Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

Riding a bike with Samo DJ

Sam Forsberg is best known for his works on L.I.E.S., The Trilogy Tapes, Public Possession, and Born Free Records, which he runs with DJ Sling and DJ City. Sam's music can easily work at a prime time in the club setting, as well as the experimental festival. His recent performance at Braille Satellite, where he and his partner Maxxxbass presented their KWC92 project, is another great evidence of such versatility. We spoke with Sam Forsberg to learn about his approach to music and the personality hidden behind his art.

How was the Braille Satellite festival for you?

          It was fun. It’s kind of on a farm. There were about 500 people, 3 stages and very strange music from time to time. I really enjoyed it. There are no sponsors. We are old friends with Matas, who is one of the organizers, so I will also do it next year.

You were performing with the KWC92 project, right? So, let’s start from there. How the duo appeared in the first place?

          Well, me and Max, who I do KWC92 with, we have some friends who wrote a movie and a screenplay a few years ago. The movie takes place in Kowloon Walled City which was a small area of Hong Kong that still belonged to mainland China in the 70s-80s. Then the police tore it down in the 90s. Actually, they've never made a movie, but they published a screenplay, like a book with illustrations. So me and Max decided to make a soundtrack for the screenplay and to call the project the same way the book was called.

Is KWC92 a reflection of your interest in Asian culture?

          Yeah. It’s a kind of soundtrack project. Now, we've made one more record and I don't know what the future records will be.

How was the Braille Satellite festival for you?

          It was fun. It’s kind of on a farm. There were about 500 people, 3 stages and very strange music from time to time. I really enjoyed it. There are no sponsors. We are old friends with Matas, who is one of the organizers, so I will also do it next year.

You were performing with the KWC92 project, right? So, let’s start from there. How the duo appeared in the first place?

          Well, me and Max, who I do KWC92 with, we have some friends who wrote a movie and a screenplay a few years ago. The movie takes place in Kowloon Walled City which was a small area of Hong Kong that still belonged to mainland China in the 70s-80s. Then the police tore it down in the 90s. Actually, they've never made a movie, but they published a screenplay, like a book with illustrations. So me and Max decided to make a soundtrack for the screenplay and to call the project the same way the book was called.

Is KWC92 a reflection of your interest in Asian culture?

          Yeah. It’s a kind of soundtrack project. Now, we've made one more record and I don't know what the future records will be.

How have this passion for Asia appeared?

          I was living in Hong Kong with my girlfriend for 3 years. I was doing some odd jobs here and there. I was a resident DJ in a bar playing commercial music. I was selling records on the Discogs and stuff like that. I didn't really know that much about this part of the world before and then I was exploring the culture from day to day. It’s pretty different from Swedish culture. I mean, what people eat and how close together they live: it's very densely populated. You know, the climate is different and the movies they watch have a completely different style. It’s a nice feeling. You are like a stranger in the city.

With KWC92 you are doing pretty different kind of music. It differs a lot from the sound of Samo DJ, for instance. What mood or person stands behind it?

          Yeah, it didn't really make sense compared to my banging techno tracks. I don't know how to put into words really. The first task was to make a soundtrack to the screenplay. But then, we were, like, feeling the story of the screenplay. And also I find it fun to make a different type of sounds.

How have this passion for Asia appeared?

          I was living in Hong Kong with my girlfriend for 3 years. I was doing some odd jobs here and there. I was a resident DJ in a bar playing commercial music. I was selling records on the Discogs and stuff like that. I didn't really know that much about this part of the world before and then I was exploring the culture from day to day. It’s pretty different from Swedish culture. I mean, what people eat and how close together they live: it's very densely populated. You know, the climate is different and the movies they watch have a completely different style. It’s a nice feeling. You are like a stranger in the city.

With KWC92 you are doing pretty different kind of music. It differs a lot from the sound of Samo DJ, for instance. What mood or person stands behind it?

          Yeah, it didn't really make sense compared to my banging techno tracks. I don't know how to put into words really. The first task was to make a soundtrack to the screenplay. But then, we were, like, feeling the story of the screenplay. And also I find it fun to make a different type of sounds.

What sound do you explore with KWC92?

