Change for the Good: A Conversation with Cazzette

Swedish electronic duo Cazzette are all too aware that predictability will land any two young and

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Swedish electronic duo Cazzette are all too aware that predictability will land any two young and ambitious producers, regardless of their skill, typecast as festival frequenters. It was only last year that Alexander Bjorklund and Sebastian Furrer released Eject: their blaring, dub house debut that rings with big room sound and massive drops, however, the pair is hardly sticking to any winning formula as they mature in the music scene. Reinvention has always been at the core of Cazzette’s priorities, ensuring variety and surprise push the creation of their music instead of circumstance. The group’s open approach to production has made them one of the most prolific producers today, quite an astonishing feat given the short amount of time the two have been making music together. This year, the groups track “Blind Heart” reached number 1 on the U.S. dance chart and signified a measured transformation in the band’s sound, turning their focus to making not just dance music but music all people can enjoy anywhere. With their forthcoming EP Desserts arriving August 14, Cazzette sat down with HYPETRAK to talk about their explosion onto the dance scene, the future of the group and their need to keep innovating.

You guys have been incredibly busy the last two years, how have you found time to get everything done between touring and producing?

Alexander: I think somewhere after Eject and “beam me up” and all that, we actually told our manager that we need to step back and be in the studio for a while. I think we had been on the road for so long that we didn’t put any time into making new music because we were so tired and everything was so new and crazy back then. We kind of needed to just take a break and figure out where we were going because it’s kind of hard to see that when you step into the scene as a new artist and everything just gets thrown at you. We did the tour with Avicii and the whole scene exploded and there was so much going on and we’re still young…Seb, you were like seventeen or something? (laughs)

Alexander: Yeah, so, it was kind of crazy to be thrown into that world, we told our manager to take a step back and focus on the music and figure out where we want to take Cazzette as a project and so that’s kind of where we came across “Sleepless,” which was our first proper track made after we stepped back.

Your musical style seemed to change after “Sleepless” came out and then again with “Blind Heart,” was this a conscious, new direction you intended to take?

Sebastian: I wouldn’t say so because we always try to reinvent ourselves in one- way or another and try to stick with new kinds of sounds. Just in our opinion, when you expect a sound from somebody, it’s kind of boring for us as listeners. So, we just make music that we want to hear, and even surprise ourselves in some ways (laughs). I don’t think we really have any sort of specific genre or sound that we are going after, we just go for what we like at the moment and if we are inspired by hip-hop for a while then we might go with that, if we are inspired by jazz or disco then we will go for that, and I think this EP that is coming up will be a little more house-orientated but, at the same time, it’s going to be a lot of different stuff as well.

As you’ve said your style changes according to your inspiration, do you believe this may, at some times, alienate fans of your previous music?

Alexander: Well, of course at first, we did decide that we wanted to create music that we wanted to listen to and not only play at festivals or clubs so that was a bit of a game changer for us when we realized that we don’t actually listen to the old stuff anymore because, first, the tracks are like 6 to 8 minutes long or something like that and the concept is pretty club orientated and we realized there’s so much more you can do with music in general and also dance music. Additionally, there are so many talented producers out there like Disclosure and Skrillex who are skilled at so many things like arrangement and staying unpredictable and I think that is way more important.

Sebastian: I think the thing is that to not be…fucking obvious, you know? (laughs). You know make something that is exciting for the listener or, like, when we play our sets we always try to do something that is different. We are not trying to revolutionize the scene, we are just trying to surprise people. Bangers get played all the time because they work but we are just trying to attract people to what we are into and what we like and hope they respond.

Well, fans have certainly responded. You mentioned some major players like Disclosure and Skrillex; do you have any favorite collaborators?

Alexander: Those people are clearly super talented but, in general, I think Seb and I are more interested in collaborating with people outside the electronic scene. It would be more interesting to collaborate with perhaps a jazz singer than, say, a big time dj.

Sebastian: We work with people that we never thought we would work with and that is the best thing to do to get something you didn’t originally expect, you know? You don’t really know what you’re going to do, it just comes out naturally and that is the most fun. There is one track we did with Wyclef Jean that is really unexpected for him and us, so I think that is where the best sessions come from.

Speaking about features, can you share any artists that might pop up on the on the upcoming EP release?

Alexander: Yeah, we have a song with Sterling Fox, he’s a really great songwriter, singer and he’s just an amazing guy. We spent a few days last winter in the studio with him and we are really excited with what happened. We also worked with Buster Moe from Sweden, who is actually signed to our label and a brand new artist who does a lot of rock, pop, indie type stuff.

Sebastian: Not electronic at all.

Alexander: Yea, these are just a few of our favorites so far that come to mind.

Awesome. I just want to switch up here and ask you guys about Spotify as there has been so much talk about music streaming services and the direction of digital downloads. You released your previous album exclusively with Spotify and you were the first ever to do so, did this strategy work well for you and did you enjoy that experience?

Alexander: Yea, they are amazing to work with and we have a really great relationship with them but, specifically, what was really cool with what we did with Eject is that we were the first one to take this method of release, so we kind of love taking risks like that. We obviously wanted our music to reach people but it was just as important to us to be part of something new and innovative.

Sebastian: I think for now, we have such a good relationship with Spotify we would likely stick with that strategy but, yea you never know what the future brings.

Alexander: I mean, they kind of represent the innovation part in us, that’s why we like them so much because in a way, we think the same way: try new stuff, be positive, work hard.

Indeed. I read previous interviews in which you talked about how you found your current manager Ash by watching YouTube videos and reaching out via email. Do you feel artists today have a certain advantage over artists in the past or do you believe the overabundance of content available online makes artists easier to forget?

Alexander: It’s a tough one, at the same time it is easier to reach out but at the same time it is harder, it’s very weird. Obviously, there is some advantage to the Internet but there is, of course, always a need for quality.

Sebastian: If you look at the music industry 20 years ago, the label chose what we hear, so, if the label didn’t like it you wouldn’t hear it properly but today, people can put it out themselves. Nevertheless, there is an issue in this as well because it gets too messy, right? If you search for, you know, Rihanna “Bitch better have my money” remix you will find probably about five thousand of them so that’s is what is great about blogs because you know what blogs are good and you see what you like. Otherwise, the Internet is just a big, giant mess and personally, I have a love-hate relationship with the whole thing.

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