There is nothing like stumbling all over SoundCloud and discovering remarkable sets by talents from across the globe. As an avid Disco-lover, nothing gives me greater pleasure then finding sets packed with soul and emotion that go beyond beats and really connect with the listener. Amongst my auditory adventures on SoundCloud, I came across a groove aficionado, Beatwell via various other podcasts. Lush with disco and funk, Beatwell's sets were fun, sassy and mixed well. Great sets that can be liked by any listener, no matter their preference of genre are hard to come by and here I found an entire page riddled with them.
Discovering Beatwell, was only one part, what I also learned was that Oslo in Norway has a healthy music scene that is robust with House & Disco (Let's not pretend we knew this already, OK?). Now, here on Magnetic Mag we bring a little bit of Oslo to the US with an interview exclusive by Beatwell here.
Magnetic Mag: Who is Beatwell? How did you become a DJ/producer?
Beatwell: My interest in music was sparked in the early eighties, with my older sisters repeated spinning of Soul, Disco and Hip Hop on the record player. There was an instinctual reaction to the feeling that was very different to the traditional music played on the radio. Although my almost fanatical passion for music has been a constant throughout the different phases of my life, events took a turn when I was diagnosed with a serious infection about seven years ago. Trying to cope with this traumatic change in life quality I turned to the music for solace. With a lot of time on my hands I decided to start mixing, slowly both mixing and body improved. I see the music as a major factor in my continued recovery. The music is my therapy.
MM: What influences your sets? Were you always a fan of disco and funk/soul?
B: I play all kinds of music, but Disco has always been closest to my heart. I find it exciting that the category has more nuances today, Nudisco, Classic, Cosmic and Deep they are all flavours with the same origin. My sets are defined by my main influences; contemporary electronica, house and disco. I strive to keep a good flow, and I like to believe that this combination creates my signature.
MM: What have you done since you began DJ'ing? Have you released any tracks? Hosted a radio/podcast show?
B: I don’t make any music yet, I have a full time job as a CFO for a large Norwegian Company and family that I love spending time with. So far I have created some buzz with “CaffeineSupreme,” a podcast of sorts where I promote mixes by DJs I find brilliant and interesting. I publish every six weeks, trying to focus on quality not quantity, you should check it out! The feedback has been great, there are so many talented DJ´s out there that deserve a broader audience, next one out is The Silver Rider, his sets are always sharp, I am a big admirer of his style.
MM: What events have you performed at? Anything particularly unique about playing in a nostalgic style?
B: Currently I am resident DJ at Hakkasan Ling Ling (Saturdays) here in Oslo. I have played a number of private events from breakfast beats, downtempo lunch events and pure come and dance late night parties. I do the gigs solely for fun and tend to be very picky. Generally, I find the younger audience react to my style as a little nostalgic, as long as it is tight fresh and to the point I don’t, I think it is rather contemporary.
MM: In a time, where a lot of electronic music is becoming dark and minimal, what makes disco so special to you and your audience?
B: First of all, I think electronic music contains all sorts of colours, not just the darker shades. At Hakkasan I include different styles, also minimal and tech. The combination of more edgy electronica with disco is fascinating and it excites the audience. At least it looks that way…
MM: Where would you like to play next? Have you ever performed anywhere interesting?
B: A have always told my kids that they should follow their passion, be keen and curious, and it will take them places far beyond their expectations. Djing is my passion, and my dream is probably a festival gig abroad or something like that.
MM: What is your take on the popular styles of electronic music today, both commercial and underground?
B: Its a paradox really, the main radio channels in Norway broadcast a commercial “A-list” music, 50-100 tracks on repeat 24/7. At the same time access to all kinds music through Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud, etc have never been greater. Its all about timing, underground music today tends to develop over time into commercial stuff tomorrow. Look at Todd Terje he has managed to develop his sound from rather quirky underground to commercial quite quickly. I like to see my sets as non-mainstream but mainstream enough for everyone to dance.