Premiere + Interview: MOLØ – Luma [Vivrant]
Übertalent MOLØ Unveils 5-track Solo Debut on Jeremy Olander’s Vivrant Imprint
The Stockholm-based underground phenom is the latest addition to the Swedish label family consisting of Jeremy Olander, Marino Canal, Khen and Tim Engelhardt
Vivrant’s fourth release of the year brings the solo debut of Stockholm-based MOLØ. The 25-year-old has cut her teeth on the local underground scene in Stockholm for the last five years, and after her collaboration project ‘Vanadis’ with Jeremy Olander, this highly touted talent is now ready to unveil her solo debut.
Born in 1994 in the Swedish capital to a father who’s regarded as one of the founders of the Stockholm nightlife scene, it may seem as a given MOLØ would follow in her dad’s footsteps. Despite growing up in an apartment stacked from floor to ceiling with vinyl records, it wasn’t until her 20th birthday producing and playing records piqued her interest. After catching the bug, MOLØ’s development and rise through the ranks on the underground scene has been astounding.
After three years of cutting her teeth in the studio and as a selector playing up to five shows weekly at every bar, club, or open-air she could, she caught the eyes and ears of Vivrant founder and melodic house phenom Jeremy Olander and his management in 2018. The team put MOLØ on opening duties at the label’s showcases, and after playing the most buzzed-about set of the night, she was instantly rewarded with residency honors at all his future hometown shows.
Since then, MOLØ has continued to rack up accolades. She became a BURN Residency finalist the same summer and was flown to Ibiza for a month-long camp run by Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Maceo Plex, Luciano, and Jamie Jones. Once back on Swedish soil, she landed a residency at hyped Stockholm club Kvarteret where she set the mood in a masterful way for artists such as Carl Craig, Leon Vynehall, Mano Le Tough, and Kornél Kovács.
As the excitement around her artistry intensified, MOLØ embarked on her first tour run across Europe, warming up the floor for the likes of Luciano and Sasha at The Ark Cruise in Ibiza and Culture Box in Copenhagen, as well as playing her first headline slots at Anjunadeep Explorations in Albania and Big Burn Festival in Istanbul.
Her debut project entitled ‘Luma’ EP comes at the hands of more than two years of intense work in the studio, and doesn’t disappoint. The eponymously named lead record ticks all the boxes for a timeless and memorable debut. Atmospheric, thumping, and emotionally charged with a dash of the trademark Scandinavian melancholy, ‘Luma’ transcends genres and introduces a fresh new take on the driving melodic house sound once pioneered by the likes of Guy J, Sasha, and John Digweed.
With a level head, humble disposition, and an enigmatic aesthetic, MOLØ is ready to add to Stockholm’s revered lineage of dance music superstars and head towards stratospheric stardom by putting her appearance and sex in the backseat, and her immense talent in the front.
Hi MOLØ! Thanks for speaking to us and congratulations on your solo debut on Vivrant.
Thank you and thanks for having me on.
How was growing up in Stockholm with your dad, who I understand has been a key figure on the local scene for a long time? Did he introduce you to the culture or did you discover it on your own?
I guess he introduced me, but not in an obvious way. He showed me different types of music very early on so it’s always been a part of my life. Our Sunday tradition when I was little was to walk around Stockholm, visit all the record stores and check out everything that had been put away for him during the past week.
Thinking back on it now, it took me a long time to realise what he actually did being a DJ It wasn’t until I started playing records myself when I was 19 or 20 that we really got to talking about the culture and everything that comes with it.
So playing records came first. At what point did you make the decision to start producing?
I realised quite early that I had a lot of thoughts and ideas about others music. I started to remake them in my head and at some point it was natural to just try do it myself.
What’s the scene like for new talent in Sweden? Is it a very difficult place to get noticed, or are there a lot of opportunities for new talent to showcase their skill?
I’d say it’s kind of hard. We have a lot of good local DJs and most of them have been in the scene for a long time and have relationship that go back a long time, so it’s tough for someone new and untried to compete for the few spots that are out there.
For me, going to clubs where they had open decks was a big thing. It was a good way of showcasing my sound my sound to the club owner and showing that I could get people to dance.
