The Electronic Dance Music veteran, known as a man with impeccable values, was born to a Swedish mother and Greek father in 1982. Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Steve started as a DJ when he was only 12, enraptured and captured by Sweden and the dance music of the time, he fused hip-hop, break beats, classics from the 1970s, and eventually House and Club. In the 1990s, he added production to his credentials and Daft Punk to his music.
In 2003 Steve founded the independent label Size Records and released the EP Simplicity as well as his first full-length album, Tracks, on the German Konvex/Konkav label, but his 2004 remix of the ultra-successful Eurythmic classic ‘Sweet Dreams’ started him on to fame and fortune. The collaboration with Eric Prydz on Subliminal Records, ‘Woz not Woz’, was extremely successful followed by the solo ‘Acid/Euro’ a year later. ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘Teasing Mr. Charlie’ in 2006 were even bigger hits and Ministry of Sound offered him the opportunity to release a full-length CD, soon followed in 2007 with ‘Get Dumb’ on Data Records.
Swedish House Mafia
In 2008, Angello along with fellow DJs and Sweden natives Axel Christofer Hedfors, aka Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Eric Prydz on board for a short stint, formed the group Swedish House Mafia. The three label owners, all successful DJs and producers, had connected a few years earlier on collaborations and productions. On August 12th they played at Ibiza, Spain’s Cream Amnesia, Main Room for Radio 1’s Essential Mix Ibiza, now considered the break out performance for the electronic super group. Two years later, Swedish House Mafia released ‘Leave the World Behind’ and signed with EMI in 2010, and the single, ‘One’ their first commercial production, hit a Top Ten in Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
The trio’s next single, ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’, feat. Tinie Tempah, hit No. 4 on the charts in the UK, and in 2011, ‘Save the World’ with John Martin on vocals reached No. 10 later that year. In 2011, SHM placed at number 10 on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ Poll, and number 12 in 2012. After ‘Antidote’ in December, they followed with ‘Greyhound’ and their most popular release ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ in March of 2012. SHM’s last compilation album, Until Now, came out in October. They were invited by Pixar to write and perform ‘Roar’ for the Monsters University movie and soundtrack. SHM’s phenomenal yet short lived existence, estimates that in just two years, the trio earned almost $40 million.
In June 2012, SHM announced the end of the road for the group on their website. After a fifty-two show global tour, selling out Madison Square Garden in the process, they had the last appearance together on March 24, 2013 at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, where they had first performed just three years earlier. With the announcement: “Good evening Miami. My name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello — and we are still the Swedish House Mafia” it was over 90 minutes later (Schulman & Lipsay 2013). Axwell asked the crowd if we could “save the world one last time together,” John Martin sang ‘Save The World’ and ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ and reminded everyone that “we came, we raved, and we fucking love you” (Ibid).
Steve Angello on His Own
Early this year, Angello signed with Sony Music’s Columbia Records, but with a lack of support from the major label for ‘Wasted Love’, he made the decision to opt out and make a go on his own independent label, SIZE records. Still earning SHM residuals and some hefty cash for his performances, the diligent and hardworking musician wanted to develop the label, bring in new talent, and benefit from his single minded creativity.
The release of Wild Youth, aptly named for the forever young Angello personality in spite of his 31 years, has been in the works for months. As part of his renewed self-discovery, his first solo album’s singles, ‘Payback’ and ‘Wasted Love’ were available on streaming in the summer, and the video for ‘Wasted Love’ featuring Dougy Mandagi, hit 1.2 million views.
Another new beginning in 2014 for Angello is his recent partnership and a residency set with LiFE, located at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada for the next three and a half years. Based on his DJ culture growing up, the club sounds he missed on tour, and his formidable contributions to EDM, he believes that they will achieve much more than a mode to attract tourists and locals. The club and centerpiece ‘Reflections’ are real and designed with music and visuals as the sole intention, and Steve was an integral part of the concept and design. President of the parent company, SBE, Costas Charalambous, agrees with Angello; “We see Steve being the person who’s helping us with the musical part across the board within the SLS” (Baltin. 2014).
Critical to the continued success of the entire dance music genre is the need for new sources of inspiration. Angello adheres to the belief that artists often shy away from writing dance music because they are not sure how to or perhaps it is too commercial. Yet through Swedish House Mafia and numerous other musicians, performers, and producers over the last decade, the field of dance and house is now a powerhouse and capable of selling out venues across the globe.