Ambassador Of Euphoria: Ascension Music Meets Bjorn Akesson
The Ascension Music team meets up with the Swedish trance superstar
Sweden has a great reputation on the musical stage. For decades it has produced some of the most loved names, from Neneh Cherry, The Cardigans, Ace of Bass and of course, ABBA. Recently, it has been the Swedish House Mafia and the mighty Eric Prydz. Trance is now in the spotlight, with one of the scene's best loved euphoric names making headway with stunning tracks, A State of Trance support and live sets all over the world. His melodies and trademark sounds are like none other. He is the one and only, Bjorn Akesson.
Bjorn has had tracks out on Future Sound of Egypt (FSOE), A State of Trance and Pure Trance, played for leading events including Luminosity, FSOE 300 and The Gallery and has travelled all corners of the globe spinning his distinctly euphoric sounds thousands. He has now gone on to pass his knowledge and wisdom by teaming up with Sonic Academy to teach his production techniques to the new generations. One of the most humble and down-to-Earth names on the circuit, we caught up with Bjorn to talk late nights, Mexico
Describe your sound in three words
Energetic, spacey and worldly
What got you into DJing?
The love of sharing great music with other people, usually music they might not have heard before. Whenever I discovered a new amazing track, I wanted other people to hear it too.
What are your five all time favourite tracks?
I have many, but here are a few:
DJ Eco - Light At The End (Lost World Remix)
Jimmy Goldschmitz vs. Peter Luts - Horizon (Peter Luts Remix)
Woody van Eyden - Nangulan
The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up (Richard Durand Remix)
Tiesto - Flight 643
What track got you into dance music?
There was no specific track, it was a lot of different tracks during a period of time that made me love it.
What was the first record you ever bought and do you still have it?
Michael Jackson - Dangerous, I think the cassette is still available somewhere.
You hail from Sweden, known for the Swedish House Mafia and Eric Prydz, all the house DJs. How is the trance scene there?
There's a trance scene, but it's very small at the moment. Most events are located in Stockholm, but they are usually very good.
Out of all the genres, what made you fall in love with trance?
The epicness of the melodies is what brought me to trance. The way it makes me feel compared to other genres. Can't be explained, needs to be felt.
You have had a lot of releases on Aly & Fila's Future Sound of Egypt. They've done great things for trance worldwide. How does it feel to be a part of the team and signed/recognized by two of the industry's biggest names?
I've been working with Aly & Fila for many many years and it's great to be a part of the team.
Your tracks Perfect Blue and Robot Religion are among our favourites and Painting Pyramids is epic. What inspires you when making a track?
It just comes to me, usually staying up very late in a dark room. I'm caught in a sudden burst of inspiration and things just work out somehow. The longer I work on a track, the more ideas I get.
How do you feel about the trance today and how do you feel it will go in the near future?
I feel the trance scene is a bit boring at the moment, everything sounds the same and a lot of people are pushing out track after track and neglecting the quality and originality. I also feel that a lot of the music doesn't stand out because artists are not willing to take risks. Hopefully this will change in the future.
You've recently returned from DJing in Mexico? How did it go?
Mexico was really good, was great seeing the turnout and all the people that came out. Mexico is always a great place to DJ with amazing and dedicated people.
In December you're back across the Atlantic, this time in Canada? How is trance received in the Americas compared to Europe?
It really depends on the events, I love both European and American crowds to be honest.
This year you featured on one of Europe's top trance line ups, the Luminosity beach festival. How did that go?
Very well, Luminosity is always an amazing experience, always a good show.
What three essentials do you always take to gigs/on tour?
Gamepad, GoPro, Headphones
What is your favourite part of the world to DJ?
All of them!
What is the biggest crowd you've ever played in-front of and were you nervous?
I've done show infront of 10-15 000 people before. I'm always nervous before a show, doesn't matter the size of it. 100s or 1000s it doesn't matter, the nervousness level remains the same.
What has been your favourite gig?
Too many to have a favorite, my recent tour to Mexico was something special though.
Any embarrassing moments?
I've done my share of embarrassing moments, I've pressed play on the wrong cd player a number of times causing the track to restart. I haven't done a mistake like this in many years though.
Outside of DJing and music, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love playing videogames, going to the gym and playing sports when chance is given. I like going to the cinema as well and watch esports online.
Have you had any musical training?
Last year you collaborated with Sonic Academy to teach making uplifting trance? How important to you is it to pass on the skills and knowledge to the next generation?
I love spreading knowledge and inspire people. It is very important of course to pass on the information so that we can keep delivering quality music to the fans.
What DAW do you use?
Hardware or software?
I used to use hardware but with todays technology I only use software, it's good enough.
What are your studio essentials?
Two pair of studio monitors and a midi keyboard. Enough for me.
Do you have any new productions or collaborations in the pipeline?
Yeah I'm always working on new things, but I don't really like to talk about it because not all projects gets finished.
Who do you rate as an up-and-coming DJ producer?
Been loving a japanese duo called Dominant Space lately.
What advice would you give a budding DJ producer looking to make a career in music?
Be yourself, develop your own style and take risks.