Jeremy Olander knows all about the importance of persistence. Back during his Stockholm University days, studying communications, Jeremy spent all of his free time plugging away on his laptop and producing music. After sending countless tracks to Eric Prydz to no avail Prydz finally happened upon one of Olander’s tracks and immediately signed him to produce an EP for his Pryda Friends label—an honor previously only bestowed upon Felix Da Housecat, Axwell, Paolo Mojo, and Sebastien Leger.
Eric Prydz was so blown away by Olander’s EP that he signed him as Pryda Friend’s first exclusive artist: Olander was the first DJ to ever be officially endorsed by Prydz, and his career skyrocketed. After years of travelling around the world and coming in to his own Olander is now recognized as one of the industry’s leading progressive artists. Riding the cusp of both the mainstream and the underground Olander’s technical prowess and live artistry has proven itself time and time again.
About to hit Celebrities for Stereotype Fridays this coming June 20th, we jumped at the opportunity to sit down and get to know one of North America’s fastest rising talents, Jeremy Olander.
Blueprint: Can you describe your artistic vision in three words?
Jeremy Olander: Storytelling, melancholic and mysterious.
Blueprint: Before falling in love with house music you heard Benny Benassi on the radio and thought it sounded silly: what was it about the track that gave you this perception and what do you think of today’s big room mainstream sound?
Jeremy Olander: I guess I just thought it lacked emotion and I found the repetitiveness of it a bit silly. As far as today’s big room stuff, it’s great that it’s there because it makes for more people discovering this wonderful world and maybe at some point they’ll find their taste maturing and they’ll start looking for other types of sound. I feel like that’s what’s happening in America right now. When the tide is high, all boats rise.
Blueprint: Why do you think that so much of dance industry is currently caught up on style over substance?
Jeremy Olander: With dance music becoming so immensely popular in recent years it’s only natural that you’ll see a surge in people giving it a go. It’s easier to follow what’s hot right now and copy it rather than figure out your own sound and create something unique and fresh.
Blueprint: When you were younger you listened to a lot of Michael Jackson, along with a touch of Van Morison from your dad. Do those early inspirations continue to influence you and manifest themselves in your productions today?
Jeremy Olander:I think the biggest thing is Michael and Quincy Jones’ sense of perfection when they made music. Never feeling content with something unless it’s perfect and you feel you’ve done everything you can to make it sound just right. I have a lot of people asking me to release a lot of the music I play out, but most it is just exclusively for shows and not for release.
Blueprint: Would you rather lose the ability to produce tracks or the ability to mix live?
Jeremy Olander: That’s really tough. I love both so much but starting out producing first and then learning how to play records second, I’ll have to say the ability to mix live.
Blueprint: During your live sets you opt for subtle drops and dependable composition over gimmicky dynamics. Is this purely a stylistic choice or do you feel a sense of duty when it comes to musically educating a crowd?
Jeremy Olander: Thanks for noticing! I don’t know if feel obligated to educate people in that sense, I just think that’s the magic of playing records in front of a crowd and that’s the aspect of it that made me fall in love with it in the first place. Slowly building a set, creating a tension and introducing people to music they’ve never heard before is what DJing is about in my world. I never really got the whole thing of dropping peak hour bombs for an hour or two hours straight.
Blueprint: While on tour with Jonas [Fehrplay] you fell victim to several pranks. What was the most outrageous stunt he has ever pulled on you?
Jeremy Olander: Once he was standing outside my hotel door and didn’t knock or anything. He didn’t know when I was going to come out. He just stood there with his phone filming the door to catch me by surprise whenever I did decide to come out. That dedication is pretty outrageous.
Blueprint: Is there a master plan for retaliation in the works?
Jeremy Olander: I will strike when he least expects it.
Blueprint: You are amongst a group of underground artists on the cusp of mainstream and North America can’t get enough. Do you see a deeper funkier trend surfacing in mainstream dance music?
Jeremy Olander: Definitely. I feel like a lot of the people that discovered dance music in the past 3-4 years through the more commercial acts are starting to scratch the surface and maybe gravitate towards a more deeper sound.
Blueprint: What is your number one pet peeve?
Jeremy Olander: For instance, when a big family with like 4 or 5 kids walk down the street and occupy the whole sidewalk and pay no consideration to the fact that there might be people coming from the opposite direction. It’s weird I know, but it really annoys the hell out of me.
Blueprint: Does producing under your Dhillon alias offer you a sense of freedom? What are the main differences between a Dhillon track and an Olander release?
Jeremy Olander: The stuff I make under Dhillon is very drum-oriented and caters to my stuff that probably is considered by most as Techno. It gives me a sense of freedom for sure. I love making that sound and I don’t want to feel constricted in terms of the music I make and Dhillon gives me an output for that. I suppose I could release those tracks under Jeremy Olander but in my head, Jeremy Olander and Dhillon are two different people.
Blueprint: Can you describe your perfect crowd?
Jeremy Olander: Educated and lively.
Blueprint: Currently, what is your biggest obsession?
Jeremy Olander: The Pokemon game. Nostalgia level: 3000.
Blueprint: What’s next for Jeremy Olander and what can Vancouver expect from your June 20th show at Celebrities?
Jeremy Olander: Other than playing for you guys and spending most of June in the States for my North American tour, I have a bunch of new releases coming up. I just had a Dhillon original come out on Drumcode as well as a remix for a new Universal act called Mendoza that’s been getting a great response. I’m currently working on what feels like a comeback EP of sorts. I haven’t had one of those out for a while and I can’t wait to preview it and show people what I’ve been working on in terms of original for the past few months.
Make sure you grab your tickets to Fridays’ (June 20th) show at Celebrities for another edition of Stereotype. It promises to be a set with a beautifully danceable ebb and flow, zero aggressive drops, and a ton of unreleased material. Don’t miss out.
– Ryan Hayesget tickets