MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Esquille, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
Esquille: I started playing piano at an early age, when I was seven years old. I was surrounded by a lot of music through my relatives. In the beginning I only played classical music, but in my early teens I developed an interest in writing pop songs. I had a keyboard that had auto-comp, arpeggio and a bunch of functions. I loved that keyboard and played it as often as I could. It lead me into the world of writing pop music.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Esquille: In my teens I only listened to soul, funk and disco. Groups and artists such as Change, The Whispers, Brothers Johnson, George Duke, Mason, etc. I loved reading the record cover about who had produced and mixed, and which musicians had played on the recordings. Imagination was also one of my big idols. I loved their debut album “Body Talk”. Over the course of the years, my musical taste broadened. I worked as a DJ for many years and played many different styles. For a while I was even into rock music. Today I’m a true music lover who can enjoy all types of music. From jazz, rock, and pop to trance, house and heavy club beats. It maybe sounds weird, but it’s true.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
Esquille: Touring with my euro group Dreamland is without a doubt associated with strong memories. On one occasion we performed during the summer outside in Stockholm city for thousands of young people. It was fantastic.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Esquille: In my opinion music is all about making people feel good. All my tracks have lots of positive energy embedded. The past year I’ve been very productive, and apart from club tunes I’ve written quite a few pop songs. I’ll be presenting these for other artists shortly.
MuzicNotez: Out of all your songs or albums… do you have a favorite? What is it? And why?
It’s difficult to put my finger on one single song. More often than not I like the latest that I’ve made and enjoy the result. Just after a finished song I’m in a natural state of ecstasy and feeling really good. When I get that feeling I’m convinced that there are other people who also feel good from listening to what I’ve created. Paradoxically, the feeling doesn’t last very long and I get nervous about not being able to create anything good again. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been working with music for a long time, this sequence is repeated often.
I try to live in the present and not think that things were better in the past. But when my old open-reel tape that was impossible to play was saved through a new restoration technique, I was impressed of myself. When I had a contract with Warner at the end of the 80s, music was made very melodiously, with verses, refrains and bridge. Sort of like two songs in one. I was surprised by the solid arrangement that I had made on the songs that were saved. I must have put a lot more time per song than I do today.
MuzicNotez: You are an industry veteran and worked with countless successful groups and artists. What advice can you give to aspiring musicians looking to make it in this industry for as long as you have?
Esquille: Set goals and reach them. If you are impatient as I am, then set partial goals over a longer period of time. If you have a passionate interest and talent, then it is only you yourself who sets the limits. Be prepared to work hard, nothing is free. Don’t go and waste time being envious of other artists, producers or groups. Get to work; be just as good as or better than they are. Make sure to reach your goals. Also, take those chances that pop up when someone wants to book you, distribute you or sign you. Never sign anything for life, but take those chances that are given. It gives you experience and several chances.
MuzicNotez: You’ve worked across a wide array of genres throughout your career. Any favorite genres to work with? Anything you haven’t yet but would like to?
Esquille: At the moment I feel that EDM music around 130 BPMs suits me perfectly. It’s fast enough to be suggestive and not too slow to be draggy. It’s really fun to see how trends have run tempo-wise over the decades in dance music. Of course I loved to produce RnB in 100 BPM, Italo in 120 BPM and Euro in 140 BPM, but to land somewhere in between is so cool!
I would love to produce a hard rock group! I have a lot of ideas that I haven’t heard anyone try with rock. Maybe I’ll get a chance to do it in the future!
MuzicNotez: You closed your studio and took a break back in 2004 returning back to a self described “normal life”. What have you done with your time during that break? What lead you back in to music?
Esquille: Yes, it’s true. I wanted to build a family and live a normal life. First of all, I moved out of town to the country to avoid stress. I worked among other things for the famous Waves, plug-in manufacturer, as their Sales Manager in Scandinavia, and had a mastering studio for all types of songs. So in a way I was still working with music, but not on the creative level.
I had lived a hectic, action-packed life and I could barely listen to music without analyzing to pieces how a song was produced and arranged. It wasn’t easy adjusting from a DJ life, mingle and night producing studio job. It took more than a year before I started to enjoy music again. I withdrew a bit and lost many friends, but matured a lot as an individual and got a well-needed distance to the music industry. I got a grip on the mechanisms and understood why creative, sensitive musicians and a money focused businessman perhaps don’t always work so well together.
The more time passed the more I felt like doing music again. I set up a plan and my family and I moved back to the big city. I started taking up my contacts and built a new production studio. I’ve probably never taken music more seriously than I do now. I’ve understood that it’s my purpose to work with and create music.
The difference between now and then is that I have a lot more self-confidence and I’m trying to live at a slightly lower pace.
MuzicNotez: You have come back with vengeance with your hit single “I Take U Higher”. What’d it feel like to come back to such success? How has the industry changed in your absence?
Esquille: It’s incredibly fun to once again get to deliver and stand in the limelight! I’m proud of the response that I’ve got in such a short period of time. I wanted to mix a new and an old sound, and it worked. “I Take U Higher” is a 100% genuine Esquille production.
There is such a huge difference in what has happened in less than ten years. An artist/producer can reach out over the whole world to different countries without needing a distributor, a promotion-team, a manager, a record contract or a publishing contract. This was practically impossible before. I can feel however that the competition has increased with the possibilities.
MuzicNotez: You’ve just dropped your latest EDM club hit “Heyo” which has received a great reception. What motivated this track? What’s it feel like to see people dancing and having such a good time to your musical creation?
Esquille: I usually work with the instrumental first, and this was also the case with HEYO. I felt that the instrumental song really rocked. At that stage, it could have been any type of vocal element and I had several ideas, but something made me test a voice that didn’t at all fit in. HEYO would be a happy summer song that didn’t have the heavy and mysterious feeling about it like the previous single, and I tested and put in a hoarse, pop city voice in the refrain. It collided in such a cool way, and I followed the idea and presented it for few different people. They didn’t really know what to say, but most dropped their jaw and just said, “God! What a cool sound.”
Now when the song has been released, I have received all kinds of comments, most positive! On the dance floor it works brilliantly, and more and more radio stations are starting to play it. It’s also climbing on several charts. It’s fun and I’m of course happy.
MuzicNotez: I know you have some very exciting new singles to be dropped in the near future. What can we expect from your upcoming releases and how will they be unique from the past?
Esquille: Yeah, I’ve been very creative the past year and I have some pretty cool stuff coming up. The next single will be harder and more progressive. More like the last single. It’s a club song called “Rock This Club Down”. It’s in its own genre and once again I’m trying new territory. It won’t sound like any other artist’s compositions.
MuzicNotez: With your long career in the music industry, how do you believe the internet helps or hurts the industry or you as a musician today in comparison to the past?
Esquille: The internet is the key to success. No doubt. But be careful, it’s so easy to release a song that many people forget to do it properly. Work with the song, mix it the very best you can, master it, make a cover for the song and protect the song via your publishing company. Think quality more than quantity. Too much is shared today. Share less, stand out and get heard. There are a number of great sites that help you for peanuts. Hook up with them and take advantage of their knowledge.