Hellberg discusses his records, inspirations, and background in exclusive interview
Hellberg, the young Swedish talent, has been making waves in the electronic music industry over the past months with his incredible productions and his energetic personality. We were lucky enough to be able to chat with the 22-year-old about his records, musical background, and inspirations ahead of the release of his new single, “All the Way” out on Wall Recordings August 19th.
His Music Productions
With the anticipation building towards his first single out on Wall Recordings, we had to ask Hellberg about “All the Way” and the incredible support the track has received, including a feature by label head Afrojack on Tomorrowland’s mainstage. “It’s incredible seeing people respond in that way when the full song hasn’t even come out yet,” Hellberg stated. “It makes me hyped that the fans are hyped, and I think that me being hyped about it makes them even more hyped! It’s awesome!” As Afrojack played the record, the crowd seemed to really feed off the energy providing one of the most memorable moments of the festival.
In addition to “All the Way,” the Swede has released some incredible remixes for some of the biggest artists in the game including The Chainsmokers and more recently, Cash Cash. His take on “How to Love” provides quality builds and chilling synth work. When working with artists for remixes, Hellberg stated that it really brings the best out of his productions:
“Remixing artists that you’ve looked up to for a long time is always so cool. I’ve followed Cash Cash closely the last few years so when I got the question, I was super stoked. I would say that what makes remixing artists or putting out tracks on artists’ labels different to releasing a song on a ‘regular’ label is that you feel more pressure to really impress the artist. Since they are creators and musicians themselves, you tend to ‘get away’ with less stuff than you maybe would with some other ‘regular’ label. It makes you go that extra mile.”
Hellberg’s musical talents have generally lent themselves to making truly impressive progressive house music, just like the aforementioned tracks. However, for his 22nd birthday last week, the Swedish producer released a VIP remix of “Synchronize,” a release from earlier in the year. The original wonderfully blends the vocals from Aaron Richards and melodic beat to create a euphoric progressive tune. The remix heads in a new direction, offering a bassier approach and creating a unique sound.
Hellberg explained that this is part of a larger movement that he has been going through:
“[In] the last few months I’ve been really stepping out of my comfort zone and starting to dabble in genres that I haven’t really explored before; it’s been an awesome experience. I made a new mix of ‘Synchronize’ because I love Aaron’s vocal so much and I was really curious to hear how it would fit in a more poppy future bass-setting instead of the dramatic melodic house vibe that it originally had.”
With such an energetic and unique sound, Hellberg’s music and style seem to only be developing and progressing. It seems as if the best is only to come from the young talent.
Pulling Inspirations from Everywhere
Growing up in Sweden, Hellberg has been around electronic music for a majority of his life. Recently, we have seen the likes of the Swedish House Mafia and Avicii reach the pinnacle of the electronic scene, as well as pop music around the world. Hellberg attributes his development and inspiration to great artists like these two but also some others:
“I feel like the whole Swedish music industry all have the same idols, like obviously, ABBA is a huge one for everyone… because they did something that no one else had done before in Sweden and that is being one of the world’s biggest band for a few years. After that, Roxette, Ace of Base… [and] Max Martin. It’s crazy how much Sweden has impacted the music industry as a whole; it’s really inspiring as a Swede to see that!”
Hellberg’s passion for music was supported by his family. Growing up in a musical family helped inspire him to discover new instruments and new sounds. Hellberg said, “growing up, my father had a lot of musical jobs, he has been working as a DJ for like 20 years and my mom has always been into music and musicals as well.” Continuing, “I was like 18 months or so I got my first drum and I had never seen anyone drum before that but I just knew what to do… And from there on, I have been having guitars, pianos, and everything…” The blending of all of these sounds seems to seamlessly come together in his music. When listening, you can hear the inspirations and musicianship come through in his music, showing off his production chops.
Piecing Together a Production
Since We Rave You is such a big fan of his music, we were interested in knowing Hellberg’s track writing process. Generally, each artist has their own steps and progression in creating new music and the Swede is no different:
“I usually start off my projects is by laying down a chord progression to an already existing vocal, now sometimes that’s a vocal that someone has sent to me or sometimes I work around an already existing song like a Katy Perry acapella or something. Then I build the rest of the track on top of that chord progression and vocal.”
Productions can obviously be a difficult process for artists at times, struggling to find new sounds and ideas. Working with a label, just like Hellberg does with Monstercat, can help solve some of these inspiration issues. The label can help you form new ideas and motivate you to turn to new directions. Hellberg said:
“[Monstercat] have definitely helped out a lot, just by saying “no” to stuff, like me sending them tracks and they saying ‘Nah, this is not it…’ [I]f you are just surrounded by friends and family, [they can] tell you “yes” all the time… just because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. [I]t can be really refreshing with hearing that “no” and then analyzing it and come up with something better.”
Hellberg seems to be extremely appreciative of the support that Monstercat has given him in growing his career, “they really believe in me now which is so rewarding… [W]orking with a label that really believes in your talent, tracks, and your future as well.” It will be interesting to see the progression that Hellberg has moving forward with Monstercat, as well as his budding relationship with Wall Recordings. Both labels have a history of consistently producing great music and fostering careers.
Hellberg has joined the long list of Swedish producers who are making their impression on the electronic music industry. With his latest his latest release, “All the Way,” it seems as if he has yet another incredible record that will make waves in the genre. With his ability and passion for the music, we are extremely excited to see what is next for the youngster. Thank you to Hellberg for taking the time to speak with us and best of luck for the rest of 2016 and in the future!