The French electronic producer Klingande experienced massive success with “Jubel” in 2013. At the time, mainstream electronic music was slowing down and heading in a more melodic direction, and “Jubel,” with its sputtering hand drums and shiny saxophone, satisfied listeners’ new cravings. The track reached the top of the charts in several European countries, and it has earned nearly 70 million streams on Spotify to date.
Since the release of that track, Klingande has been relatively quiet, but now he’s plotting his reemergence: today he released a fresh single, “Somewhere New.” On September 8th, the producer will debut the visual for the track, which will be the first music video to ever be filmed and streamed entirely with Facebook Live. The clip is being developed with help from Cedric and At Night, Avicii’s management and production company.
Billboard caught up with Klingande earlier this month at BangOn!NYC Elements Festival to discuss his latest project. Read edited excerpts from the conversation below.
Who were the artists that inspired you to make electronic music?
I was really into this kind of music because of Axwell, Avicii, all those guys. Then I went to a music production school in London called Point Blank. When I was there, I wanted to do EDM sort of stuff — when I came back, Just after that, Bakermat did a song with some sax and so did Klangkarussel, and I was like I have to do a mix between them.
I think it’s a good thing for a young producer to take a style from one artist and another artist and do a mix of them. If in this song, the drop is super strong, and in this song, the break is super amazing, why not mix between them? The best example of that is Kung’s “This Girl,” this song is massive in Europe. If you listen to the drop, it sounds like a Martin Solveig drop, but if you listen to the break, it sounds like something else.
London helped me to open my mind to other kind of music. When I came back from school, I think I did “Jubel” two months later. Everything went so fast for me. I was lucky enough that my first song worked. It was very different from many producers who put a lot of songs out and see if one is going to work.
Why the Swedish name?
I wanted a Swedish name because I love the country and the DJs. It was also a good to stay anonymous. In France, no one knew it was me. I didn’t tell anyone in France that “Jubel” was my song. My friends came to me like, “look at this, it’s so good!” It was my song. It was very funny for me. Still now some people come to my show and speak to me in Swedish.
What do you like about the saxophone?
At the beginning, no one was doing it. You get so much vibe from it — it’s like a voice, people sing along like it was a singer. At every show I have a sax player with me, Arnold Pol. I don’t want to be categorized like a saxophone producer, but it’s a part of my songs.
How did you find Arnold?
He was performing in my hometown. I made “Jubel” in my bedroom. I was looking for a sax player to come with me onstage. I found this guy at a bar, and ever since then, we have been together — three years now. He’s very good, and a good friend also.
Was it easy to convince him to work with an electronic music producer?
He just plays at my live show, but I think it’s super weird for him. Normally when you see a sax player in a club, people don’t really care, but with me, everybody’s listening to him. He told me it’s very special. I don’t have any ego, for me it’s just about the show.
Why do you think “Jubel” resonated with so many people?
It’s still a mystery for me. Sometimes you produce a song and you don’t know why, there is something magic happening. The sax fit perfectly with the beat, I can’t really explain it. I think people like it because it was very different. People were oversaturated with EDM, it was good for them to have something a little bit more chill.
When did you start working on the new single?
Two or three months ago. I’m really excited about it — no sax, no violin, no harmonica. It’s still my vibe, but it’s different. I don’t want to repeat myself. I take some risk and hope the crowd is going to like it.
We want to do a movie clip on a Facebook live. It’s going to super weird: no one has done that. It’s just one shot! In my movie clips, it’s not what you expect. This idea was amazing because I’ve never seen something like that.
You’ve been labeled as tropical house, how do you feel about that term?
I don’t think I’m tropical house. People like to say I’m tropical, but there’s not that much in my kind of music. I prefer melodic house. It’s amazing how tropical house grew, it’s an amazing movement, but I don’t categorize myself into it. But if people say “you are tropical,” I’m ok. I don’t mind.