Photograph courtesy of Visualbass Photography
THUMP had the pleasure of speaking to Qulinez of SIZE Records right before their debut Toronto performance as part of the record label's North American tour. The Swedish duo tells us why they're comfortable with their label, about releasing more music in the future, and why they wouldn't trust anyone else in the studio.
THUMP: SIZE has been around for over a decade now. What can you say about being part of the journey to celebrate it?
Johannes: It's amazing just to be part of SIZE. We've been part of it for about two or three years now. It's amazing that the label is getting bigger and bigger all the time.
What has changed from your first release a couple years back?
J: Our sound maybe, but we've started to do a lot of different style tracks so it's not always the same. In the beginning we were a little bit stuck to one sound but now we do whatever we're into. We've changed our sound and got out of our comfort zone.
How did you come about sending in your demo to Steve Angello? Did you expect him to have a favorable reaction?
Alex: We actually didn't expect to get an answer but when we did it was insane, we were so happy. We sent the track to about seven labels and none of the rest answered us. Not even any feedback saying what they thought of the track or anything we could improve. Some labels would just say it wasn't the right time. But Steve contacted us and told us he wanted to sign a contract. It was amazing.
What sets you guys apart from everyone else at SIZE?
A: Maybe the style of production, we're kind of trying to experiment more with new styles. We try to do hip-hop, trap, more commercial sounding stuff, and progressive with some dubstep influence. We aim to do as much as we can to see what works. It all depends how we feel the days we are in the studio.
J: We played the "Real Slim Shady" last night in Miami. [Laughs]
A lot of different artists release tracks through multiple labels and kind of move around. How does working with SIZE compare to this?
J: It's hard because we have SIZE, which is like a family. We keep everything within the family. If you look at another label, they will have some artists who they aren't interested in anymore and they kind of put them away and take in other artists. But with SIZE we are always working to keep what we have. If you make a bad track at SIZE they will never shut you down, but give you what it takes to make it better. You aren't recycled. Especially with other labels, when you release one or two songs and say goodbye and they take another artist. That's what makes SIZE amazing—it's not a record label, it is a family.
What is the best advice you have ever received when it comes to producing music?
A: In the beginning, sometimes people were like, "all your tracks sound the same as "Troll"." But the problem was that when people wanted us to do a remix, they wanted that "Troll" sound in the mix, which is why it all sounded alike. Recently we haven't had any advice, it was mostly in the beginning after "Troll" came out.
What are the best and most difficult things about being a duo?
A: The best thing is you always have someone to talk to and discuss what you like when we make a track. We are really good friends so we are always telling each other the truth about our opinions. I don't know if we could ever trust anyone else to just hook up in the studio and make music with. We are always producing and playing shows together, there isn't a difficult part about it.
I love your new track "Rising Like the Sun," is there anything else we should be looking out for soon?
J: Thank you! Maybe. I don't know if we can talk about it much, but we have some new tracks we want to release and hopefully we can.
A: We have one that Steve really likes so there might be a new one soon.
Who in your likes is next to make a breakthrough in the dance music scene?
J: Martin Garrix… [laughs]. There are a lot of new DJs who are really good. Dyro and Dannic, but they are already pretty big.
Do you think you'll see anyone new at SIZE soon?
J: There is some good stuff coming out on SIZE soon, maybe some new stars but we don't think any artist needs to come to that limit to be a star.
You can follow Nicole on Twitter: @DownTwoMars