2012 was a great year for John Dahlback, and his level of success is continuing in 2013. Instrumental “Life” turned into a hit last year, named as Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune and included on Tiesto’s compilation Club Life – Vol. 2 Miami. Starting off 2013 are new tracks “Pressure” and “Life (Diamonds in the Dark),” the vocal version of his 2012 hit featuring Agnes Carlsson. “Life (Diamonds in the Dark)” comes out on February 25 through Big Beat/Atlantic.
Although Dahlback’s recent singles are quintessential uplifting, big-room house with an experimental edge, he took a low-key approach in 2012 with Kill The Silence, from alter ego Demure.
Dahlback started his North American tour on February 1 and has several U.S. and Canadian dates scheduled through the month. As he does his trek, we spoke with him about his recent releases.
How did “Life (Diamonds in the Dark)” come about?
John Dahlback: Basically, I was sitting on this strong instrumental track that worked really well in clubs. We first released it as it was, but later realized we had to have a vocal on it.
How did you get Agnes Carlsson to provide the vocals?
John Dahlback: Agnes is a huge Swedish pop star, and I know her manager a little bit, so I just asked if she was down to do it and she was. It’s not really her usual style, but I’m really happy with the result.
The single includes remixes by Feenixpawl, Lazy Rich, and Lunde Bros. Who else would you like to see remix your track?
John Dahlback: it’s a strong package! I like to see artists grow, so that’s why Lunde Bros. is really interesting. They always surprise me when they deliver the remixes or originals.
You also had “Pressure,” which has a different character from “Life (Diamonds in the Dark),” come out recently. For this track, what inspired you?
John Dahlback: I have always made different tracks from day to day. I like to try new things and I wanted to do something cool for the clubs.
What are your plans for an album? Are you planning to put together a follow-up to 2010’s ‘Mutants’?
John Dahlback: Maybe! I want to do an album, and maybe I will. Albums are difficult, though. You need a good home for it, and also a lot of strong singles to make it work. I love to be in the album mode. It gives a producer the chance to show their other sides.
In 2012, you put out a release under name Demure. Tell me about this project. Do you plan to put out any more Demure releases?
John Dahlback: Demure was a fun project, mostly made for myself, to be honest. I wanted to have a few tracks to listen to while flying or being on the bus, etc. my sister, who’s a singer, got on board and she completed the tracks really well!
Your North American tour just started on February 1. How has it been going so far?
John Dahlback: So far, so good! I love being out here. The crowd is really different from my other territories. They are very interested and up for it so I’m excited for the rest!
What types of gear have you been using on tour?
John Dahlback: Simply, I put my little USB sticks into the CDs and do my magic. I always pack those sticks with a lot of edits and new tracks. Otherwise, it’s simple: three CDJs, one mixer.
Once your North American dates wrap up, where’s the next stop on your tour?
John Dahlback: I have a little UK weekend straight after the tour.
Right now, it seems that many major DJs – both established and new – have their opinions about the current mainstream EDM scene. What’s your perspective and where do you stand
John Dahlback: The scene right now is massive. Everyone knows about Avicii and SHM, for example. But I think in the U.S., many people who went to see those guys will get their ears open for more underground artists. So it’s really up to the next couple of years to see how it all goes. I’m positive, though.