Swedish House Mafia, Sting cement legendary crossover on fourth ‘Paradise Again’ single, ‘Redlight’Screen Shot 2022 02 24 At 10.24.59 PM

Swedish House Mafia, Sting cement legendary crossover on fourth ‘Paradise Again’ single, ‘Redlight’

Swedish House Mafia and Sting. What a time to be alive.

Sebastian Ingrosso confirmed that Paradise Again would be rife with more unpredictable contributors—if you think of The Weeknd, Ty Dolla $ign, and 070 Shake as any bit surprising—but it’s safe to say that the Swedes crossing paths with one of the most celebrated veterans in music history wasn’t necessarily on anyone’s radar. That was until some of the trio’s Discord members noticed in mid-January that Swedish House Mafia’s following tally on Instagram had gone up by one, with Sting being the latest addition. And dating back to “Lifetime,” the trio had made that their way of subtly telling everyone with whom they’d be collaborating next. That pattern quickly rung true again when Ingrosso made his Discord return less than a week later to reveal that “Redlight”—a word the trio had randomly, but deliberately used to caption an Instagram post—was actually with Sting and wasn’t too far off in the distance. And here we are exactly a month later with “Redlight” officially in hand as the fourth building block to Paradise Again, which is still without a due date at the moment. That’s only half of the story of how we got here, though, and we’re apologizing in advance for the lengthy explanation that’s about to follow.

Back in December, there was a wild goose chase for videos from Axwell’s solo set at MDL Beast, but one had popped up thanks to his Axwell Λ Ingrosso counterpart, which was soundtracked by something most weren’t immediately familiar with. The ID in question belonged to Desembra—who’s been the lone co-production credit on all three Paradise Again tracks thus far—and was given the name of “Juicy” in one of his past SoundCloud mixes. And the upload was suddenly nowhere to be found after the internet caught wind of what was happening. Hope seemed to be lost at that moment, but we threw it on Dancing Astronaut‘s most-anticipated IDs of 2022 because why not? “Juicy” still deserved to see the light of day one way or another. Well, now it has. Sort of.

In the middle of February, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello found themselves in the heart of New York City. Why? We still have no idea. What we do know is that while it wasn’t for a surprise set at Madison Square Garden or The Brooklyn Mirage, Swedish House Mafia had met with Sting and subsequently shared a TikTok of what seemed to be Desembra’s “Juicy.” And a video from Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s MDL Beast set just so happened to surface at the same exact time, where we learned that they played a mashup with an unheard of version of “Juicy” and The Police’s 1978 classic “Roxanne,” causing everyone to put two and two together about Sting’s involvement and where the name “Redlight” stemmed from. And—of course—Alesso was the one to ultimately confirm everything when he dropped the final “Redlight” form at Echostage the following week.

Now that we’re all up to speed and have finally heard the single in its entirety, we know for a fact that Swedish House Mafia did anything but slap their name on the ID we heard back in December along with a Sting sample. Based on all the information at hand, the trio simply used the bassline in Desembra’s original as a jumping-off point while thoroughly fathering their own immaculately built production. If Sting’s vocals sound similar to how they did 44 years ago, then that just speaks to his legendary talent considering Axwell confirmed that they were re-recorded for the newest installment in Swedish House Mafia’s Paradise Again timeline. While not discrediting “It Gets Better,” “Lifetime,” or “Moth To A Flame” to any stretch of the imagination, there’s a general consensus that “Redlight” definitively feels like the most “Swedish House Mafia” single of the four—albeit unlike anything we’ve previously heard from them and just like with everything else since July—with the trio further refining the darkened, new-age house style they’ve presented thus far, masterfully playing side-by-side with Sting’s modernized version of his famed vocals that results in a cross-generational creation that’s going to unequivocally set Coachella on fire in April.

Featured image: Swedish House Mafia/Twitter

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