There are very few musicians in the world who have the ability to blend commercial success with an underground reputation. The Swedish DJ, Eric Prydz, has been able to do just that. He is a mainstay in the glamorous and celebrated music charts, as well as a constant figure in the unforgiving and hostile underground scene.
Unlike most of the musicians of his stature, Eric has developed a clever and cautious way of releasing tracks under various pseudonyms. These tracks are released through his very own labels. As a result of taking this unique approach, Eric now stands at the peak of untouched success. In the world we live in today, Eric Prydz is the epitome of Dance music.
What made Eric successful was his burning passion for music. For him, working with music was a form of unseen, unheard and unfelt bliss that he could not derive from anywhere else. At the tender age of just 8, Eric Prydz began creating music on his piano. As the years rolled on, he convinced his parents to buy him a keyboard, which would allow him to make his own personalized Depeche Mode tracks. Eric’s association with music at this young age was not about making money – all he ever wanted to do is please himself, and the ones he loved with the harmonious symphony of his tunes. Creating and replicating music were just ways of having fun for young Eric.
Joining First Band and Departure
With time, Eric evolved into a mature musician, who had his sights set on conquering whatever obstacles were thrown his way. In 1994, Eric became the drummer in a synth band named “Enemy Alliance”. Eric was only 18 years old back then. At that young age, Eric had the privilege of touring all across Sweden with his band. He, along with his band members, aspired to make a name for themselves in the domestic music scene. They dreamt of becoming as big as Kraftwerk.
Eric’s plans to reach for the stars with his band never really materialized, as he left the group to partner up with a friend who owned a small studio. In this studio, Eric and a group of other musicians concentrated on creating and releasing tracks that were more in line with mainstream pop music. He continued to work in this studio for 2 years.
Financial and Professional Struggle
These 2 years were a period of financial struggle for Eric. Making adequate money had become a huge challenge. The popularity of his music was on a very slow and gradual rise. He was unable to lure in any sponsors for his music. He worked hard day and night to come up with techno-funk tracks which would only get minimal response from the crowd. For an alternative source of income, he also worked as a DJ for local clubs. To put it mildly, Eric survived on very little money throughout those two years. The future of this bright star looked quite bleak at that stage in his career.
\First Release and Affiliation with EMI
Like many world renowned musicians, Eric was able to stage a comeback from his poor run of form. His strenuous efforts eventually paid off when his first release came out. Interestingly, the release of his first track was the result of an accident. He made heaps of new material using nothing but a Roland MC-505 H Groovebox. He put these tracks in a cassette and gave it to his friend who owned a clothing store in the city of Stockholm. Luckily for Eric, this cassette somehow found a way into the London offices of EMI’s New Religion. The people over there were highly impressed with Eric’s music, and in the year 2000, following years of tribulation, Eric’s first track, “By Your Side/Mr. Jingles” was released. At the age of 24, Eric finally landed a spot in the hallowed grooves of black vinyl.
This initial release proved to be the breakthrough in Eric’s career. Eric was promoted to EMI’s flagship dance label Credence. It was here that Eric unveiled his true potential. A remix of the “Mr. Jingles”, along with two brand new tracks became massive hits. This release was called the EPI1, and it was hugely successful. The EPI was followed by two other releases named EP2 and EP3 respectively. By the time EP3 came into being, Eric had established his place among the most beloved musicians in the world of House music.
The original version of “Slammin” from EP3 turned out to be the biggest drawing instrumental tune on Ibiza in the summer of 2003. The success of these tracks resulted in a stream of lucrative remix offers. Eric had soon earned himself recognition as an in demand music producer. His work on fellow countryman Steve Angello’s “Voices” & “Woz Not Woz” made Eric Prydz stand out from the rest. His trademark electronic sound had found a place in the hearts of the music lovers of Sweden. Despite the unexpected eruption of prosperity and popularity, Eric did not lay back on his success. Instead, he persevered to provide his growing fan base with even more magnificent works of “art” such as the remixes of The Shapeshifter’s, Alter Ego, Pet Shop Boys and Switch.
Breakthrough in Career
After a few drawbacks, Eric Prydz’s career was off to a fantastic start. He had made a name for himself in the underground scene, and was now looking to step into the world of mainstream music. His tenure with EMI laid the foundation for his future success. Had he not worked with them, then perhaps he could never touch the great heights that he has eventually reached in his career. His experience working here gave him all the tools necessary to have a colourful solo career in the field of Dance music.
This is a perfect example of how talented creative people can break the glass ceiling and grab the proverbial brass ring once they are given an initial boost. Eric could have stopped here and lingered on his newfound glory, However, the young DJ from Stockholm had his eyes fixed on bigger prizes.
