Swedish DJ/producer Adrian Lux has come a long way since his first dance music hit andGrammy-nominated “Teenage Crime”. Now at the forefront of the dance music scene, headlining shows all over the world with a fully packed touring schedule, the 27-year-old is gearing up for his second album release via the hit-making label Ultra Records. His newest single, “Damaged”, showcases the vocals of fellow Swede Alva Tang and expresses a classic-but-developing “Adrian Lux” sound that tells us we have a lot to look forward to.
We were able to catch Adrian’s stellar show this past weekend at New York City’s legendary Webster Hall. He gave the sold-out crowd exactly what they came out to see, playing everything from classic originals like “Teenage Crime” and “Burning” to crowd-pleasing sing-alongs like Alesso’s “If I Lose Myself”. He even dropped some new and unreleased tracks off his upcoming album. Naturally, the first thing we did when sitting down with him at aNYC lounge Monday evening was give our props on the performance. Adrian touched on many topics, including the inspiration for his recent music video, a sneak peek at what’s to come, and his thoughts on the dance music scene. Check out the full interview below.
EARMILK: You sold out Webster Hall on Friday night, giving us one of the best sets I have heard to date. How did you feel about the fan response?
Adrian Lux: I think it was great. I love playing New York. There are definitely people that are really interested in music and I always had that experience playing here. You can see after on Twitter, people comment on certain stuff instead of the whole thing in general. It always makes you think twice when playing here, that you want to do a good thing.
EM: This is an exciting time for you. Your new single, “Damaged”, just dropped along with the video. Could you tell us a little more about the skating inspiration for the video?
AL: I used to skate when I was a kid, and I think that skating and music always go good together. Sometimes I’ll take my music and go on YouTube just to see what it would fit to. Then I started fitting it to my old skate videos and I thought, “Wow, this is really a match.” Then I thought about the whole concept of trying to show people that world, and then the director Travis Kopach really made it something.
EM: What do you feel is the connection between skating and music?
AL: Skating is a very epic sport. It’s about heroism and throwing yourself out on cliffs, you know. It has a kind of “we against the world” attitude and I feel a lot of the dance music scene comes from that. People really love dance music, even though it’s so big now, but it’s a culture. So I think in that sense it has some similarities. And dance music itself is very epic so they go very well together.
EM: Marcus Shössow recently remixed “Damaged”, how are you feeling about that?
AL: It’s great! I mean, we’re all really good friends and we’re having a collaboration coming up too for my next single. So this is a really great way of leading in to that I think.
EM: That’s awesome. What can you tell us about the upcoming album?
AL: It’s going to release this spring. The next release is called “Wild Child” with him [Marcus Shossow] and a Swedish band called JJ, and that will be released the August 27th. It’s a really special track. It’s something that we worked on for a long time and it’s finally coming together. There’s going to be a few different versions on the release too. I played it at Webster Hall too. I’ve been playing it at like every show. It’s one of those tracks where it’s a bit darker but still “Adrian Lux” feeling.
EM: Can’t wait for that. Any other upcoming collaborations you can reveal for us?
AL: I have a song with a new talent from Sweden, her name is Elliphant. She is a really interesting person. I think she is going to do really well. She has that very commercial appeal but she is very much about the right things, you know, just hanging out with her. It’s good to see that the music industry gets these people who aren’t just in it for the fame or money but actually want to give out a good message. She’s really cool, fun too.
EM: So if you could pick anyone to collaborate with, who would it be? I know you’ve had a lot of inspiration from Eric Prydz.
AL: Yeah, definitely. Doing a song with Eric would be amazing. I think it will happen at some point, we’ve had some exchanges back and forth; we’ve both been staying in the lane. Sometimes I go to shows and just play his stuff. So if it happens, it will happen organically, and he’s all about that too you know, so that would be cool.
EM: What do you think about the current state of dance music?
AL: I mean, it’s amazing what is happening, you know. I hope it will develop more, that every sub-genre will grow into something. I feel like we’re seeing that already, seeing smaller stuff get accepted. Like techno, progressive house, and others, and I think that’s going to happen. That happened a while ago back in Europe and Sweden but not in the same kind of magnitude that is going on here.
EM: How do you think the dance music scene differs between Sweden and here in the states?
AL: Now, it’s pretty much the same thing because the world is like a big massive rave at the moment. But it didn’t use to be like that. So everyone you see popping up over time, like Prydz or Adam Beyer or Ax [Axwell], everyone has been working for such a long time back in Sweden. We didn’t really have those massive clubs to fight about, so I think it did kind of keep competition on a more normal level.
So, people in Sweden are very up for helping each other. I could feel that when I came here in the beginning, people are way more competitive here and don’t really give each other free advice or stuff like that. And I think that is something that made Sweden strong. All the people are kind of like family and we work together. But you can see now that as the dance music scene is getting big here, it’s getting big in Sweden too, and as we get the bigger and bigger festivals, there’s more and more competition.
EM: Had the ever expanding pool of competition changed family-like feel of Sweden?
AL: Now, it’s much more politics every day.
EM: When you’re not DJing or producing, how do you like to spend your time?
AL: Just trying to relax and sleep, because it really is a lot right now. I try to hang out with my friends and people that give me something, like family.
EM: If you weren’t a DJ/producer what would you be?
AL: Marine biologist.
EM: Wow, really?
AL: Yeah. It’s always been a fascination of mine. I think maybe the next thing I’ll be doing will be, sounds silly, but something that is giving back to the earth.
EM: Would you describe yourself as “PLUR”?
AL: Oh, is that with the exchanging candies and stuff? Yeah totally.