Being gifted a Jimi Hendrix record rather than a teddy bear is an action likely to leave a mark on a child. And this is exactly how today’s Introducing artist recalls his childhood and first taste of the music.
Danish singer/drummer/producer Slowolf has been playing and creating music since his earliest days on this planet, but more recently, has spent his time captivating audiences with a series of pulsating rhythms, fierce melodies and unlikely collaborations. A veritable experimenter, Slowolf – aka Andreas Asingh - doesn’t just blend genres, he finds the most unlikely of pairings and smashes them together, creating powerful, dramatic and completely engaging sounds. It’s this strength and presence of character that has led the Copenhagen-based musician to collaborate with the likes of Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon and Anna Stroyer in recent months, and it’s his unique fusion of influences and techniques that has us anxious to catch one of his notoriously energetic shows.
Ahead of his performance at London’s Ja Ja Ja showcase on Thursday, we chat with the multi-talented muso to find out about his musical beginnings, and how exactly one goes about setting up a collaboration with Raekwon.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are, and where you’re from?
I live in Copenhagen, Denmark spending my time writing and producing music, singing falsetto and beating the drums.
We know that you’re a singer, a drummer and a producer but which came first, and which do you consider to be your main passion?
Ever since I was born music have been a huge part of my life. I got a Jimi Hendrix LP instead of a teddy bear and I started to play the drums just after I learned to walk.
What do you get from drumming and singing that you don’t get from being a producer, and vice versa?
I think it’s a gift for me that I started so early with the drums. I mean, the rhythmic part has always been easy for me and I use that skill every day when I produce and write music.
What or who do you consider to be your main inspirations when writing music?
Personally, right now I find a lot of inspiration in the work of some of the young Nordic architects and chefs. They are totally determined and passionate, and most of all, they don’t give a shit.
What was the first record that you bought? And which has been the most important/had the most influence over you?
My first record was Master Of Puppets by Metallica. I am huge fan of Metallica, both Master Of Puppets and …And Justice For All have been really important for my musical .
Let’s talk about ‘Dance Floor’ – what’s the story behind the song?
I was singing a stupid little melody at home when my 7 year old son started singing it with the lyrics: “To The Dance Floor, To The Dance Floor”. I was like, WOW that’s the maddest hook ever and I just went to the studio to start recording it.
How did you come to work with Raekwon? How did you discover his work?
While working on ‘Dance Floor’ I heard Travis Barker’s track ‘Carry It’, featuring RZA and Rae. When I got to Rae’s part I was choked. No doubt about it, I needed that sound for ‘Dance Floor’. A week later he played a show in Malmo – real close to Copenhagen. I called a good friend and photographer Jamil GS who took some pictures of Rae in NYC for one of his solo albums years ago. So Jamil posted the track to Rae and a hour later he texted me: “Rae’s on”. Yeah, the rest is history.
We’ve just seen the teaser for the forthcoming track ‘Bullets In The Sky’ with AC and Anna Stroyer – how did that collaboration come about?
As with Rae I was just blown away when I heard the voice of 13 year old Anna Stroyer. Her sound reminds me of some old R’n’B female singers like TLC and Destinys Child. The perfect and unique match on top of the powerful track. AC is one of the greatest bass players ever and he really added some pure punchy energy to it. TLC meets Queens Of The Stone Age…
You seem keen on collaborations, so if you could record/work/perform with anybody, who would it be?
I love breaking genres and to me it’s all about the sound and not about the name – music first, that’s the thing with my collabs. I mean Rae is a legend and Anna is just a kid but I really don’t care, they sound amazing on my tracks.
Is Copenhagen a good place in which to be making music? How do you feel about the local music scene there?
I am happy about staying in Copenhagen for sure but I feel like the time is up for jumping out in the big world.
Which bands from your home town and scene should we be keeping an eye on?
Malthe Lund Madsen he is a genius up and coming producer, keep an eye on him.
What should we expect from a Slowolf live show?
Tons of energy, no backtrack and the biggest sound ever.
What’s been the most memorable thing that’s happened for Slowolf so far?
It’s less than a year since I released my first single and lots of memorable things have happened since. Pick Of The Week on Danish National Radio, collabs on ‘Dance Floor’ and ‘Bullets In The Sky’, the debut show at Roskilde Festival and the latest spins on BBC is all stuff that I will never forget.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
2013 is loaded with great stuff and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Slowolf will play the Ja Ja Ja Nordic music showcase at The Lexington on 25 April. Tickets for the show are £5 in advance and available via this link and to find out more about the event, head to the Ja Ja Ja Facebook event page.