Top Of The World via Vancouver and Oslo
Dudes, welcome to DMCWORLD. A massive new tune smashing up dancefloors everywhere, 'Top Of The World' out on Afrojack's WALL Recordings label. Talk us through the history of the tune and the reaction it has been getting?
"Well this track has had about 3 or 4 different versions. We were never completely happy with the final outcome of it. But we were confident that with the melody and lyrics, we could make something quite big with it. So we held on to it. I sent a rough version of the copy we had to Bobby Burns, he approved. In the meantime I was also talking with Dyro, and we had discussed doing a collab. So I approached him and asked him to collab on the project with us. And a few days later, ANSOL & Dyro - Top Of The World was born. The support we’ve gotten from this record so far has been amazing. The first time we saw Afrojack play it at Ultra, we both teared up. It was a really proud moment for us."
Aki you live in Canada and Sebastian you reside in Norway - how on earth did this production masterclass get together in the first place?
"Well, we met through other acquaintances online. And we finally decided to collab on a track, “Blue Magic”. The way we would work would be through Skype or Ichat / screen sharing with each other. Its pretty crazy because 5 -10 years ago, this collab would have never been possible. When were both available we work on skype/ichat together, and if not, we pass the project back and forth giving feedback on the progress. We worked well together from the start, and our ideas and vision for music mended well. It turned out to be a success so we stuck with it!"
How often do you actually hook up?
"We’ve actually only met once! The first/only time was fairly recent and we played a festival in Norway as support for Avicii and Skrillex. We’ll be seeing a lot more of each other soon though!"
Aki, you started DJing in Vancouver at the age of 17. However at one point you would make fun of your sister for listening to "computer music that all sounds the same". So what happened, when did you see the light?
"Hahah, well it really stuck with me on my high school euro trip. My brother was into it before I was and uploaded some music for me on my iPod. David Guetta's “Love Don’t Let Me Go” was on REPEAT! From then on, I would spend countless hours on blogs and sites trying to find the most “exclusive” music and of course try to get my hands on un-released material! But what I think what really got me hooked was playing my own music in a club and watching the crowds reaction. There’s no feeling like it, and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything."
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
ANSOL & Dyro – Top Of The World
ANSOL Ft. Amba Sheperd – Press Play
Paris Fz & Simo T – Aztec (ANSOL Remix)
Bobby Burns & Apster – Shanghai
ANSOL VS Dzeko & Torres – Y3AH!
Miike Snow - Devils Work (Dirty South Remix)
Nari & Milani – Atom
ANSOL – Fire in Your Eyes
Hard Rock Sofa – Quasar
Quilnez – Troll
The world sat up and took notice of Ansol when a certain Tiesto played your 'Blue Magic' on his podcast. And you didn't even know, tell us the story…
"This was the moment “ANSOL” was solidified. I was out one night and got a random tweet saying “Blue Magic is huge” or something along those lines. At first I was confused, thought it was leaked and then got another saying “congratulations on blue magic being on club life”. I was so happy and overwhelmed; I left the club to go listen to the podcast. We were ecstatic; it was our first big break. One of the biggest/greatest DJ’s in the world was supporting our track. And to add to it all, he introduced us on the podcast (even though he does that to all of them) But just hearing it from Tijs himself was so fulfilling and exciting! I probably played the rip version from Club Life more than the original itself. Just so I could hear the “club life” drops and of course Tiesto introducing us."
Who brings what to the studio - in other words who is good at what?
"We feed off of each other, and work off of each others energy. Seb is the more technical one in terms of production. His piano background helps ANSOL bring in those melodic and emotional chords. I (Aki) have been playing the drum set for about 8 years now, so in terms of percussion, we try to incorporate the “real” feeling of percussion and not just a drum machine. Sometimes Seb will present a new idea, and I’ll direct it to the direction in which I think would be most suitable. Or I would be inspired by something approach Seb and we would get started on something new! The thing that really helps us when we produce is, we are both very open to all genres of music, get inspired by everything. And are always trying to do something new and innovative! This helps us keep our sound evolving, but also have that distinct ANSOL trademark."
