rapid rise within the industry. After only releasing for a couple of years on top record labels, he has a built a platform for his dedicated fan base to share his musical experiences across the globe. All of his productions are always met with a flurry of support from heavyweight producers such as Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Afrojack, Steve Angello, Nicky Romero, Kryder and DANNIC just to name a few.
Now you can catch him playing shows worldwide anywhere from Japan to USA as the demand for Liverpool’s “best-kept secret” is at an all time high. With a range of exciting tracks that represent his signature sound already in the pipeline for release, watch out for Corey James as he continues to push the boundaries even further!
Boasting an extended line of brotherhood to the formidable Size Records clan, AN21 has invariably let passion lead the way for his global legacy. Balancing the realms of A&R soldier to globetrotting House visionary, a remarkable array of melodic peak time anthems have come to establish this immaculate Swedish asset as an outstanding leader of the universal House explosion.
At the eve of his most exciting landmark to date and a stellar year for himself and Size Records, the continuous momentum behind this talented young producer has never been stronger.
From the days of stealing his brother’s decks to play impromptu sets on the Swedish underground circuit to an ongoing spate of Essential New Tunes, AN21’s rise to immediate attention has invariably been the product of countless creative revelations. Bold enough to don his studio dexterity to the likes of Ellie Goulding and Gorillaz, his collaborative remix of Pendulum’s ‘The Island’ alongside Steve Angello and Max Vangeli would be dubbed as ‘Hottest Track in the World’ by Radio One’s Zane Lowe, marking an essential extension of his own sophisticated club stylings to the masses. Where 2010 proved his essential starting grounds, 2011 certainly saw his enigmatic studio output taken to a whole new level of popularity.
But where AN21’s reputation as an eclectic club connoisseur is undeniable, the aptly named debut album alongside best friend Max Vangeli promises to make 2012 his most memorable to date. Calling upon the likes of Tiesto for title track ‘People Of The Night’, the duos full-length debut will collect a host of friends from assorted musical backgrounds to create a fresh blend of House music.
As the venues grow bigger and the emotive capabilities of his sound grow stronger, his innovative stance on melodically tuned anthems is worthy of the weight now carried in his every musical manoeuvre. Still armed with a 20:20 vision for moment making studio manipulations, this nocturnal champion’s reign upon a genre that he and his family at Size Records have pioneered from the outset remains supreme.
Don’t miss a beat as AN21 continues to lead the way for family values and melodic House music on a universal ascent for craft and country alike.