He's now a melodic house and techno phenom, but Jeremy Olander's first approach to music production was in high school. “A friend of mine showed me that you could make music on computers and that blew me away,” he tells us. His passion for dance music would come a few years later, being greatly influenced by the Grodan Cocktail Club, the main spot for house and techno in Stockholm. Since then he has not stopped reaping successes, even founding his electronic dance label, publishing company and event series 7 years ago. And we're in luck because he's now releasing a big, melodic track for the summer, Murphy, after a well-deserved break.
“This time off was the first longer studio break since I started making music, I feel it was the right move as I feel more inspired and creative than I have in a long time,” he says about the break he took in recent months to spend time with his two kids. A hiatus that has allowed him to reconnect with himself after years focused on his work body and soul, and gain strength to face the coming months with many new projects. And it is that, besides releasing Vivrant's third release of 2022, which is his first original release since July 2021, he tells us that he is already working on an EP coming on a German label. “I can't name just yet, and probably another one on Vivrant,” he says.
How are you and where do you answer us from?
I'm doing great! I just landed in Stockholm a few hours ago. I was in Montpellier (France), and played Family Piknik Festival yesterday, so I'm feeling a little beat up. But happy to release some new music again and have a chat with you.
You are now a melodic house and techno phenom, having become one of the most appreciated and highly regarded DJ, producers and label owners on the scene. But let's go back to the very beginning. How and when did your career start? Do you remember your first approach to music?
Thanks for the kind words! I started messing around in Reason in high school. A friend of mine showed me that you could make music on computers and that blew me away. It fascinated me that you could make tracks using a DAW running a laptop and OK headphones. My perception of music production was that you needed a multi-million dollar studio.
Once I got started, the whole concept of arrangement also appealed to me. It reminded me of Red Alert and other old-school strategy games I played when I was younger. Once you have a few blocks of midi in front of you it’s almost like laying a puzzle. Dance music didn’t immediately speak to me though, it grew on me little by little. It took some friends showing me Joachim Garraud’s podcasts to really get me fired up about it. I think I was around 15-16, and some of my older friends brought me to a place in Stockholm called Grodan Cocktail Club, which was kind of the main spot for house and techno. I still miss that place and I’m sure a lot of other producers and DJs from Sweden would agree. It was a special place. Seeing all these guys that later would go on to sell out Madison Square Garden and other huge venues after starting out playing a small sweaty casement for one hundred people was inspiring to me. I also remember really liking the interaction between the artist and the crowd. We were all one with whoever was playing, and that’s something I try to carry it with me to this day.   
You have remixed acts in the likes of Digitalism, Henry Saiz, Sailor & I and most recently fellow Swedish mega-star Tove Lo, alongside Jayda G and Major Lazer. What would you say have been the main milestones in your career as a DJ and producer? 
That’s a tough one. There are so many that I’m grateful for, but I probably have to say Vivrant and the community around it. It was scary taking a step away from Pryda Friends in 2015 to build something of our own, but I’m so happy we did it. I remember when we put on the first label show to celebrate the first release. There were maybe 200 or so people there. Fast forward a few years and at the last show in Stockholm back in December, we had over two thousand people from twelve countries. 
Let’s delve into your electronic dance label, publishing company and event series you founded with Alex Drewniak in 2015, which has since generated more than 17 million streams. What do you enjoy most about this facet of your work? Were the beginnings difficult? 
The biggest reason why we started it, which is also what I personally enjoy the most, is that I wanted to create a home for other artists that I admire, big or small, and help them like Eric once helped me. Molø and Oling, which are two of our up-and-coming acts, are killing it and I see a bright future for both of them. Running it is absolutely challenging. I think just like when you produce music, it can be easy to be drawn into putting out stuff with a sound that’s trending at that specific point in time. Staying true to what music we believe is great and deserves attention, rather than if it will be heavily supported or streamed, has worked for us and we will never budge on that.  
Now you announce the return of Vivrant with an infectious summer single, Murphy, which marks your first original release in over 12 months. What can you tell us about this new track? 
I always make music with dance floors in mind and whatever I feel is missing in my sets. If you come to one of my shows, nine out of ten tracks will be my own and more often than not they're unreleased. I’ve always had that approach and I want to give people a unique experience they can’t get anywhere else. Whenever something connects in a big way, I tend to want to release it, and that was the case with Murphy. The first time I played it I felt like it had something, and I also wanted to put out a big, melodic track for the summer so it was an easy decision.  
I would like to congratulate you on this new release, which you present in a short edit and an original mix version, for how it is capable of creating a soundscape full of energy that increases as it progresses. “It’s a melodic peak time anthem that’s been heavily inspired by my love for melodies from the late 80s and early 90s movie scores,” you said. Where would you like this new track to be played in the coming months? 
Thank you! I hope it will be played and enjoyed by everyone in the Vivrant community. Everything else is a bonus.  
This is Vivrant's third release of 2022, but also your first original release since July 2021. What have you been doing during this time? 
I have two kids, so after 2021 ended, which was a very productive year for me in terms of the studio, I took some time off, played a few shows here and there but mostly focused on my kids for a few months. I love spending time with them and becoming a day has changed me and my outlook on my life. This time off was the first longer studio break since I started making music, I feel it was the right move as I feel more inspired and creative than I have in a long time.  
Could you tell us which artists and bands are you listening to lately? What songs do you have on your Spotify playlist? 
My taste is really diverse! You’ll catch me listening to everything from Nina Simone, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Prince, Little Richard to Nas, Big L, Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep. My biggest musical inspiration is without a doubt Michael Jackson and that will probably never change. The stuff he made with Quincy Jones, there’s just nothing else out there that can compare.  
And what can you tell us about your next projects? 
Lots of fun stuff happening! I have an EP coming on a German label I really like that I can’t name just yet, and probably another one on Vivrant. Both will hopefully drop before the year ends. We’re also doing label showcases in London, Beirut, Cairo, Stockholm and Seoul. I have a Vivrant India Tour with Molø coming up, an Australia tour with John Digweed and a big New York show at Kings Hall in Brooklyn. I’m also back in the studio to start work on what I hope will become a full-length studio album project. It’s about time. 
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