Interview by Shannon Lawlor and Arnold van der Walt
Sweden-based wave producer, sweeep, recently released a brand new single ‘Realize’ and shared the Loneliness remix exclusively with The Playground. Taken from her upcoming ‘dssspear here’ EP, she has been steadily releasing music from this new record with ‘Realize’ being the latest.
Europe has always been the go-to place fro smaller sub-genres to grow, and when it comes to wave music that is no exception.
sweeep will be releasing a new EP on the 5th of September, titled ‘dssspear here’, available on all streaming platforms.
We sat down with sweeep and spoke about her premiere on The Playground, equality in Stockholm, and refusing to work with sexists. Listen to another The Playground exclusive which is also available for free download.
For anyone foreign to sweeep’s darkened aura, how would you personally describe the music you produce?
Someone told me that if Yung Lean and Burial had a kid it would be me. It’s bass heavy and fragile.
Your latest EP ‘dssspear here’ will be self-released on September 5th, how would describe the recording process?
I start making the drums or an ambience, it depends on my mood. I need to focus more when I make drums. I don’t wanna use the same drum pattern I’ve heard before, but I like when the kick and snare is easy to follow so I experiment with the rhythm more when I make the percussions.
After that I usually add a bassline that is synced with the beat, then maybe some synths, vocal samples and trying out something weird, getting lost in not knowing what I’m doing and suddenly I feel like it’s kinda finished. Then my favorite part of the process comes, adding small details and effects here and there to make it better.
Was there any particular inspiration behind writing the track ‘Realize’? And how do you feel the ‘Loneliness Remix’ compliments this expression?
I usually just create from my intuition and don’t have anything particular as inspiration. Everything in my life influence the mood in my music.
While the original song is sweeeping and atmospheric, Loneliness turned it into a danceable version.
How would you describe Stockholm’s electronic music scene? Is there anything you would like to change, or improve about it?
One thing I love about Stockholm is that people care about equality. Compared to other countries it’s very different. A lineup with 100% white cis men would get a lot of criticism here.
Another thing I like is that a lot of producers and DJ’s live here. People are throwing their own small shows with independent artists, open air parties in the forest and stuff like that. I rarely go to the official clubs.
If there’s anything I would like to change I must say the scene could get broader and welcome new genres. It’s easier to discover new music abroad, like in London for example. Stockholm is a small city and has a small scene.
Being a womxn in the music industry, do you feel your current scene is egalitarian? Have you ever faced discrimination?
No, all kinds of electronic music scenes are still dominated by white cis men. I face discrimination in different ways. Everything from not getting paid for shows when all the males get paid, people who don’t believe I’m DJing even though I wear an artist pass, the list is long.
Most people are nice to me personally, but I don’t feel that everyone is doing what they can to make the scene more inclusive and safer for everyone. I’m not even sure if everyone see the problem.
And what advice do you have for any young female producers out there experiencing this?
Know your worth and keep do your thing. Start noticing when people are sexist, and stop support and work with them. That’s an advice to everyone, not just young females.
Take us through a typical day in the studio. Are there any particular techniques you’ve adhered to since you created sweeep?
A typical day in the studio is a long session without going outside and in the best case I turn off my phone. I like to disconnect from the world for a bit while I make music. There’s a bunch of particular techniques I’ve adhered to. I have my favorite VST’s Omnisphere and Massive with some self made reese bass presets that I like to reuse. I also started to build my own sample pack some year ago with field recordings from every city I’ve been to, so I usually pick a sample from there and edit it to a percussion loop or something atmospheric.
If sweeep could collaborate with any artist on the planet, who would it be? And why?
Grimes! She seem to be a fun and inspiring person to be with in the studio. Except from sick production skills she has a cool voice too.
Care to mention any favourites on your current playlist?
WTCHCRFT, Eevee, Sace and Loneliness, I listen to them all the time. I just created a public Spotify-playlist that I’ll keep updated with my new favorites.