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Exclusive Interview: MORTEN discusses David Guetta friendship as pair drop new collab ‘Detroit 3AM’

Danish DJ and producer Morten Breum (aka MORTEN) may have skyrocketed during the course of the past year, but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a passionate Scandinavian who has spent the vast majority of his adult life making music. Since releasing his debut album ‘Drop’ in 2009, MORTEN – who now resides in the sun-soaked Californian capital of Los Angeles – has spent over a decade honing his craft, with the result now displaying itself in the potently unique tones that have elevated the great Dane to the summit of the industry.

Racking up over 35 million Spotify streams already on his 2019 David Guetta collaborations ‘Never Be Alone’ and Make It To Heaven’, the duo are now launching their trilogy in the shape of ‘Detroit 3AM’ – the dark new tribute to underground club culture – via their huge remix of Avicii & Chris Martin’s ‘Heaven’ last summer. The track is an aural embodiment of the refreshing zest MORTEN has sprinkled across a somewhat jaded dance scene which currently rests between the purgatory of the fading EDM boom, and the rise of more minimalistic techno sounds (a slow evolution from 2017-19’s rise of tech-house).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 months, the facts are undeniable: MORTEN is just about the hottest property in electronic music right now. Riding the crest of a rapidly-rising wave as a global superstar in the making, we caught up with the eclectic producer to discuss his origins, that famous friendship with David Guetta, working with the legendary Tim Bergling (aka Avicii), and the mammoth success of his recent club weapon, ‘Polar’. This is what happened, when We Rave You met MORTEN…

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MORTEN! Let’s start by discussing your new single ‘Detroit 3AM’ with David Guetta. You’re really bringing such a unique underground touch to your tracks right now, with flavours of acid house, and techno, all sorts of sub-genres. Is the track name a tribute to that?

“Hey guys, thanks for having me! Yes, you can say it is a tribute to the whole underground culture. This specific track gives me a feeling of being in a warehouse in Detroit at three in the morning. David (Guetta) and I really like to take sounds from the sub-genres such as acid house, as you described, and make it fit in a format that works on a big stage and not just in the underground.”

Some of the earliest work you put out was under the name ‘Morten Breum’ (for example, the track ‘On It’), – How would you say your sound has evolved since then and what was the idea behind dropping the ‘Breum’ part of the name from a branding viewpoint?

“It’s obvious that since I released ‘On It!’ technology has evolved a lot and today, we can design sounds with better quality. But I think that anyone who has listened to my album ‘Drop’ from 2009 on which ‘On It’ was the first single, will recognise the same feel in my songs today. Morten Breum is my given name. But I dropped the Breum part simply because it was too difficult for foreigners to pronounce it.”

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Some of the earliest work you put out was under the name ‘Morten Breum’ (for example, the track ‘On It’), – How would you say your sound has evolved since then and what was the idea behind dropping the ‘Breum’ part of the name from a branding viewpoint?

“It’s obvious that since I released ‘On It!’ technology has evolved a lot and today, we can design sounds with better quality. But I think that anyone who has listened to my album ‘Drop’ from 2009 on which ‘On It’ was the first single, will recognise the same feel in my songs today. Morten Breum is my given name. But I dropped the Breum part simply because it was too difficult for foreigners to pronounce it.”

Last year, you remixed Avicii’s ‘Heaven’, and previously, Tim had actually remixed your own track ‘Beautiful Heartbeat’. Was it something the Bergling team approached yourself and David about before the ‘TIM’ album was released, or did you decide to work on it with David after hearing the original?

“David was asked to remix Avicii and he asked me if I wanted to be a part of it because we were developing our sound together. I have always been a fan of Avicii and when David asked me, I wanted to be a part of paying a tribute to one of the biggest musicians to have ever lived. Yes, Avicii remixed my song ‘Beautiful Heartbeat‘ and turned it into a masterpiece, so it was nice to work on one of his songs.”

You’ve worked with David extensively in recent times, now on this track, and previously on ‘Never Be Alone’ and ‘Make It To Heaven’ – When did you guys first meet and how did your friendship and working relationship blossom into what it is now?

“I met David at Tomorrowland in 2013. We said hello and then I met him a few time around the world at festivals, and in a gym in Los Angeles. We slowly became friends. He’s always been a mentor for me in terms of producing music and when I finally came with some music he fell in love with, we started working together and our sound developed!”


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During his set at AMF last year, David played a lot of previously unheard IDs (including ‘Polar’), with 1001 Tracklists identifying many of them as yours, or more MORTEN X Guetta collabs. What can you tell us about those, and any future release dates? We’re all excited to hear them!

“As you guys know, we have a few records in the works. If it was up to me, I would release them all today, but I am as patient as a virgin polar bear in the spring.”

2019 was such a massive year for you personally, with many (including us here at We Rave You) feeling that your sound is so unique and refreshing in the industry right now. What is it about that trademark MORTEN style which resonates so deeply with the electronic music/club scene right now?

“Thank you guys, I am so happy to hear this. I believe in using techniques from the underground such as arrangements and sounds, taking away the over-exaggerated ‘three, two, one, let’s go’ feeling from EDM and making main-stage music cool. I am from the North, Scandinavia, my ear is different. I love cold and dark melodies. I think I have only made three or four songs in the major scale, the rest have been in minor and dark.”

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Do you have any musical influences? And when you’re not making music yourself, which artists do you like to listen to and why?

“I really love Scandinavian electronic music from around 2005 and up. The Knife, Trentemoller, and so on, all inspired me a lot… So did electro from 2010. But I personally love to listen to a lot of different music that has nothing to do with the music I produce, such as Bob Marley, and Marvin Gaye.”

Finally – Tell us, what do you have planned for the rest of 2020? Any big shows or residencies we should know about?

“Yeah, I am playing Tomorrowland, Medusa Festival and many festivals more around the world. I am planning on releasing lots of music this year and keep being creative and making people dance!”

As one of the biggest names in the industry right now, we only expect MORTEN to grow even further across the space of 2020, as the Dane continues to work on bringing us some of the most vivaciously exciting and dynamic sounds to be heard in our industry for many years. Both alongside his good friend David Guetta, and solo, MORTEN has an army of red-hot IDs to release throughout the course of this year, starting with the atmopsheric ‘Detroit 3AM’ which you can check out below:





Cementing a spot as one of the industry's most in-demand names, Jake Gable has worked on highly successful press campaigns for the likes of Tiësto, MK, and Marshmello, as well as interviewing acts such as Oliver Heldens, Martin Solveig, NERVO, and many more, across Ultra Miami, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, Creamfields, ADE, and Ibiza. Doubling up as CEO of UK company The EVENT, Gable also works as a tour manager, playlist curator, dance music influencer, and DJ, under his JK-GBL alias. The UK-based journalist is best known for his breaking news story on Swedish House Mafia's return at Miami's Ultra Music Festival in 2018 (a world exclusive), and 'Avicii: The Truth...', an inquest into the EDM star's passing.

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