One of the world’s most chilled out DJs caught up with us for a chat, and ended up sharing life lessons and his pensive tendencies on how he keeps up his content reputation. He’s playing as part of Distortion’s packed winter series line up this year, sharing the season with acts and stellar bookings like Moxie, DJ Central Sports and more.
He’s worked with artists from the likes of Yung Lean and more, with releases on the prestigious Stockholm label Studio Barnhus and the iconic London label XL Recordings where he’s quickly gaining attention for his contemplative dance tracks. He shares the bill on Studio Barnhus with other Swedish and monumental house acts like Kornel Kovacs, Axel Boman [both of who are involved with running the label along with others] and more.
The label is endlessly providing us with forward thinking music, adding an element of fun to all of their releases and adding a a blob of colour splashed right onto the sometimes grey scales of modern dance music. Constantly featuring on their compilation releases and with remixes for artists like Yaeji, Baba is quietly working away in the background to contribute his music to the world modestly.
Do you believe that music and fashion and art are mutually exclusive? How important do you think the multidisciplinary manner of music is these days?
“I feel that an artist or creative person shouldn’t be afraid to pursue different things. Do what feels right to you.”
Studio Barnhus is a really impressive label with a combination of some of the most unique, forward thinking and open minded acts on the bill. How important do you think labels are these days for artists, or do you agree that the internet has given way to a ‘be your own label’ approach?
“To be able to work with a community of friends or like minded people is great. Whatever works though. Studio Barnhus has been that to me which I’m very grateful for. The internet serves it’s purpose for some, less for others…”
What’s happening in Stockholm in terms of electronic music?
“Stockholm has been very influential over the past couple decades, be it through labels like SVEK, HYBRID, NE, DRUMCODE or STUDIO BARNHUS. The scene is good and seems to be shifting and shaping young and old minds alike.”
You seem to have a very inspiring work ethic and a confidence that if you want to do something, you can do it. What advice would you give to artists struggling with that at the moment?
“Keep on working. Make mistakes and don’t be afraid or ashamed. At least try to be happy.”
You’ve said that you value good quality productions over anything. What to you is a ‘good quality’ production?
“Quality production, to me, is a feeling more than a technical benchmark. If the person who made the work has been able to translate what they felt at the time of making it, that to me means quality production.”
You can comfortably hop between R&B, hip hop, house and more – but what was your first love? Can you remember the first record you bought?
“I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes and Get Rich Or Die Tryin by 50 Cent.”
Who are your biggest influences in those respective genres, or over all?
“Villalobos, Nina Simone and lately The Eagles”
Anything in store for the future?
“Yes! Music and living my life as happily as possible.”
You’ve collaborated, remixed and produced for some really cool artists like Yung Lean, Yaeji and more.. Who’s been your favourite artist to collaborate with?
“My closest friends probably. Pedrodollar, Samo and more.”
What inspires your music overall?
“Different stuff… I’m trying to figure that out actually”
Baba Stiltz plays this Saturday, September 29th with Distortion DJs as part of their Winter series with Bodytonic. Find out more here.