We wanted to talk to Eric Saade.
He’s had quite a year in 2011. One that’s been crammed full with a variety of unforgettable experiences for him – all tied in with the release of his album ‘Saade Vol.1’ earlier this summer. But whereas most artists who’ve done what he’s done and achieved what he’s achieved this year, would be preparing to wind down the album and the year as it draws to a close, Eric Saade is actually getting back up on his feet and preparing himself to do it all over again. So not yet exhausted after the two months of preparation for Melodifestivalen; the competition itself; the two months of prep for the Eurovision Song Contest; the competition itself; the writing of the new album; the recording of the new album; the releasing of the new album; the promotion of the new album; and the summer tour that took in most of Sweden – he went straight back into the studio and spent another two months writing and recording some new music. Now, a new single ‘Hotter Than Fire’ featuring Dev (of “d-d-da-da-dancing in the dark” fame) drops next Wednesday, November 2nd (and there’ll be a preview of the song posted here on scandipop.co.uk this Sunday!). Then this will be followed on November 30th by another album – ‘Saade Vol.2’.
It’s not just the feverish release schedule that makes us curious about this guy though. It’s all the attention – good and bad – that he’s attracted along the way. There’s the seriously hardcore fanbase that he’s earned himself, which is great of course. But what does a 20 year old guy make of all that? And then there are the sections of the Swedish press that evidently don’t enjoy his success, and that seem strangely intent on knocking him down. And so it’s even more interesting to know what a 20 year old guy makes of all that! We don’t quite understand all of the bad feeling towards him – but we certainly wanted to know if he understands it, or if he even cares about it for that matter.
Finally, we wanted to know what’s next for Eric. After ‘Saade Vol.2’. Is he gonna take a rest?! Or is he gonna keep going, with elusive international success on his mind. His answer probably won’t surprise you……..
Eric Saade: Hey!
scandipop: Hi Eric, how are you?
Eric Saade: I’m very good thank you. And you?
scandipop: Ok thanks. Have you got a busy day lined up?
Eric Saade: Ah, kind of, but it’s not SO busy now that I’m all finished with the studio work. So I’m kinda relaxed.
scandipop: Ah yes – the release of ‘Saade Vol.2’ is getting closer now. And it’s all come around so quickly after ‘Saade Vol.1’ was only released in the summer. So are you ready to do it all over again?
Eric Saade: Of course, yes, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. It’s gonna be fun. I like that I’m releasing new music again, and I just hope that everyone will like this one too!
scandipop: The signature sound of volume 1 was up-tempo electronic pop, with massive – and I do mean MASSIVE – choruses!…
Eric Saade: Ha ha!
scandipop: …..so what would you say the signature sound of volume 2 is?
Eric Saade: It’s kinda the same thing, because I LOVE electronic pop. I love arpeggios and synthesizers, and stuff like that. So it’ll be kind of the same thing, but a bit harder. Some of the songs definitely have bigger basslines and are more club friendly. And I think the lyrics are definitely getting better too, cos I’m developing my skills as a songwriter every time I write songs. Sooooo…..I think……this album will be a better album than volume 1. But I do think that volume 1 was a great album too, I really love the sound that we got for it. And Jason Gill is the producer for this album also.
scandipop: Well I’m glad to hear that you like it even better – ‘cos that’s some high praise right there!
Eric Saade: Ha ha ha!
scandipop: I haven’t seen the songwriting credits for volume 2 yet, but I did notice that in volume 1 you did quite a lot of the songwriting yourself. So is it the same this time around, or have you wrote even more on it?
Eric Saade: I’ve written every one of the songs, actually, ha ha! It’s me, and Jason Gill, and J-Son too.
scandipop: The two Jason’s!