We first saw you on DHA when you did a guest mix with Jeremy Olander in conjunction with the release of your collaboration ‘Vanadis’. When did you link up with Jeremy and what has the process been like from discovering the label to debuting on it with solo project?
I had been following Vivrant almost from the start in 2015, and the sound was and still is exactly what I’m into. I started by sending a track to the Vivrants demo mail in 2017, after some time I got a reply from Alex, who is now also my manager. He asked me to make a promo mix so he could consider putting me on as the opener for one of their shows in Stockholm. I did, and eventually got the slot. After that I opened for him at almost all his hometown shows and in the summer of 2018, I started work on what would later become ‘Vanadis’. I came up with this melody that really grew on me. I sent it to Jeremy for feedback and he repliedby asking me if I wanted to finish the track together with him, and so we did.
‘Vanadis’ was a really big deal for me as a producer because I had only been doing it for a short time and hearing from your favourite producer that he wanted to finish it together really validated and motivated me.
What is it about Vivrant as a label that appealed to you? Are there any other labels you’d like to put music out on at some point?
It is this dark, melancholic but hopeful and uplifting sound. Hard to describe. The sound goes right into my soul. Their aesthetic and way of presenting and promoting music speaks to me too. It’s just very similar to how I’d want to do it myself, I guess.
What’s your life been like these last few months and how was the pandemic affected your creativity?
I’m very glad I had this project to focus on. I took the first months of the pandemic to finish it. Other than that my creativity has been low to be honest. It’s been a tough time not being able to play shows and being bombarded with all the awful things going in on the world right now.
I’ve realised that I’m not the kind of person that can just sit in the studios and get multiple sketches out every single day. My inspiration ebbs and flows and it takes a while to get to that point.
Looking at the sounds currently dominating the melodic house and techno space, your style stands out. Has it developed organically or was it a conscious decision to take in a specific direction?
I’m glad to hear you think it stands out. I’ve never thought about it like that. I’ve just focused on making something that I can fully stand behind that represents who I am. I think it shows when I play how much I love the music, and I hope that’s why people are listening.
Tell us about the process of making the ‘Luma’ EP. How long has the process been to put this project together, and is there any track that means more to you than the others?
The process has been going on for over 2 years, and it’s been very different from track to track. Two of the ideas took two days to arrange and two of them over a year. The last one is an ambient edit of ‘Vanadis’ that we included because it sets the tone nicely as the final track of the project. The project is club music at its core, but the order of the tracks and the vibe of it makes for a nice listening experience in your car, at home or wherever. That’s what I hope at least.
Every track represent different periods of my life during these two years. I think the lead one, ‘Luma’, is a bit more special to me. I remember when I came up with the intro part and sent it to my dad. He called me back crying and said something like ”Yes, you definitely have something going here.” Since he’s my biggest critic, that was the best and most memorable moment of making this EP.
The cultural sector is suffering greatly from the pandemic. Promoters are going bankrupt and venues are shutting down. You’re coming through in the midst of all this, but how do you think it will look at the other side when it’s over? Do you think it will be a lot more difficult for new talent to come through?
It’s tough to say, but I know that the culture will never go away regardless of what happens. It will adapt and find new ways of growing and developing. Yes, all promoters and clubs are down on their knees right now, but I feel the people in the scene are hungry to dance, DJs want to find new music and producers want to take their craft to the next level. I think people in general are more curious and open for new artists too, and what people have been up to during the lockdowns.
During this time apart from clubs and crowds, you realise what a beautiful thing this culture really is, and how much you miss it. I hope my music will give anyone that wants to listen a chance to forget about everything going on right now.
Thanks for your time MOLØ. Good luck with the new release and stay safe! We hope to see you play a show in Amsterdam soon.
Thanks again for having me!
MOLØ – Luma EP [Vivrant]
1. Luma (Original Mix)
2. Norrø (Original Mix)
3. Bennebol (Original Mix)
4. Kogi (Original Mix)
5. Vanadis (MOLØ’s Wind Down) (with Jeremy Olander)
Release Date: 16-10-2020 // Buy
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