          Kind of mood-based. It could be something you can listen to just walking in the street at night. Especially the first one. It was definitely about walking around Hong-Kong when it is raining: neon signs and small alleyways, the crackling from the electrical wires, you know, cars going by, someone yelling on the street. This city produces a lot of sounds.

What sound do you explore with KWC92?

          Kind of mood-based. It could be something you can listen to just walking in the street at night. Especially the first one. It was definitely about walking around Hong-Kong when it is raining: neon signs and small alleyways, the crackling from the electrical wires, you know, cars going by, someone yelling on the street. This city produces a lot of sounds.

It seems that you prefer to share the studio with other friends-musicians more than produce music by yourself. What attracts you to that process of collaboration?

          It's the good question. Many people say that I make too many collaborations. I don't know exactly why, but I have an easy time collaborating with many different people. This is just my personality. If you are making music with a different person, you have to agree at some point. I mean, you can't be too stubborn, like: “Oh no! It has to be my way or the highway.” You kind of meet in the middle and then, hopefully, something comes out that is worth listening to. I mean, it can really bring something new to the sound and the process, if you are working with a friend of yours, and the result can be surprising. It could also be that me or my friend has made some sketches and it's kind of hard to finish them by yourself, so you try to do it with another person. And maybe it sounds silly, but it is also pretty fun, just to hang out with a friend of yours as well.

So, the people you work with are mostly your friends.

          Yeah.

How have you teamed up with Tzusing?

          Well, a few years ago, just before Tsuzing put out his first EP on L.I.E.S. records. He was doing a series of parties in Shanghai, where he was living at that time, called Stockholm Syndrome, and he invited me to come from Hong Kong to Shanghai and DJ at the afterparty. I stayed at his house for 5 days and, you know, we were going to eat in the evening, we were pulling around in his studio, so it's kind of the same story as the other ones but in a different place.

It seems that you prefer to share the studio with other friends-musicians more than produce music by yourself. What attracts you to that process of collaboration?

          It's the good question. Many people say that I make too many collaborations. I don't know exactly why, but I have an easy time collaborating with many different people. This is just my personality. If you are making music with a different person, you have to agree at some point. I mean, you can't be too stubborn, like: “Oh no! It has to be my way or the highway.” You kind of meet in the middle and then, hopefully, something comes out that is worth listening to. I mean, it can really bring something new to the sound and the process, if you are working with a friend of yours, and the result can be surprising. It could also be that me or my friend has made some sketches and it's kind of hard to finish them by yourself, so you try to do it with another person. And maybe it sounds silly, but it is also pretty fun, just to hang out with a friend of yours as well.

So, the people you work with are mostly your friends.

          Yeah.

How have you teamed up with Tzusing?

          Well, a few years ago, just before Tsuzing put out his first EP on L.I.E.S. records. He was doing a series of parties in Shanghai, where he was living at that time, called Stockholm Syndrome, and he invited me to come from Hong Kong to Shanghai and DJ at the afterparty. I stayed at his house for 5 days and, you know, we were going to eat in the evening, we were pulling around in his studio, so it's kind of the same story as the other ones but in a different place.

Did you feel that you came back to Sweden as a different person? 

          Yeah, since I was there for such a long time. The mentality of people in South-East Asia is different from Swedish. It was a strange feeling moving back to Europe. It took six months or so to get back to normal for me.

Do you feel comfortable in Sweden, in terms of making music?

          Yeah, it is just, you know, I can’t afford to have a studio. You have to work somehow anyway.

Do you have a regular day-to-day job?

          Not right now. For the last six month, I've been only DJing and stuff. But over the years I've had different ones. I was working for a moving company, carrying furniture all day. Also, I was working at the record shop called Record mania. It's a cool one.

One of your records on Trilogy Tapes called "Kicked Out Of Everywhere." Does the name of it have anything to do with your personal experience?

          Yeah, I was doing skateboarding all my life. I still do it, but not as often as before. The title is from skateboarding movie from the 90s that is actually called "Kicked Out Of Everywhere." Growing up in skateboarding means you get kicked out of different spots you go to. I like the kind of loner feeling of those sentence.

Did you feel that you came back to Sweden as a different person? 

          Yeah, since I was there for such a long time. The mentality of people in South-East Asia is different from Swedish. It was a strange feeling moving back to Europe. It took six months or so to get back to normal for me.

