Axwell & Ingrosso, Longtime Manager Amy Thomson Split
Ex-Swedish House Mafia members are expected to sign with Ash Pournouri's At Night Management.
"The guys are close friends of mine, so we just started talking recently," says Pournouri. "But nothing is agreed, and I would help them regardless of who they continue their journey with. I have tremendous respect for what Amy has accomplished with them."
"It's a shame that I didn't know the article was running today," says Thomson. "At this time I'm not able to comment further, except I wish them the best. My role as manager of Swedish House Mafia and their rights management remains unchanged." Thomson later tweeted a follow-up statement on Friday (Sept. 18).
While Ingrosso declined further comment at the time of his interview with Billboard, shortly after this article published, he tweeted: "We didn't leave Amy, we very mutually decided it was time to part ways. We are super grateful for the time together."
Over the course of a half-decade, the mercurial Thomson took Swedish House Mafia from a loose confederation of club DJs to the top of the EDM world, jet setting to a million-ticket-selling world tour, six-figure gig fees and a Top 10 hit in 2012’s “Don’t You Worry Child.”
The British native’s star rose along with theirs, helping build her ATM Artists firm into a powerhouse as she added Alesso and Dirty South, and elevating her to a perennial Billboard EDM Power Player. Their relationship was famously combative – the trio even left her for Three Six Zero Group in Dec. 2011, just before the landmark Madison Square Garden debut whose sell-out she masterminded, only to return six months later.
“We didn’t think that she was so important until we didn’t have her anymore,” Ingrosso told Billboard in 2013. “It’s like any relationship: You don’t know what you have until you lose it.”
Following the super-group’s 2013 dissolution, Axel Hedfors and Sebastian Ingrosso stuck with Thomson, who helped the duo re-launch as Axwell & Ingrosso in May 2014. Four months later, she signed them to Def Jam and inked a reported $175 million partnership with Irving Azoff.
While a far cry from the Mafia’s arena-packing juggernaut, the Swedes have played mostly marquee festival bookings at the likes of Coachella, Governor’s Ball and Ultra, and released four singles from their forthcoming debut album – two of which hit the Top 20 Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (“Something New,” No. 14 and “Sun is Shining,” No. 19).
Although the split may seem sudden, cracks in the relationship began to show during March’s Ultra Music Festival. According to sources close to the situation, relations became “uneasy” due to Ingrosso’s reluctance to renew their contract with Thomson, and what the source described as "changes in her behavior." Meanwhile, Ingrosso was spotted hanging with Pournouri at Diddy’s party that weekend.
The relationship became so strained by the time of the duo’s electrifying appearance at August’s Billboard Hot 100 Festival that observers backstage say the Swedes barely seemed to be interacting with Thomson.
Insiders differ on the dynamics of the break up. One claims Axwell & Ingrosso unilaterally departed ATM Artists, prompting Thomson to fly to Sweden in an unsuccessful bid to mend the rift. However, another echoes Ingrosso's tweet, saying the decision to part ways was mutual -- with all parties agreeing it was time to move on -- while another simply describes the split as “amicable.”
All sources interviewed agreed that Pournouri had not stolen the duo, citing their shared Stockholm roots and long-standing friendship as reasons why At Night was a natural fit. “It was for personal reasons,” one says. “It wasn’t a poaching by any means.”
The observer adds that upon Thomson’s return from Sweden, she began paying an “overwhelming” amount of attention to Alesso – whom some speculate will be next to jump ship. "He's always kind of followed in the footsteps of Seb, and they're all signed to the same label."
What does this mean for Thomson and the former Swedish House Mafiosos?
“Amy’s a brilliant marketer and she’s not going anywhere,” says one manager. “She already has her own projects, and she’ll find stuff to sink her teeth into. It’ll be interesting to see how Ash continues to build his empire, and if he can take them to the next level.”
Updated, Sept. 18 10:16 a.m. ET: Thomson commented on the split via Twitter.
Updated, Sept. 16 4:43 p.m. ET: Ingrosso commented on the split via Twitter.