Interview – MOLØ “I embraced the freedom that initially drew me to electronic music”

Interview – MOLØ “I embraced the freedom that initially drew me to electronic music”

There’s a long and respected lineage of electronic dance music artists stemming the musical hotbed that is Stockholm. Adam Beyer, Jeremy Olander, Joel Mull, Genius of Time, Studio Barnhus, Jesper Dahlbäck are just a few, and the latest and greatest to join the aforementioned artists on her very own quest is MOLØ.

Following in the footsteps of her father, a well-respected and highly regarded selector in his own right, shet has been making moves on the local underground scene in the Swedish capital for the last half-decade. With progress in the studio and behind the decks has her playing multiple shows week in and week out at every imaginable club and underground event in the country, and in early 2018 she caught the attention of Jeremy Olander.

The Vivrant label founder put MOLØ on opening duties at his label show, she quickly landed residency honours at all his future hometown shows. Olander proceeded with inviting her to spend time with him in the studio, which has resulted in a collaboration EP on Olander’s Vivrant imprint in 2019. In the summer of 2018, MOLØ continued to rack up impressive accolades when she landed herself a residency at Stockholm’s club Kvarteret. There, she joined the Vivrant Open show with Marino Canal, Henry Saiz and Jeremy Olander, whilst also played the closing set after Detroit legend Carl Craig.

Warming up Luciano and Sasha at festivals and clubs as The Ark Cruise in Ibiza, Culture Box in Copenhagen and Big Burn Festival in Istanbul, we had a brief Q&A ahead of her debut album on Jeremy’s Vivrant label.

MOLØ, congratulations on the release of your debut album on Jeremy Olander’s Vivrant label! This is a significant milestone. Can you share what this moment means to you?

It means so much. The album reflects a lot of my journey this past year, and I’m excited to invite listeners into my world through these tracks. It’s a mix of excitement, relief, and a touch of nervousness.

Vivrant is known for its high standards and unique sound. How did your collaboration with Jeremy Olander and Vivrant come about?

This was around 2018. I sent one of my songs to Vivrant, which is how I first connected with the label. I received a response from Jeremy’s manager, Alex, saying that he liked the sound and asked if I wanted to play a warm-up set at one of Vivrant’s parties in Stockholm. I did, and after that, I was lucky to become a resident at their showcases. After some time, I sent a new draft to Jeremy, a melody I felt really passionate about and thought would be an even better fit for the label than my earlier tracks. He responded and asked if I would like to finish it together. This became our first collaboration as well as my career-first release, ‘Vanadis’.

Can you walk us through the creative process of this album? What were some of the inspirations behind it?

The album includes some older ideas that I refined over the past year, along with several new songs. Initially, the plan wasn’t to create an album, but after completing some tracks, Vivrant and I decided to assemble a full album rather than an EP. Listening to them from start to finish in the order that’s on the album made it feel really cohesive. 

For a while, I’ve felt a strong urge to explore new creative directions and experiment with different sounds. Ambient music has been a big part of what I’ve listened to personally  in recent years, and something I wanted to explore more as a producer. During this time, I also listened a lot to more experimental electronic music like Rival Consoles and Daniel Avery. This turned out to be an eye-opener for me, and instead of sticking to a specific genre, I embraced the freedom that initially drew me to electronic music. This album is a little reminder to make whatever resonates with you.

Was there a particular track on the album that was especially challenging or rewarding to produce?

‘Balo’ and ‘Moma’ practically wrote themselves. I love it when tracks seem to know exactly where they’re going. That was a rewarding experience.

One track that needed a lot more time was ‘Mio’. I felt like something was missing. It took me a long time and many different drafts before I finally reached out to Running Pine, an artist and vocalist I had admired for a long time. The version he sent back with the top line was beyond my expectations, and I felt like the song had finally hit home. 

‘Chelle’ is a special one. It’s dedicated to my relative, Kjell, who passed away in May 2022. Kjell was an incredible musician and entertainer. Whenever I released a new song, he’d give me a call to discuss chord progressions and the melodies I had written. G minor held a special place in his heart, a detail he never failed to mention. So, after his passing, I wrote ’Chelle’ as a lullaby for him in G minor. When I decided to seek boerd’s input on it, the version he came back with was remarkable. I cried like a baby when I heard it for the first time in the studio.

How do you feel your sound has evolved from your earlier releases to this debut album?

I was fortunate to release a track early in my production journey, initially focusing on straight club music, even if it was slow burning then too. Releasing music at the start of your career, before fully developing your sound, has pros and cons. I felt the pressure of expectations before truly understanding my own sound.

During the pandemic, without the ability to test new tracks on a dance floor, it felt natural to move away from dance-centric music. This shift brought some uncertainty, and I questioned whether I should introduce an alias or not. At one point, I even feared I lost my ability to produce club-oriented tracks. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and now, it feels good to be able to do both. 

Now I feel more confident about breaking out from the path I started on. I personally find it more inspiring to follow an artist’s journey and witness their musical development over time. I’ve stopped being afraid of trying new directions, and I think there’s still much to uncover about the direction I want to pursue. 

Jeremy Olander is known for his distinctive sound and artistic vision. How has working with him influenced your music?

Working with Jeremy has been incredibly inspiring. Collaborating with him has pushed me to explore new creative paths and dive deeper into my own artistic vision. Early on, he taught me the impact of building a journey that resonates on a deeper level. I will always admire his way of creating his journey with very few elements. His ability to blend deep, emotional melodies with energetic rhythms has influenced how I approach composing and producing music. Jeremy’s influence has definitely left a mark on my approach to music.

The electronic music scene is constantly evolving. Where do you see your music fitting in, and how do you hope it will impact listeners?

I’m not entirely sure where my music fits in to be honest. I’m still trying to understand it myself. I do have a sense of the contexts and communities I want to be a part of, and I hope my music will find its place in those spaces where I feel most at home. 

I hope that “Aqua Lull” will find its audience and resonate with people emotionally, giving listeners comfort and inspiration over time. My goal is for the music to leave a lasting impression of tranquility and evoke some sense of hope.

Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations we should be excited about?

I’m currently working on an exciting project with Slacking Beats, and I’m really looking forward to sharing it. I’m also finishing an upcoming solo EP release. Plus, I’m eager to try another album. Next time, I want to start with a blank canvas and build an entire narrative from the ground up.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your listeners who have supported you on this journey?

To all my amazing supporters and listeners, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your unwavering loyalty and passion fuels me every step of the way. Your feedback, enthusiasm, and dedication make me believe in myself and give me the courage to share my vision.

Available now via beatport

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