Although we celebrated America’s Independence Day, New York got a Swedish takeover courtesy of Cazzette. On a sold-out cruise around the Hudson River, Alexander Björklund of Cazzette helped kick of the Big Apple’s inaugural July 4th event, Ship Faced, with an electrifying performance. Liz Tillman caught up with Alex before his set to discuss new music, advice to producers who are living hectic tour lives and more!
EDM NYC: If one of your songs were to become the new Swedish national anthem, which would it be and why?
Cazzette: That’s a tough one. I would have a hard itme seeing something that modern becoming an anthem, but I would say “Sleepless,” because it’s my favorite, and it’s kind of soulful in a way. I like it!
EDM NYC: You recently released a new song, “Blue Sky,” featuring Laleh. Can you tell us about the song writing process for this piece?
Cazzette: It was really cool! We’ve always been big fans of Laleh; she’s an amazing talent and she’s really famous in Sweden. She’s just an amazing person; super talented. We met her at an event in Austin at the SXSW festival. So we met her there and we were like, ‘Hey! We really like your stuff, Do you want to do something?’ and we didn’t really think more than that because she is so famous in Sweden that we didn’t even know if she knew who we were, or anything like that. But six months later we were in the studio together! We were just really happy about it, and then we wrote the song in a few hours in LA – so it worked out!
EDM NYC: “Blue Sky” was just featured in a new Swedish Audi campaign, but can you tell us what song you love to blast in the car when you’re driving around?
Cazzette: I listen to a lot of hip hop, like Tupac and Biggie and that stuff.
EDM NYC: So more old school?
Cazzette: I mean there are obviously some new talents that are great, but when I blast stuff, that’s usually the stuff that I crank up.
EDM NYC: In 2012, you were the first group to have a Spotify- exclusive album, but now in 2016, we have far more streaming services and various platforms. At this point, would you still chose Spotify to be your exclusive platform, or would you chose a different one?
Cazzette: Yea, we have a really great relationship with Spotify, and I think it’s organic because it’s something that we use everyday. I have like ten or twelve playlists that I go through daily. And if I don’t really know what I want to listen to, then I can go explore stuff, and it will put together a really good playlist for me that I never even knew about. So it’s been a great way to discover music for me, and I mean it’s up to everyone what they like, but it’s an actual service for me, so I can easily see myself working with them in the future.
EDM NYC: In the past, you’ve had disagreements with your labels regarding the music they wanted you to make and the music you wanted to make. Do you have any advice for other artists who are looking to stay genuine to their craft?
Cazzette: I’d say it’s really important. For us, that was a part of growing up. Because we didn’t necessarily know where we were going with our music, and what we wanted to create, so it’s not like it’s all the label’s fault, but I think it’s really important to remember what you as an artist want to make, and stay true to that rather than to try to create music for the purpose of someone else, like if you have a big label they want you to go more commercial. I think it’s good to try it out, but for us, we just felt like we wanted to have more creative control of the music. So I’d say to just be true to yourself.
EDM NYC: When you’re constantly on tour, I’m sure you’re exhausted, but what do you guys do to unwind while on the road?
Cazzette: Now it’s better for me because I just moved to the states, but now it’s like touring weekends and I’ll go back home for the week, so it’s not as intense. But to relax we try to go out and eat, and just have a good time, work out, and just chill. I’m a pretty easy going guy, so I don’t do much. Just work out, and I like good food!
EDM NYC: What do you like?
Cazzette: I like really interesting restaurants. There’s a place here in New York for instance, Blue Hill, that’s amazing! It’s like farm-to-table, and is super organic, and it’s an amazing experience. So I usually try to find good food and work out, that’s all we do.
EDM NYC: You recently played at Samsung’s 837 venue, and now you’re playing on a Boat in the Hudson. Regardless of location, what do you try to do to make your sets memorable?
Cazzette: It’s one thing to have your set planned out, but I always try to build a new atmosphere when I’m playing. So for instance, when I played that Samsung event, that was a unique experience for me because I didn’t know what to expect and when I came it was more of a bar-hangout vibe. It wasn’t like a concert. So then I showed up and was like ‘Oh wow, this is going to be a different set!’ So I try to always give the crowd a unique experience. You’re supposed to always be able to see an artist, or a DJ in this case, like five times in a year, and it should be different every time. It shouldn’t be a packaged experience where it’s the same thing every time, especially if you’re performing as a DJ, which I am. So that’s what I try to do to make stuff memorable.
EDM NYC: Can you give us a hint of what we’re going to hear tonight?
Cazzette: Lots of old material as always, I always try to play that. It’s a fun set, and I try to incorporate a lot of positivity, so it’s a little more groovy and overall it’s going to be a positive experience for everyone.