Galantis: Filling the Void in Dance Music
Such a positive response to the duo’s mission is a testament to their efforts in providing a refreshing sound within EDM. At a time when big drops and heavy bass beats are oversaturating the scene, Galantis effectively breaks up the monotony with their creative approach to dance music by incorporating meaningful vocals with feel good melodies.
We got the chance to chat with the Swedish natives about the artistic direction of Galantis as well as the importance of music’s evolution at Something Wicked Festival in Houston, TX. Check out the interview below:
EDM: This is a fairly new project for you guys…what spawned it?
Karlsson: We’ve been friends for a long time, talking about it, being in the studio, listening to music […] just trying to figure out what we could do together.
How would you describe the artistic direction and sound of Galantis?
Karlsson: I think we do stuff a little bit different [in] this dance world. I think the songwriting, the melody and lyrics are very, very important to us. A lot of people start making tracks and all of that, and when we start, we write songs. That’s something we've been doing for very long time…something that we love to do. So we start with the piano and add melody and lyrics. And then we build off of that. We love this dance music scene and being in it. Of course, Linus has been a DJ since forever and I’ve been producing and have been very influenced from the dance scene, but we both thought there was something missing that we wanted to do. Big drops sound amazing […] but it's missing something where I don’t feel the lyrics or I don’t feel the melody that much. And that’s something that I think we can do.
Eklöw: We love the feel good songs [...] that mean something. We want to say something, too.
Karlsson: Evolution in music happens. There’s definitely a time where the Grunge Seattle scene was like, "okay now you’re doing the same thing," and you need to take a step forward. I feel like hip-hop had that and then they sorted it out and you know…it’s important. It needs to evolve, it can't stand still.
Can you comment on the differences and universalities of the dance scene in the US versus Sweden or Europe in general? Are there any stark differences you see?
Eklöw: I guess right now, there are differences. It’s been growing a lot in Sweden. I think we've seen the scene from inside...but for the last couple of years the boom that happened here (in the US) has now sort of reached Sweden in a way. I think it’s cool. It’s different but I really like both and I think they're helping each other out. There are a lot of things from the US that are brand new to European crowds. It’s cool that the US boom brought in a lot of new people listening to dance music, too. It’s a good thing, you know? If it was all from the same source, I think that wouldn't make for the best way. I think this is a better way.
Karlsson: I always feel like when I’m in Ibiza I can see the difference. I remember like in 2006 or 2007…parts that I love about Ibiza were still there but also new things. And it comes from countries like the US…and is now coming to that island that has been one of the meccas of dance music... it’s a good thing.
Eklöw: I think almost every country in Europe has those differences. You have a House scene in Romania, and you have a certain House scene in Ibiza, you have something in Germany, something in Sweden, you have something in the UK and all of that sort of ... different types of House music. It’s a good thing.
Is this your first US tour as Galantis?
Karlsson: It’s the second, but it’s the first show in Texas.
Eklöw: Yeah, we did our first tour in April.
Karlsson: Straight after Coachella. Straight after the first release of the Galantis EP.
What are you expecting from tour this time around? Are you expecting a certain type of crowd?
Karlsson: No, but of course we’ve gained a lot of listeners since the last time, so it will be good to see that. And we just released a new single, 'Runaway (U & I),' so tonight will be the first time playing it live.
Having recently released ‘Runaway (U & I),’ how do you think that track stands out from ‘Smile’ and ‘You?’
Eklöw: It’s a good continuation from the other songs. For us, it felt very natural to release this one. We have a lot of music coming.
Karlsson: I feel like ‘Runaway (U & I)’ is related to ‘You,’ but it definitely has a lot of new things that ‘You’ didn’t have, like all the different types of vocals in there. I feel like ‘Runaway (U & I)’ is related to the EP but it’s a new thing that people want to see.
Kaskade dropped ‘You’ during Ultra Music Festival last year, he just did an edit for ‘Smile’ and a remix of ‘U & I’ – so he seems to really like what you guys are putting out. Can we expect a collaboration of sorts?
Eklöw: He’s a very close friend of ours. We talk all the time and send music and so... yeah, that’s something we need to do. We feel like it should be good.
Between the two of you, you've been the force behind tracks from Madonna, Britney Spears, and Icona Pop. Do you guys still help do production with other artists while you are working on Galantis?
Karlsson: A little bit, but this is what we are focusing on, this is where we spend our time. If there’s something that’s really fun and we can get inspiration from it or have a creative moment then, yeah.
As a duo, how do you complement each other with production and performing? Do you have certain styles that you feed off of?
Eklöw: I think... you know what? I feel like we had that, but now it’s sort of more melted into one. We sort of started thinking the same, you know? We don’t even have to talk [...] When we started working, we’d explain something and it was very long, and now it’s like "...it’s not there yet…"
(both laugh in agreement)
Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans about the new single and the tour?
Karlsson: Well, we are just excited to be putting out this music. We couldn't be more excited to put ‘Runaway (U & I)’ out. And we are so happy about how ‘Runaway’ is getting so much love. We weren't really expecting this type of attention this fast. So, we're overwhelmed.
Cover Image: Galantis Facebook
Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw have been friends for quite some time now, and as established artists within the music industry, they have a remarkable amount of talent between them too. Karlsson is known for his involvement in Miike Snow as well as Bloodshy & Avant, and Eklöw is also the force behind Style of Eye.
A joint desire to push musical boundaries and evolve the dance scene has resulted in their newest project, Galantis. The Seafox is the face of the project, appearing in everything from their music videos to the cover of their self-titled EP. Their fan base, affectionately referred to as Seafox Nation, has seen rapid growth since the release of their first single, "Smile," a year ago.