Steve Angello is fed up; ‘We’re not telling stories in dance music, we’re using the same sounds over and over again’
The primary difference between a Steve Angello interview and most others is his honesty. Fans know that as they read the Greek-Swede’s words from their computer screens, they are indulging in frank and purely unadulterated opinions. Steve has strenuously worked toward building his brand for over a decade, but it was only recently that he realized just how influential his platform truly is.
“I don’t need a major label.”
No, he doesn’t. And as time progresses, Steve finds himself further pushing the envelope as he looks to sign “artists that are musically closer to, say, James Blake.” As he evolves, so does Size – which will no longer simply act as a dance label, but a more versatile launching pad that thirsts for greater maturity and diversity. Citing flexibility as one of the advantages of being small and independent, Angello seizes this opportunity as one that will allow him to “push Size wherever I want to push it.” His reasoning? Dance music is too “safe.”
“The direction of dance music right now isn’t very appealing…But instead of complaining about it, I’d rather try to change it. I’m not saying I’ll succeed, but I’ll give it a shot.”
Steve wants dance music to tell stories and for the genre to thrive in ways that, for example, rock does. The mentality should be less about money, and more about the value of permitting electronic music to prosper and freeing it from its vicious, repetitive cycle.
“We’re not telling stories in dance music, we’re using the same sounds over and over again because they’re easy to make and they keep the focus of the fans. But if you think about rock artists, they make an album, they tour the album, and then they have two years off to make a new album because they need time to reinvent themselves. So that’s what I did. I spent the past two years in the studio, and now I’m ready to run out of the gate. And, you know, it’s a relief knowing I don’t have to play “Don’t You Worry Child” all the time.”
When asked about his debut studio album, Angello’s first reaction is to explain that “It’s not EDM. It’s dance music and it has vocals, but they aren’t pop vocals and it’s not formulaic.” The Temper Trap’s Dougy is just one example of a vocalist he has worked with, but Steve affirms that his aim is not to create radio-friendly music as opposed to his prior work with Swedish House Mafia. Wild Youth will contain substance, meaning and will escape the EDM box:
“I’m trying to make a piece of art that I’ll be able to look back on in 10 years and say, “I’m f—ing proud of that.” That’s the difference between doing it yourself and doing it with a major label. I don’t want to look back and say, “Oh, remember when we did that? I can’t believe the kids bought into it.”
At the moment, there is nothing particularly fascinating to him about dance music’s stale sound. Many artists have lost their passion, often sacrificing quality for quantity, or whatever will reel in capital. “I expect more,” Steve says. “I want to be sitting there with my eyes wide open, saying, “Whoa, what is this record, what’s he playing? I’ve never heard this before…It’s not happening.”