Eric Saade: Exactly! I’ve been writing all the songs, and they’ve almost all been together with those two. And to write songs with a rapper like J-Son, that’s cool because then you know that the lyrics will be really good, they’ll be really quality. We found each other and we’ve been writing a lot of songs together. And they’ve been the best songwriting sessions of my life so far.
scandipop: Excellent, good to hear that you’re enjoying it. So which role do you normally play in the songwriting? Is it the lyrics, the melody, or is it the music?
Eric Saade: Everything actually – we’re doing everything as a team. Myself and J-Son are focusing a lot on the lyrics though, and Jason Gill is the producer, and then he’s doing the melodies together with us. That’s most of the time anyway. We really do everything together though, it would be wrong to say anything else actually. We’re sitting there together day and night in the studio.
scandipop: So basically you each pipe up and give input all the way through the songwriting process, then.
Eric Saade: Exactly. We always begin from scratch with new songs. It’s never that someone comes into the session with a song already formed. We begin from scratch.
scandipop: Can I ask Eric – is it you who’s responsible for my favourite song lyric of the year? The one in ‘Made Of Pop’ where you sing; “got my degree in the big P.O.P“!
Eric Saade: Ha ha ha! If I’m responsible for that line? Mmmmm, let me think. Well I’m responsible for the song, cos I wrote it together with Jason Gill, Mattias (Larsson), and Robin (Fredriksson). But just that line, I think it was Robin Fredriksson who wrote that actually. He just sent me the line, and I was like “that’s amazing, ha ha ha, that’s cool“! So yeah, we did the song together – but just that line, it was Robin who wrote it.
scandipop: When you first released volume 1, you said that the reason you were doing it over two albums, was because you had so many good songs, that it made sense to put out two albums rather than just do one and then have to remove some really good songs. But I’ve noticed that over the last couple of months, you’ve been talking about spending a lot of time in the studio again. So does that mean that you’ve got even more material now, and that perhaps a volume 3 is on its way after this?!
Eric Saade: Ha ha! I have more material of course, but you know, you don’t want to release anything that’s not good enough. So if I have 30 songs made, I will pick 10 of them – and the other 20 probably won’t be released. I have a lot of songs, but I always pick only the best ones and I release them. And I won’t do a volume 3, together with this ‘Saade’ album era. It’s just two parts. And I’ll release another album in…..I don’t know when it’s gonna be…..maybe in two years or something, ha ha!
scandipop: Wow, so you’re gonna give yourself a big break?
Eric Saade: I think so. I mean, I can’t promise anything but – I just think that I need time to find myself even more and to focus on the international part first. Right now we’re gonna keep working with volume 1 and volume 2 on the international side of things. So I think it’ll be a while before the next album after this one, ha ha!
scandipop: A lot has of course happened with volume 1 so far in Sweden this year. You’ve had a super busy 2011 with all of the recording, touring, promoting, and performing. And then there was not just the preparation for and competing in Melodifestivalen – but also the Eurovision Song Contest too. Could you possibly POSSIBLY pick a personal highlight out of all of that? What’s been your favourite part?
Eric Saade: Woah, that’s a hard one! I love everything, but what I love the most is being on tour – live. With a live band and my own show, that’s what I love the most. So the ‘Made Of Pop’ tour of summer 2011 will always be something big for me. I think that that’s the highlight. AND writing the new single ‘Hotter Than Fire’ too – because when we wrote that in the studio, everyone just stood up and screamed, ha ha!
scandipop: I hope I have the same reaction! So, Eric, like I said before, you’ve had a busy year in Sweden. For me, who follows what’s going on in Swedish pop music, I can see that you’re an extremely hard working guy, pretty much permanently busy. Whenever I’ve met you in the past, you’ve always been polite and friendly – and the same applies to friends of mine. And from what I know, you’ve got a great relationship with your fans too. You’re a 20 year old guy who is handling all that is happening to you, very well I think. BUT…..I have noticed, that the Swedish press….they seem to not like you very much. You’ve been called arrogant, it’s been claimed that you’re getting too big for your boots, and you do get a pretty hard time in the press here in in Sweden. What is it? Where’s all this coming from do you think? Have you noticed it yourself?