Do you feel comfortable in Sweden, in terms of making music?

          Yeah, it is just, you know, I can’t afford to have a studio. You have to work somehow anyway.

Do you have a regular day-to-day job?

          Not right now. For the last six month, I've been only DJing and stuff. But over the years I've had different ones. I was working for a moving company, carrying furniture all day. Also, I was working at the record shop called Record mania. It's a cool one.

One of your records on Trilogy Tapes called "Kicked Out Of Everywhere." Does the name of it have anything to do with your personal experience?

          Yeah, I was doing skateboarding all my life. I still do it, but not as often as before. The title is from skateboarding movie from the 90s that is actually called "Kicked Out Of Everywhere." Growing up in skateboarding means you get kicked out of different spots you go to. I like the kind of loner feeling of those sentence.

Were you a rebel child?

          Not really, like a bad boy or anything like that. I didn’t run away from home or lived in a squat or something like that. But me and my friends were kind of nerdy about music. Basically, we thought that it was cool or something, more than a typical teenage rebel.

Is it true that once being a 16-year-old teenager you got to a party illegally?

          Yeah, a little bit. It was the first party that me and my friends organized. I wasn't actually allowed to be in the club, because, you know, I was underage. So I was hiding in the basement of the place all daytime and then playing at night.  

You've started partying at a pretty young age. When have you started making music?

          I was making a lot of hip-hop beats when I was a teenager. I had a separate drum machine, MPC, and turntables. I was making beats for a few years and then I sold a sampler. For ten years or so I didn't make any music, but then I bought a computer, like, six years ago, downloaded the music software and started making songs on the computer.

Were you a rebel child?

          Not really, like a bad boy or anything like that. I didn’t run away from home or lived in a squat or something like that. But me and my friends were kind of nerdy about music. Basically, we thought that it was cool or something, more than a typical teenage rebel.

Is it true that once being a 16-year-old teenager you got to a party illegally?

          Yeah, a little bit. It was the first party that me and my friends organized. I wasn't actually allowed to be in the club, because, you know, I was underage. So I was hiding in the basement of the place all daytime and then playing at night.  

You've started partying at a pretty young age. When have you started making music?

          I was making a lot of hip-hop beats when I was a teenager. I had a separate drum machine, MPC, and turntables. I was making beats for a few years and then I sold a sampler. For ten years or so I didn't make any music, but then I bought a computer, like, six years ago, downloaded the music software and started making songs on the computer.

What did your parents think about your passion for music?

          I was mainly living with my father. He just thought that I don't have a future in music or something like this. But, you know, I kind of ignored his advice.

What are your other non-musical hobbies?

          This year I started doing boxing. It is just for exercise. I'm really bad. I'm just smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, but I'm going to do it more and more. So that is the one. Yeah, it's the biggest one.

Is music still your hobby?

          The last year or so it has been making the most of my money so it's more like work, but I try to have it as passionate as possible. I was really excited after the Braille Satellite festival. The whole reason why they do it is not connected to sponsors, industry and the scene. People just love what they do. They have their own scene if you know what I mean.

So this kind of approach to music seems to be appealing to you?

          Yeah, keep it real. I mean, everyone is trying to do it as much as possible. But now the music industry is kind of big, so when you are traveling, you see more and more of this very pragmatic, money side of things. Yeah, I try to keep it real.

What did your parents think about your passion for music?

          I was mainly living with my father. He just thought that I don't have a future in music or something like this. But, you know, I kind of ignored his advice.

What are your other non-musical hobbies?

          This year I started doing boxing. It is just for exercise. I'm really bad. I'm just smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, but I'm going to do it more and more. So that is the one. Yeah, it's the biggest one.

Is music still your hobby?

          The last year or so it has been making the most of my money so it's more like work, but I try to have it as passionate as possible. I was really excited after the Braille Satellite festival. The whole reason why they do it is not connected to sponsors, industry and the scene. People just love what they do. They have their own scene if you know what I mean.

So this kind of approach to music seems to be appealing to you?

          Yeah, keep it real. I mean, everyone is trying to do it as much as possible. But now the music industry is kind of big, so when you are traveling, you see more and more of this very pragmatic, money side of things. Yeah, I try to keep it real.

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Text: Tanya Voytko
Photo: Vitaliia Zhyriakova

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