[Exclusive Interview] From Bali to SF: An interview with Klingande

We all have that one musician!

The one that you would drive two hours away just to see the show and then drive right back home? The one who’s schedule you stalk just to see how many shows you can make work this year? The one that you would go to Atlanta, New York, San Fransisco, Miami or even Bali, Indonesia to see? The one who when you heard one of their songs for the first time you got chills down your spine and the hair on your arm raised?

Klingande with International Editor Amanda Cosenza

That one musician for me is Cedric Steinmyller, also known as Klingande. From the moment I heard his first song “Jubel”, I was hooked. I must have played that song for at least six hours straight the first time I heard it. Since 2013, I have been following him and his music around the globe. This past week I got to catch his show in Miami and in San Francisco. I even got the opportunity to interview him. I held back happy tears as I got to ask one of my favorite musicians about what music he has in the works, what it is like touring around the globe, and what he thinks about the return of Swedish House Mafia. 

Festival Squad: You just released a new song, Rebel Yell. What have been your influences on your recent work? What are you working on these days? Can we expect an album this year?

Klingande: There are a lot of different things. Most of the time on a track I like to use live instruments like violin, sax, piano, or whatever. On this one, it was different because I used a vocal for the drop. I was inspired by Kygo to do a drop like this. I am still listening to what others around me are doing. I take some ideas from this one or that one and then I do my own thing. I would love to make an album. I keep speaking about it, but I never make one. It’s tricky. I have so much music done, but I think you need a really big song to launch an album. I am trying to make that song now. If some asked me to do the album I would do it. This can be the year. I have at least two or three more singles coming out this year. Normally I just do one or two, but this year could be three or four.

FS: Will you be in the studio a lot more or touring?

Klingande: I have been in the studio for two months. Now I am back on the road, but I am still going to be doing some writing sessions. Not a lot of studio sessions. If you stop touring and go into the studio it’s difficult to manage.

FS: Do you participate a lot in the songwriting or do you bring in songwriters?

Klingande: In April we are going to bring in singers and songwriters that I like together. We are going to have three rooms and go from room to room choosing what I like. At the end of the day, we could have three songs. I have never done this like that so I am excited.

Watch 3 Years of Music and Love, a short documentary on Klingande’s early beginnings.

FS: Swedish House Mafia is one of your biggest inspirations and returned to the stage on Sunday at Ultra, what does it mean to have the group stage such a huge comeback? How do you think this comeback could change the electronic music scene?

Klingande: I was playing at this moment in Miami at my pool party. I am very excited. When I started to make music they were one of my main inspirations along with Avicii. So seeing them back I think it is really great for the music, maybe also for the progressive house that it’s back again. You see how much people get excited about it and that’s good. The next day on Facebook it was all over my newsfeed. I never get excited about anything, but I have to be honest am for this comeback. I think it’s really good. I can’t wait to see what music they are going to create and what train it will create.

FS: Who are some artists that you listen to now?

KlingandeThere is so much stuff that I like right now. I am really liking what Kygo has been doing. I think he does a really good job. I like some indie stuff like The Blaze, they are a French duo. I have never seen them play, but I really love their music. My first style is indie rock so I like to listen to that a lot of the time. I really like Placebo, but that’s just one. There are so many out there I like it’s hard to list them all.

FS: Last I saw you was at Ultra Bali, how do you prepare for events all around the world? Do you get to see much of a place when you perform? Where’s one place you would love to play at?

KlingandeIn Bali, I got to. Normally back in the day no, but I told my team I want to go one or two days earlier because I don’t like touring and seeing nothing. You don’t really feel happy about that. I felt like I was missing something. So when I can I try to explore a city. Today we called a friend and were like let’s go take the boat out. I try to get out of my hotel room and do things. When you ask me something now I am going to say yes. It is so easy to say no but at the end of the day, you are not going to be as happy. You don’t want to miss anything.

See all the highlights from his summer touring all around the globe.

FS: If you weren’t doing music, what do you think they would you be doing?

KlingandeBefore I made music I studied marketing so maybe something in that. I was working for a marketing company and then I made Jubel. So I quit that job and chose music as my career.

FS: I noticed on your social media that you were rehearsing a lot of new ideas for this show, can you give us any hints of what is coming?

KlingandeHere’s the thing, normally we do not have a lot of time for rehearsal. We just improvise and just go. We never had time to work on it properly before. Now we did it for two days and it has a structure. So we know when we have to do what. It’s the same as the show as Miami, but more structured now.

FS: What’s the difference between touring with full band vs without?

KlingandeNow I always have Arnold and Renato who are my main instrumentalist. Sometimes I have a drummer or I can get a harmonica; I can get a lot of stuff, but bringing the band is a lot of money so I can’t do it all the time. Two musicians is already a lot, but I can do it so I am doing it. In the end, I would love to have the whole band on stage with me being on the keyboard not DJing anymore. That would be my dream.

FS: I saw your full live band show in New York City a few years ago, can we expect to see another show like that?

KlingandeI would love to. It was one of my first live shows ever. I was so stressed. We had so many ideas. We ran out of money in the end, but it was all about creating a show for the people. The audience was who I wanted to impress. It was very cool.

Watch all the magic from his live show in NYC!

FS: I read that you were a bit of a magician when you were younger, do you still know any magic tricks?

KlingandeI am not good anymore, but I was quite good. In life, I am really passionate about stuff. If I start liking something I am going to get really involved in it and go until I am able to do it. It was this way with magic, but then I found DJing and I was like no DJing is even better. Now creating music is what I like.

Stay up with the latest from Klingande by following him on Facebook.

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