Monumental Success of “Call On Me”
Things got a little topsy-turvy in Eric’s life following EMI. He came up with a record that was intended to be played for his friends in Stockholm, which sampled a vocal hook from Stevie Winwood’s Valerie. For some unexplained reason, this record ended up in a local club, where it became the club anthem after just six dub plates, and quickly gained momentum. This track eventually took the number one spot in the UK charts. Its success was not just confined to his native land, as people in other parts of Europe began grooving to his tune. The track, which is named “Call On Me”, sold 2.5 million copies across the world. The fact that this track held the number one position in the charts for an astonishing 5 weeks, goes to show you how immensely popular it had become. If working for EMI gave Eric his big break, then 2004’s “Call On Me” gave him the celebrity status that he so richly deserved.
Remixing Pink Floyd’s Music
Owing to the superb quality of his remixes, Eric Prydz was given the unique honor of becoming the only artist to have ever officially made a remix of Pink Floyd’s tracks. Those who have listened to Pink Floyd, and are aware of how great a band it is, will fully understand being given the green signal to alter Pink Floyd’s tracks is a privilege that musicians can only dream of. Eric Prydz turned that dream into a reality. He remixed Pink Floyd’s signature track, “Another Brick in the Wall”.
This remix was well received by critics and fans alike. The quality of his work was greater than ever. Unlike most remixes that tamper with the original sound, Eric was able to re-introduce the classical tune of Pink Floyd while maintaining the true essence of the track. The remix of “Another Brick in the Wall” spiralled upwards to number two in the charts. This was another surreal exhibition of Eric’s outstanding ability to incorporate the underground into the mainstream.
Three Labels under Prydz
Currently, Eric Prydz is overseeing the operations of three different labels. Whatever underground music he creates in his studio, is channelled out to the fans through these three labels. Prydz produces tracks under the alias Cirez D through his Mouseville label. This label is specialized to produce hard hitting upfront techno tracks for the hardcore fans. The biggest selling EP from this label is called the Knockout. It is a typical Mouseville track which embodies Swedish underground music.
Pryda is another label of Prydz. When releasing tracks through Pryda, he sticks to his alias of Cirez D. From this label, you can expect music that is influenced by House. The soothing tracks of Pryda have become staples in huge club tunes around the world. The Pryda tracks are known for their signature bass lines. If you want to have a taste of Cirez D’s House masterpieces, then you are recommended to listen to tracks such as Aftermath, Armed, Rymd and Remember. The harmonies, melodies and hooks of each and every single one of these tracks exude bliss.
Pryda & Friends is the third label under Eric Pryda. The motive behind the formation of this label was to release some of the finest works of his old friends that were never exposed to the limelight. Pryda & Friends has produced several collaboration tracks. Good examples of these would include the peerless 1983 with Paolo Mojo and 123/321 with fellow countryman Axwell.
All three labels of Prydz are hugely popular with his fans. Each label provides a different kind of music for people to enjoy. The diversity of the music in these three labels showcases the versatility of Eric Prydz as a musician. It’s easy for musicians to stay attached to one genre of music. Experimentation in the world of music is often avoided to prevent risk. However, Eric Prydz is one of those innovative minds in music, who will continue to explore and experiment with different styles of music, so that his fans always have something new to look forward to. The music produced under the umbrellas of these 3 labels may differ in style, but they all possess the trademark Prydz quality.
Partnership with Data Records
Teaming up with Data Records has reaped great rewards for the super talented DJ from Stockholm. His partnership with the label has seen him acquire three number two hits in the UK. As most of you may be aware, UK is one of the most competitive places for musicians in the world. Some may say that reaching number one spots in Sweden is an easy task, but peaking charts in UK certifies Prydz’s status as one of the best musicians in the world across all genres.
The collaboration with Data Records served him well as in the summer of 2014, Pjanoo became Prydz’s third consecutive smash hit. What made Pjanoo so special was its heartening piano led hook. Some fans called it the perfect summer anthem. It was the perfect music for party goers to dance to in the sun. Besides the hardcore party goers, the song was also well embraced by all and sundry. Whether you are having a BBQ or driving your way back home from work, this amazing tune is sure to get you flexing your muscles. As soon as Pjanoo was released, it skyrocketed to the number two spot in the charts. This once again proved Eric’s dominance in the Dance music scene.
To say that Eric Prydz has revolutionized dance music would be an understatement. Ever since his arrival on the big stage, Eric has gifted music enthusiasts around the world with some of the finest beats, tunes and rhythms. He is a highly respected personality among his fellow DJs and music producers and it is easy to label this extraordinary talented musician as arguably the King of EDM.