Iconic super-trio Swedish House Mafia has a remarkable history; one that’s filled with triumphant firsts and game-changing moves that have not only inspired future generations of producers, but paved the way for countless dance artists to come. Moreover, they did it all with less than a dozen records to show and only one true radio hit.
Their euphoric melodies, sleek airtight branding and strategic decisions catapulted them to the forefront of dance music. Even when the group split in 2013 and to pursue their own projects, their collective presence was still felt and on the tip of everyone’s tongue given the benchmarks they had set.
The group reunited in March 2018 on dance music’s biggest stage in the U.S., Ultra Music Festival in Miami, where they closed out the main stage with a fiery performance. While it’s not exactly clear as to what Swedish House Mafia has planned next, their trailblazing past hints that they’ve only just begun.
Billboard Dance has decided to go back in time to when Swedish House Mafia first began and where they’ve gone since.
?March 2007: Axwell, Ingrosso & Angello Are Referred To as ‘Swedish House Mafia’ at Winter Music Conference in Miami
While the group didn’t officially release their first single as Swedish House Mafia until “One” in July 2010, the Swedes were practically inseparable and casually referred to as the Swedish House Mafia. In an interview during Winter Music Conference in Miami with Professional Rockstars and Ministry of Sound TV, Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello and Laidback are shown goofing around, talking about electro house and their upcoming collaboration.
May 2007: Axwell, Ingrosso and Angello Find Chemistry in the Studio on “Get Dumb”
Before Axwell, Ingrosso and Angello formed Swedish House Mafia, they linked up with Laidback Luke to create “Get Dumb,” a blood-pumping house record that was released in 2007 and later reworked by Mark Knight. While the record did not find crossover success in the U.S., their follow-up collaboration with Laidback Luke did.
November 2008: Eric Prydz Confirms He’s No Longer Part of the Group
“I always really wanted to go my own way. I’m not part of the collective known as the Swedish House Mafia,” said Eric Prydz in an interview with InTheMix. He added, “I never really wanted to be part of a collective. I do my own thing, and I’m kind of a control freak when it comes to making music in the studio.”
March 2009: Swedish House Mafia Make Their Ultra Debut
Ultra Music Festival’s 11th annual edition in Miami hosted everyone from Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk to The Black Eyed Peas and The Prodigy. Swedish House Mafia were listed third tier on the bill, sitting alongside Benny Benassi, Richie Hawtin, The Bloody Beetroots and more.
June 2009: “Leave The World Behind” Earns Success in the U.S.
Two years after releasing “Get Dumb,” the same four released “Leave The World Behind” which instantly clicked with dance hot spots like Miami and Ibiza. The record entered Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart and peaked at No. 40. A few months after the record’s release, they performed at London’s 02 Academy Brixton and sold it out. “Leave The World Behind” later became the title of the group’s 2014 documentary, which detailed the reasoning for their split.
July 2010: Pharrell Williams Jumps on “One (Your Name)”
The trio made things official with “One (Your Name)” featuring Pharrell Williams. It dropped a month after their Electric Daisy Carnival performance where they played right before Kaskade and deadmau5 on kineticFIELD. The record turned out to be a mighty debut, soaring to No. 6 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay and No. 16 on Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales.
The euphoric record came about after Williams had heard the instrumental live at one of the group’s shows. “That beat was crazy,” he told MTV. After several run-ins at festivals, Swedish House Mafia finally suggested Williams drop by the studio. He did and mentioned afterward that the process was “really quick and really simple.” The record now has nearly 200 million streams across Spotify and YouTube.
October 2010: The Trio Earn Their First No. 1 With “Miami 2 Ibiza” Featuring Tinie Tempah
The Swedes’ sophomore release, “Miami 2 Ibiza” featuring Tinie Tempah, earned the super-group their first No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. It also climbed into the Top 10 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay. The group was also holding down an Ibiza residency at Pacha where they performed Monday nights with their own branded series called The Masquerade Motel.
May 2011: The Swedes “Save The World” With New Chart-Topping Record
The guys built upon their success and momentum with “Save The World,” a hands-up-in-the-air anthem that brought them back to No. 1 on Dance Club Songs. It also scored them their first No. 1 on Dance Mix/Show Airplay. One month later, they headlined Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas alongside Tiësto and David Guetta. Their summer included an Ibiza residency at Ushuaia.