Who are the producers from around the world you are giving high fives to at the moment?
"Currently were quite fond of Afrojack, Bobby Burns, Alesso, Skrillex, Dyro, Hard Rock Sofa and Dirty South."
Tell is about your respective home cities…what are the club scenes like there at the moment, who are the DJs and producers saying something…
"In Vancouver, the club scene has grown exponentially in my opinion. A big reason for this is Blueprint Events. I have been a resident for Blueprint for almost two years now and have seen the shows grow as well as the excitement for EDM. It’s the biggest promotion company that is bringing in the biggest names as well as those artists that are about to be a “big name”! It’s a good mixture between the more mainstream artists and the underground artists. They hold their events at Celebrities Nightclub, which is labeled the best nightclub in Vancouver. Alvaro, the owner, knows his market well and continues to treat Vancouver with good house music.
In Oslo, Norway there isn’t a ton of DJ shows etc. The EDM is not as prominent as other European countries, but it is slowly growing. I believe in a few years it will have a successful industry here. There are a few festivals in which big acts play. But for the main part, it’s more of a lounging vibe. And if not lounging, you’re producing!!"
What is the greatest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
"Wow… that’s a tough question. I think it would have to be Swedish House Mafia – 'One'. And if we were to pick one of our tracks, it would be 'Top Of The World'."
What is coming next from the ANSOL studio?
"This summer we’ll have about 3 or 4 releases, including Top Of The World. We’re very excited for the next few months!"
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date?
"Everything is happening so fast, there are constantly new things that we’re proud to announce or be a part of. Signing tracks to artists that we look up to, getting supported by artists were so inspired by, and being fully immersed in this industry is definitely a dream come true. It’s really tough to pin point one moment, but I think we can agree that when Afrojack played Top Of The World at Ultra, it’s a moment neither of us will forget."
What vocalist dead or alive would you love to get in the studio and make some music with?
"It would be amazing to work with Adele, Chris Martin, Sia, Nadia Ali, Robyn, Rhianna, Michael Jackson, Etta James, and too many more to name!!"
Aki, peering in from over the border, what is your take on the millions of dollars being poured into the American EDM scene? There are a lot of people feeling it is too much too soon and before you know it, Americans will be back on the guitar and hip hop tip…
"I personally feel that it’s great. I used to feel opposed to the aspect of EDM becoming so popular, but I’ve come to realize that it’s for the better. Yes, millions of dollars are being poured into it, but when it comes down to it, its music. People will always need and want music, it aids so many aspects of life. Also, there is the notion of the culture shift back to the guitar and hip hop, but I personally believe we’ve surpassed that. All different types of artists and musicians are collaborating to make new, original, and exciting pieces of art. I think we have David Guetta to thank for that, he was the link that really brought out house music on the forefront. Now we have Skrillex with The Doors, SHM with Usher, Calvin Harris with Rhianna, and of course Afrojack with Pitbull, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and many more. EDM is fully immersed into music as a whole now, whether its indie, top40, or rap, there’s elements protruding in the music that is classified as EDM. I’m very excited to see the new and exciting projects unfold."
So we come back to yours after the club, what is the non banging, ANSOL Back To Mine 10 you spin us to mellow the groove...
"We couldn’t pick 10 so here’s 14!!..."
Tyga – Rack City remix w/ T.I etc
Sbtrkt ft. Little Dragon – Wildfire (RMX Ft.Drake)
Shot Caller Remix
A$AP Rocky - Goldie
A$AP – Big Spender
Jay Z – I Just Wanna Love You
The Naked And Famous – Young Blood
N.E.R.D – You Know What
Big Boi – Shine Blockas
Kleerup – Thank You For Nothing
Kings Of Convenience – I’d Rather Dance With You
J Cole – Can’t Get Enough
J Cole – Lights Out
Jay Z – Lost Ones
And finally, what advice can you give to the thousands of aspiring producers and DJs reading this wanting to follow in your footsteps?
"Well this is going to sound cheesy, but, keep at it. If you truly believe you can do something and you want it bad enough. It will come."