by SashaS

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  More on: StoneBridge

The Mix 50
  Album Review - 7-9-2005
Can't Get Enough
  Album Review - 15-3-2005
Stonebridge vs Ultra Nate - funky, baby!
A Clubture man
StoneBridge unite clubs with global pulse

The name may not be so familiar but he’s had two massive UK Top Tens, ‘Put ‘Em High’ and ‘Take Me Away’, over the past year. [The former was also a worldwide smash hit and #5 on US Billboard dance chart.] As this pair, the new single ‘Freak On’ originates on his debut album, ‘Can’t Get Enough’. The name? StoneBridge…

The album ‘Can’t Get Enough’ is an eclectic mix of artists including Ultra Naté, Kenny Thomas, Chris Coco, Jay Soul, Isabella Fructuoso, Rita Campbell and Julie Morrison from the Sweden’s currently most successful hit-maker’s debut long-player. StoneBridge’s single [and probable chart-smasher released on Monday through Hed Kandi], ‘Freak On,’ , features the soulful vocals of legendary diva Ultra Naté; the original radio edit is a sexed-up slab of old skool mover, complete with funky guitar and 808 drum machine, whilst the astonishing Ferry Corsten remix drops some electro pandemonium into the mix, with its blur of menacing synths, faster vocals and buzzing noises.

Third single off the album: do you feel apprehension, pressure or sheer anticipation?

“I’m very happy to be able to release a third single off the album and I feel really like a regular Michael Jackson.”

Not like MJ at the moment, surely?

“No, no… That’s a bad comparison… I’m just happy to have had the album released and the singles are an added bonus. There is no real pressure on me and I’m glad to be in this position.”

Which appears to be taking you all over the world; have you had time to work on some new song ideas?

“Right now I’m too busy doing shows, staging club nights and remixing other people… I have to set myself a date to start working on some new songs. Perhaps September… Right now we are talking about the direction of the next album and it’s been suggested that I get a band together but I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I’m very happy with the way I worked on this album and feel I should repeat the same method.”

Global beats

StoneBridge is the first artist to sign to dance compiling label, Hed Kandi, because “they asked me to; I was thinking about the album but nothing really concrete and when they asked me I jumped at the chance. They gave me complete freedom to do what I wanted and I grew with the label.”

As soon as the debut single ‘Put ‘Em High’ was released it turned into a smash hit that helped the label raise its profile and we jokingly suggest that perhaps he should be on the percentage point, some sort of a dividend… No disagreement from the artist.

‘Freak On’, with its 80s style funkiness, was written on three separate continents and recorded in Montreal!? Not a usual way of making music?

“It’s an interesting story how the song came about: one of the writers [Gerry DeVeaux] hates winters and goes to Sydney every year, Ultra Naté lives in Baltimore and I’m based in Sweden. So, we passed on the ideas until it became a song and recorded it in Canada because it was nearer to Ultra and studios are cheaper than in London, or Europe. I was very fortunate to have collaborated with some very good people on the album.”

Although you are a remixer, your songs get remixed by other people; do you ever feel a tinge of envy when you hear what someone‘s done to your song?

“No, not really because if someone’s done a good job and it becomes a hit, I’m really happy. I got nothing to complain about if a song is made to sound better.”

Creative egalitarianism

The more things evolve the more democratisation is brought to the creative process. Technology has allowed anyone to be a bedroom musician and thus there is more on offer. Is it good for the sake of quality?

“It all depends: it is great that you don’t have to use proper studios but still make high quality music; you don’t need a major label to release your music, not even a lot of money… On the other hand, it could be too much music out there and that could create a problem. Speaking as a DJ, it is getting really hard to find all the good tracks and I have a feeling that you miss a lot of brilliant songs.”

“I also feel that very soon we’ll have to look beyond the album concept as I think people will compile their own albums. Individual tracks, collection of songs, that could be the future with Downloading. I still think we should be optimistic about the future of music.”

You recently played Beijing; are the Chinese clued in on the latest beats?

“Over the past three months I played China, Malta and Egypt and the most surprising thing is that it is very similar to everywhere else I’ve been. You expect different places to be weird, people sitting down and clapping but no: I even had a guy in China singing along to ‘Put ’Em High’ - that was a wonderful but extremely weird experience.”

“You then realise that it is a global thing and Internet has made it accessible to all the kids anywhere in the world. But, because of it - it is getting more uniformed and kids dress the same, dance the same…”

Clubture has brought destruction to the pop-star system and reduced artists to celebrities; still, clubture music is more inventive but it doesn‘t sell as much as more predictable R&B releases… Strange that, methinks.

StoneBridge vs Ultra Naté single ‘Freak On’ is released 16 May 2005 by Hed Kandi

StoneBridge’s album ‘Can’t Get Enough’ is out now on Hed Kandi