Sebastian Ingrosso On Swedish House Mafia’s Beginning — And End
By Annie Reuter
Swedish House Mafia ruled the charts and airwaves last summer with their hit “Don’t You Worry Child.” Nominated for a GRAMMY as Best Dance Recording, the song was the EDM trio’s second No. 1 on Billboard‘s Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart following their previous single “Save the World.”
In addition to being a hit on the dance floor, it also became the first song by a Swedish act to break into the Top 10 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 since Robyn‘s “Show Me Love” in 1997.
Sebastian Ingrosso recently sat down with New York’s 92.3 NOW (a Radio.com station) in promotion of his new solo single “Reload,” and among other topics, he talked about how the band first came together.
As he explained it, he and his former bandmates, Axwell and Steve Angello, had studios within blocks of each other and would typically congregate at the local 7-Eleven each morning.
“We always met there, had a coffee and everybody went back to their studios,” Ingrosso said. “We were talking and one night me, Axwell and Steve said, ‘Maybe we should do some shows together. Just to have fun.’”
Much like the idea to collaborate together, the band name came just as serendipitously. Ingrosso said that DJ culture wasn’t big at the time in Sweden, and a bunch of people scoffed at the three men. “They said, ‘Who do they think they are, Swedish House Mafia?’ And we said, ‘That is exactly what we are.’”
With several hits under their belts and tours that took them around the world, popularity became too much for the group, and they eventually decided to part ways.
“It’s because Swedish House Mafia became so big, and we knew becoming big, big commitments also come with,” Ingrosso said. “I think that living in different places in the world, we couldn’t really commit to what we should commit to – to our fans, and maybe do an album and another tour. So we thought maybe we should take a break and do the things we wanted to do.”
The group’s final gig together took place this past March at the Ultra Music Festival.
Though Swedish House Mafia has officially disbanded, Ingrosso didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a reunion. “You can never say never,” he said, “but it’s ended.”
The friendship between the band and their previous collaborators has not ended, though. Singer and cowriter John Martin worked with Swedish House Mafia on “Don’t You Worry Child.” And when it came to Ingrosso’s solo project, he enlisted Martin’s help again on “Reload.”
“I’ve been in contact with John Martin since the beginning when [Swedish House Mafia] started to work with him,” Ingrosso said. “I was the guy who met him and introduced our music to him, and he introduced his music to us.”
“We tried to actually find another singer for the record,” Ingrosso added. “We tried different singers, both female and male, but no one could match. So, I called the guys and said, ‘Is it cool if I use John Martin? We’ve been using him a lot with Swedish House Mafia.’ They’re like, ‘Of course.’ Everybody was cool with that. Then John Martin said, ‘Why should we change? It sounds amazing.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
Listen to Ingrosso’s “Reload” below.