September 2011: Swedish House Mafia Become First Electronic Act To Headline — And Sell Out — Madison Square Garden
The Swedish super-group sold out New York’s landmark venue, Madison Square Garden, in nine minutes. This was the first time any electronic act had ever done so. The historic moment marked a big step forward for dance music and how far one could ascend in the space. Swedish House Mafia were no longer just DJs, they were rock stars.
December 2011: The Group Tags Knife Party For “Antidote” Collaboration
Days after Knife Party dropped their famed dubstep banger “Internet Friends,” they teamed with Swedish House Mafia to drop “Antidote,” a high-octane record that quickly became a festival favorite. The heavy track peaked at No. 3 on the Dance Club Songs chart.
March 2012: Swedish House Mafia Stay On Top With “Greyhound”
By this point, Swedish House Mafia had captivated the dance world in full and established themselves as true festival headliners. “Greyhound”, which was complimented by a futuristic music video, capitalized on their already-strong buzz and climbed up to No. 11 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. It also made notable appearance on the Dance Club Songs chart, topping off at No. 3.
April 2012: Swedish House Mafia Make Coachella Debut as Highest Billed Dance Act
Coachella’s 2012 headliners were The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Swedish House Mafia, who played on Friday, was billed ahead of Arctic Monkeys on the second line. Despite being billed underneath The Black Keys, they actually performed after them and closed out the main stage.
June 2012: The Group Announces Their Split and Final Shows
On June 23, 2012, Swedish House Mafia announced their split and revealed that their remaining shows listed on their website would be their last. “Today we want to share with you that the tour we are about to go on will be our last, they said. “We want to thank every single one of you who came on this journey. We came, we raved, we loved.” The news caught much of the dance world by surprise, but behind the magical curtain, things were not as glossy as they seemed.
I just heard @swedishousemfia are gonna split. I hope it’s not true
They are really special
— David Guetta (@davidguetta) June 23, 2012
— Hardwell (@HARDWELL) June 23, 2012
The group’s website listed their final show being November 24, 2012 at the Friends Arena in Sweden. Prior to that, they would headline Tomorrowland in Belgium and finish up their residency at Ushuaia in Ibiza.
September 2012: “Don’t You Worry Child” Leads Into One Last Tour
September 2012 hosted a flurry of news and emotions for fans. Swedish House Mafia dropped their next and final single, “Don’t You Worry Child,” which went onto become their biggest song by far. The record broke into the Hot 100 and peaked at No. 6, garnering 835 million total streams (and counting) in the process. Less than two weeks after its release, the guys announced a farewell arena tour dubbed One Last Tour.
November 2012 – March 2013: “One Last Tour” Goes Around The World
The 52-date arena world tour would begin November 16 in Dubai and then travel to India, parts of Europe and Europe before arriving in North America in February 2013. Shortly after, they announced two final sets called The Final Curtain where they would open and close Ultra 2013 in Miami. The U.S. leg of the tour sold out in minutes and ended up adding multiple dates to appease the demand. The final result included 5 shows at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (43,858 total tickets sold), 3 at Barclays Center (42,645 total tickets sold), a stop at the legendary Madison Square Garden (14,076 tickets sold) and back-to-back performances at Historic Park in Los Angeles where the total attendance was approximately 70,000 people.
March 2013: Ultra Miami Presents “The Final Curtain” Performances
“Good evening Miami. My name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello — and we are still the Swedish House Mafia,” said Axwell at the beginning of the Sunday night set. Roughly 250,000 watched the Ultra live stream to catch their performance. The emotionally charged performance rocked Miami for 90 straight minutes. Their encore was led by Axwell asking the crowd, “Can we save the world one last time together?” Miami roared in unison before vocalist John Martin came onstage to sing “Save The World” and “Don’t You Worry Child.”
March 2018: Swedish House Mafia Close Out Ultra Main Stage in Miami
“Expected The Expected,” Ultra stowed at the bottom of their 2018 flyer. Swedish House Mafia’s last show was five years ago on the main stage at Ultra’s flagship festival in Miami. The super-group returning for the festival’s 20th anniversary would make for the perfect story, and a magical moment it was. The set began with a series of larger-than-life booms synched up with stage-wide flashes of light. “My name is Axwell, this is Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello and we are still the Swedish House Mafia,” said Axwell on the mic. The excitement and energy in the air was palpable. Shortly after the performance, their socials were re-branded with a clean, minimal version of their logotype and symbol. A fiery shot of their performance was uploaded with the caption, “It was time…”