I had the chance to talk with rising Swedish DJ Oliver Nelson. His nu-disco style has been contagious and his remixes with Zayn, Ella Henderson and Childish Gambino among others are fire. Check out what he had to say!
How did you decide on a career in music?
Well music has always been a huge part of my life. I started playing drums when I was 8 years old, so music has always been there for me and in my thoughts. At first I wanted to be a professional drummer, but I failed to take it seriously in the end. The point where I said to myself, “I want to play all my cards on becoming a professional music producer” has to be when I studied programming back in 2010. I absolutely hated it and I spent most of my time producing instead of doing my assignments, I think that cleared my head a bit, hehe. When I got more comments and listens on my tracks, I really felt the joy in pleasing others with my music, and I felt that I was good at it.
What excites you most about your production process?
I would say those first hours, having a clear idea of what kind of sound you want in a project. Trying to find the right chords, it can be heaven and it can be hell, but the feeling when you finally ‘got it’ is a joy like no other. It always excites me when I get the stems of a remix for example. Using the vocal to find the fitting chords and instruments always excites me.
Could you talk to me about your latest song Ain’t A Thing?
I got a vocal from Kaleem Taylor’s team, which I absolutely loved and saw great potential in. I started working around it and instantly got a great feel of how it would sound in the end. The process though took a lot of time, I have no idea why, I always loved the track but there was something about my instrumental that didn’t sound right. So it sat there on my HD for 6 months, I then realized that I had to shape it up because it was too good to be wasted. I’m so happy with the final result and Kaleem is an absolute dream to work with. We recorded the vocal in London, and this guy is a legend, his voice is spotless and he fills the studio with joy, would love to work with him on another project.
If you had to sell someone on your music, which one of your remixes would you play for them?
I would probably play either my take on Urban Cones ‘Déjà vu’ cause I still feel that it’s got
something very special, the chords, the feel, and it defines me as a producer I would say. Or, I would play my new remix of Neiked’s ‘Sexual’ which I’m darn happy with. Those two, for me, have that key signature style that I try to deliver in most cases, which I think is likable to most people.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I have so many, but the biggest ones, and the ones that have stayed with me for years are Toto, Daft Punk, Tourist, Breakbot, Prince, to name a few.
What’s ahead for upcoming shows and releases?
I have an upcoming gig in London November 5th, it’s a Perfect Havoc Disco night at City Zebrano which I’m looking forward to! Currently working on several originals, some on my own and some with other amazing artists, so I’m really excited to show some new material soon! If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
I could easily eat a Calzone every day for the rest of my life, cause I f****ng love it!
Catch Oliver Nelson at Perfect Havoc Disco on 5 November at City Zerbrano, London. For more info and tickets