Lars Allertz: Sweden’s Next Big Thing

Posted by on February 12, 2014

Photo by Fabian Wester

2013 has been the breakthrough year for Sweden’s new DJ/producer talent Lars Allertz. His hit track, “Make You Mine” has scored in the Top 10 of the Swedish iTunes chart, been aired on Swedish national radio, and played during his first arena gig at the Swedish electronic music festival, November Lights. As things are looking bright for the 21-year-old, our guest blogger Rebecca made a trip to Stockholm to talk to him about his progressing career.

It’s classic Swedish winter weather and the traffic is slow, just as it is every year. I never learn that the road workers seem to always forget how to handle the snow. My bus is late, and I’m late to my meeting with Lars Allertz. Shit.

After a ”refreshing” sprint in my not-so-sprint-friendly combat boots from the bus station to Uppsala’s central train station, I throw myself on the train to Stockholm. I arrive fifty minutes later, stressed out and therefore very nervous. But Lars Allertz greets me with the kindest approach, and I realize that his down to earth personality is forgiving, even for my stupid mistake to clean up the apartment after last night’s raging after-party instead of choosing the early bus.

Allertz suggests we take a short walk to his studio located in the prettiest and nicest area in Stockholm – Östermalm. It’s the kind of area where I, in my dreams, imagine myself buying the perfect turn of the century apartment when I, in the future, am ridiculously successful and perfect (fingers crossed).

During the walk we get into a relaxed conversation. Allertz tells me about the studio, how it’s in the same building as the DJ duo Nause, and that he in facts spends most of his time here “where the magic happens.”

Promoting his latest release, the progressive house track “Make You Mine,” has literally been a full time job. Apart from the producing and the performing, he has spent hours and hours on managing and marketing. Allertz works a bit like a one man band. He produces his own music, owns his own record label (Allertz Music), does his own PR and is in charge of the distribution.

“I’ve spent more than 200 hours on the whole ‘Make You Mine’-process,” he says.

I can’t get over his incredible dedication and passion, and realize at the same time that I never ever in my life spent 200 hours on any project. Suddenly I don’t know if I can still describe myself as “creative and engaged.”

We arrive in the studio; a very white, minimalistic decorated room, which is a typical Scandinavian design that instills a soothing atmosphere. We talk about the issue that comes along with any involvement in the music industry: how to be noticed in the big ocean of both crap and talent?

“When I was about to send my track to the big Swedish radio station, P3, I decided to get creative. Instead of putting a USB stick in an envelope and mail it, I got ahold of six wine gift boxes lined in velvet. I wrote the names of the six people working at the radio station on the boxes in gold, so they each got their personal box. I placed a fish-shaped USB stick including ‘Make You Mine’ in every box together with the note, ‘Play me.’ Then I personally stepped into the reception, pretending to be a delivery guy, and delivered the boxes. A couple of weeks later, my song scored the thirteenth place on the radio stations chart called Digilistan.”

Allertz is planning on delivering a USB stick in a cake for his next release. Steve Aoki would be proud.

After hanging out in the studio for a while, he suggests that we continue the interview in his and his girlfriend’s apartment a couple of blocks away. The apartment gives the same “clean, white but oh so nice” vibes as the studio.

I notice Allertz fits the type of the preppy, Swedish boy next door, which almost feels innovative for a DJ. No flipped cap or sweaty t-shirt in sight. An ironed shirt and bow tie doesn’t stop him from going loco in the booth though.

“I’m kind of wild in the DJ booth. I think it’s nice to see the DJ’s personality when you go to a gig. Keeping that in mind, I always play sober. That gives me the opportunity to rave fully while DJing, without people thinking that it’s just a drunk thing.”

FNT: If you would, describe your image as a DJ?

“I’m happy, haha! I want to show the crowd that I’m with them, partying with them and have good contact with the dance floor. I try to be sensitive, really feel in the dance floor and adjust after the mood.”

FNT: You feel like an ordinary, down to earth, yet very talented dude.

“Wonderful to hear, that’s what I want to be.”

However, Allertz describes the DJ life similar to one’s love life. Some days are magical, some days are certainly not.

“Sometimes when things just don’t work out, and you feel like ‘Fuck, its never gonna work,’ you get the big breakdowns. You want to deliver full time, get better, and when it’s not happening and you hit a wall, you feel genuinely depressed. My job really is like a relationship with someone you love, when things are good and improving you fly home from the studio on fluffy clouds.”

Antonia, Allertz’s girlfriend, laughs and agrees.

“When I’m flying sky high, Antonia helps me to get down on the ground again. She really makes me stop for a moment and think, ‘That may be good, but….’ There are always improvements to be made.”

I see the maturity in both of them, perhaps a reason why they make a good couple. She believes in him and his career, and he trusts her. A power couple, in other words. I ask about Allertz’s future plans and he’s got quite the response: A new release coming up together with a music video, lot of gigs planned, and a move to a new studio. He wishes to sign a manager and record label to create more time for his producing: Many hours are “wasted” on the work a manager and record label would be able to do for him.

“Record labels have contacted me, both Swedish and foreign, independents and majors, but I need to see a concrete plan. It needs to feel a hundred percent right, something I wish will happen in the close future.”

The guy is smart, and if someone deserves an awesome career in the music industry, I vote for the ones that really fight for what they want. And there is no doubt that Allertz wants it.

“To see people get happy and start singing to my music… the fact that they even listen to my music and dig it, or at least dig it a little, that’s actually so crazy! That motivates me to carry on,” he finishes modestly.

I end my interview with the classic question.

FNT: What would you be if you were not a DJ?

The answer? Not what you’d expect.

“I would love to be a working with fish and seafood! It would be so nice to be a fishmonger in a food hall.”

Well, congratulations Axwell, you are not the DJ with the most surprising childhood dream anymore. And Allertz, do not ever give up your career for fish and seafood. While we’re waiting for Allertz next release, hit the play button below and get loose.


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