Welcome to the wonderful world of Norwegian trio, Seeb!
With over 8M monthly Spotify listeners, it may have been difficult to not stumble upon Seeb in 2017. Their new single, ‘Cruel World’ is collaboration with Skip Marley and the very first track from the forthcoming EP, which is set to drop in 2018.
As DJs and Producers, Simen Eriksrud, Espen Berg and Niklas Strandbråten have been changing the shape of dance music since their now iconic remix of ‘I Took A Pill in Ibiza’ stormed the charts in 2016. They have created a sound unique and indicative of their brand, as well as applying their midas touch to official remixes for everyone from Ed Sheeran to Shawn Mendes. We caught up with them to talk about touring with Kygo, the pressures of collaboration and plans for 2018.
So, there were 2 of you and now there are 3. How did you guys all know one another to create the trio that is Seeb?
We were introduced to Niklas trough a mutual friend and at that time we were looking to expand Seeb with someone with more of a DJ background. We were already doing DJ gigs but we wanted to get more into the DJ scene and culture as we found ourselves making music more and more related to the EDM scene.
How do you collaborate to create your music – what’s the general process?
Espen: It’s different every time but it always starts with a simple idea or a piece of vocal that one of us brings in. Niklas often hooks up with people that want to collaborate and send ideas over. Simen and I mostly takes care of the production work but Niklas is involved in feedback and arrangements. That´s where having a pure DJ is a blessing as he is so used to hearing records in a different way than a producer.
You’ve reworked tracks for some incredibly huge artists – is there always a sense of pressure when you’re putting the Seeb stamp on another artists work?
Always, but the trick is to treat every remix or collaboration as just another track. It’s easy to get sidetracked by not daring to try out unusual ideas because you have the vocals of an artist you really admire or respect.
If you had to choose one, what would be your favourite remix that you’ve done for another artist?
We have to say ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’, just because it opened so many doors for us. We like all of them but we tend not to linger on music we’ve done but keep focused on looking forward to what’s next.
If you could add the Seeb magic to any other track from another artist, which one would you like to get your hands on?
Right now it would be something with Dua Lipa or Empire of the Sun. It’s difficult so say with existing track as we prefer working on either a collaborative effort, or if it´s a remix we tend not to listen to the original. It’s difficult when you are asked to remix a record that’s already out there.
Tell us more about your new single ‘Cruel World’, how did the collaboration with Skip Marley happen?
We actually hooked up through a couple of friends from Universal and Island Records. Both Skip and ourselves are signed with Island records in the US and Skip loves our sound, and said it matches his lyrics about love and mutual respect. We reached out to him after hearing a vocal line from a demo containing some of the melodies from ‘Cruel’, then we got into evolving that into what became the finished record.
What’s the creative and technical process behind the creation of a Seeb track – where is the starting point?
It’s always the vocals. We are very fascinated with vocals and really like voices that stand out and sound unique. That is always the starting point for us. We then get into the harmonies and chords before we start building the arrangements.
How does it feel to hear your music resonating and being played by thousands of people across the globe?
Absolutely wonderful. We just came back from playing a festival in Santiago and people were really enthusiastic. It’s crazy to connect with people all across the world because of the songs we are doing back here in Norway.
Who else would you love to collaborate with in 2018?
Eves Karydas is a very interesting artist that wed love to work with.
What would you say are the best and worst gigs that you’ve played so far?
No worst gig to mention really, as they’ve all been a great experience so far. This summer´s festivals in Norway and Sweden were pretty spectacular for us with packed audiences and great energy but it´s hard to pick the favourite.
Where can we catch you live in 2018? Any big shows planned?
We have Saga Music Festival in Bali, gigs in Rio, New Years eve gig in Dubai, and some gigs with Kygo on his tour. We are going to be playing all over in 2018 but at the same time we are planning long periods in the studio to get new music finished. We are releasing an EP in early 2018 which we’re really excited about.
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