Artist of the Week: StoneBridgeOctober 8th, 2008
His biography reads like a lifetime story of success. For over 20 years, StoneBridge’s productions have been ruling the dance floors, regularly crashing into the global charts. None of it is an overstatement though: if you’ve danced in a club, you’ve danced to a StoneBridge production. Period. Whether it’s one of his own sexy house tracks or smashing remixes, if you missed them you’ve probably lived in a cave over the past 2 decades. And trust us, StoneBridge is definitely not running out of good stuff. In fact, it’s only getting better and better. Twenty years of experience and practice have shown off.
Show me love
Sten Hallström was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He began DJ’ing in the early eighties, spinning funk and disco and hosting his own night, ‘Fellini’, as the first foundations of house music were build. Sten, back then using the ‘Swemix’ alias with a bunch of other local DJ’s to remix several tracks, soon discovered the innovative sound of house music, coming from Chicago in the mid eighties. He completely fell in love with it and decided to switch to house. The Swemix remixes were quickly gaining popularity and soon StoneBridge himself began remixing big international acts like De La Soul, Titiyo and Rebel MC. But it wasn’t untill 1993 that StoneBridge really caught the attention. His smashing remix of club anthem ‘Robin S – Show me Love’ was picked up by the world’s biggest DJ and praised by numerous EDM lovers. To StoneBridge himself however, it came as a total surprise. Sten: ‘It was quite funny, as I thought it was OK at best and then one year later it turns out to be a hit. I had already moved on from that sound so it came as a total surprise when it happened. Ever since, the phone has constantly been ringing. So it was a fantastic way to get going.’
Adding flavour to the big ones
StoneBridge’s tasty remix flavors didn’t remain unnoticed. Requests from some of the biggest names in both the pop, rock and EDM genre came in. StoneBridge has added his addictive flavour to tracks from biggies like Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Robbie Williams, Simple Minds, Will Smith, Texas, Usher and Ne Yo. Even pop princess Britney Spears was up for Stoney’s sweet beats, as he was asked to remix her comeback track ‘Gimme More’. One might wonder, whether there’s any artist that StoneBridge hasn’t been giving the treatment yet. But even Sten has some left on his wishlist. Sten: ‘I think Madonna is in desperate need of a good remix actually. Axwell did the only decent one in recent history. I do love Ne-Yo’s vocal as well and hope I will mix more from him. I just did New Kids On The Block’s comeback single featuring Ne Yo and the track is great, actually.’ So, is this StoneBridge guy only on the look out for commercial stuff? Definitely not. He changed his style several times over the past years. Sten: ‘After those 5 years of solid remixing, I felt my sound got a bit tiresome so I did a 180 degree turn and switched to some harder stuff. After another 5 years, the balance was restored. I kept doing the dj’ing, artist releases and remixes to equal thirds of my time. I can’t really produce unless I DJ out, as I get my inspiration from the crowd. Remixes are great for your profile and a good way to retrieve new fans that normally listen to other stuff.’
October 2004 was a memorable month for StoneBridge. After about 14 years of dj’ing and producing, his long awaited deburt artist album ‘Can’t get enough’ was released. It was a massive hit and received overwhelming international acclaim. ‘Put ‘Em High’ and ‘Take Me Away’ saw a release in 24 countries and have both hit the UK Top 10. But more was to come. Only 3 years later, in 2007, his follow up artist album saw the light. ‘Music Takes Me’ contained tracks like ‘SOS’, ‘You Don’t Know’ and ‘Close To Heaven’, all three rocking the club scene and gaining several high notations. His recently released mixalbum ‘the Flavour, The Vibe’ sold big time and StoneBridge also hosts a 2 hour mix show for Sirius Satellite in the USA, on the first Saturday of every month. Enough stuff to do and done, as you can see. StoneBridge’s bio tells us that, even though Sten’s career spans over 2 decades, he’s not even thinking of slowing down. We wonder, how Sten manages to keep that passion for music alive and how he, year after year, has an inflammable drive in producing and dj’ing. How does Sten keep ‘the soul alive’? Sten: ‘I’m more excited about it all nowadays, I have to say. 10 years ago I was shooting in all directions, even fiddling with an odd R&B project and playing at strange gigs. Luckily, after my first artist album was released, things have been more focused and I’ve been trying to become a global artists rather than focusing on just the UK, like I did the first years of my career.’
Part of that focus resulted in the team up with Armada, with the Stoneyboy label as a result. But why did Sten choose for Armada? Sten: ‘Good question! Many people want to know why I joined a label that is generally perceived to be a trance label only. The main reason was that I knew Maykel Piron before and on a late night in Cannes during Midem, he convinced me to join them. And I haven’t looked back since. The guys are friends and are super professional with everything. Besides that, the imprint is doing very well. After I left Hed Kandi, I made the decision to release all my artist material on my own label and that’s when it started to work as a proper label.’ We’re glad to have StoneBridge and the quality, sexy house releases with us.
The new StoneBridge single ‘Let it go’ has just been released. For this one, Sten teamed up with Polish producers Wawa, who you might know from their European success ‘No Problem’. ‘Let it go’ is a tempting, deep and sexy house track which will undoubtedly make those bodies move to the rhythm of the stirring beat, contagious vocals and tasteful melody. But that’s not all. Sten: ‘ I just started working on my third artist album and it’s going really well. I guess I’ve got the method now and things are easier to get done. I will have a bunch of really good songs on there and some great vocals. I have also picked up some cool stuff for the label that will come out in late autumn and next spring. The album will probably be ready in time for summer.’ As you can see, StoneBridge is not even near the end of his inspiration.
In the mix
To get you warmed up, be sure to check out the exclusive 1 hour mix StoneBridge made for us. Full of fresh releases, and the delicious Stoney flavor written all over.
Check it out here
Let It Go
StoneBridge & Wawa