Eric Saade: Yes of course. And I’m really glad that you think all that, ha ha! It’s……..I mean…….I’m kind of un-Swedish. I’m not Swedish lagom, which means that you’re not supposed to aim too high. But that’s what I do – I aim! For the sky! And I always wanna give 110% when I do something. Like when I was on Allsång På Skansen this year, when I did ‘Popular’. I got a lot of shit from the Swedish press because of the sunglasses and the hat. They were like “oh, he thinks he’s such a world artist“, or something like that. And I was like, “this is how I look, this is what I do“. And I can’t change. I’m never gonna change. I’m not gonna adapt myself to something that I don’t want to. So I’ve just decided not to listen to them. But then when you DON’T listen to Swedish press, well then they start to give you even more shit. When you refuse to take their shit, they give even more. But I won’t change. I said from the beginning to the Swedish press when they interviewed me – I won’t change and I won’t adapt. I won’t be standing in Allsång På Skansen in a costume just because Måns does, ha ha ha! I’ll be myself and I’ll dress how I dress and I’ll look how I look and I’ll say what I say. I’ve always been like that, I’ve grown up like that. It’s from my Father I think!
scandipop: Well my next question was gonna ask how you deal with it, and if it effects your work or makes you sad. But I guess you’ve already answered it in that you just don’t listen to such criticism anymore.
Eric Saade: Not the people who just want to hurt me – I don’t listen to them anymore. But if my manager Tomas, or someone that I trust or someone that I love, says something to me that’s bad – then I will listen, cos that’s constructive criticism. But I don’t listen to Aftonbladet or Expressen or newspapers like that because they just want to have big news. And they twist it all to GET big news.
scandipop: It’s just as well your fans are as supportive as they are really.
Eric Saade: They are amazing. Truly amazing. I listen to the fans. And if they’re satisfied, that’s when I’m satisfied too.
scandipop: Moving away from Sweden now, I wanna talk about your career internationally. You mentioned already that you’ll be looking internationally next, after ‘Saade Vol.2’. But where exactly? And when?! There’s been a lot of questions about that to the scandipop twitter. You’ve got the concert coming up in France next month, right? And a single is getting released in the UK. What then?
Eric Saade: Well we’re actually planning all that right now, but you know, I can’t do all that much from Sweden. I’m just waiting for the international record labels to make their plans. So right now we’re planning the release of ‘Hearts In The Air’ in the UK, that’ll be the first single. And it’s being remixed too, by a team in the UK called The Alias. So yes, that remix will be the first single……….
scandipop: And do you know yet when that will be released?
Eric Saade: Hopefully this year. I think it’ll be this year. It takes time – all the contracts need to be ready and all that. So….yes, France has released ‘Hearts In The Air’ now, so they’re working on radio over there. And in Norway too. And then Poland is gonna get ‘Hearts In The Air’ too. So at the beginning, it’ll be those four countries that we focus on. There’ll be other countries after that too of course, but these are the ones we’re gonna focus on first. I have a lot of fans in those countries, and we’re really close to something happening there too. So we’ll see!
scandipop: Ok. Finally Eric, you’re obviously gonna have a pretty busy schedule for the next few months in Sweden, with the release of ‘Hotter Than Fire’ and ‘Saade Vol.2’. What’s your schedule looking like – are you busy every single day, or have you allowed yourself some time off, if only for Christmas?!
Eric Saade: Erm……I’ll probably be working, ha ha ha! But I love it, you know. It’s a new album and that means all new promotion. New songs and a new single. It’s gonna be amazing. I’m gonna do a lot of TV shows with the new single too. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, because Dev is the featured artist on this single, and that’s just amazing. I’m also gonna do a small autograph session tour, a signing tour, in some parts of Sweden. And that’s always fun to meet my fans again. I already miss them, ha ha! So that’s it – I’ll keep promoting the new album.
scandipop: Cool. Well thanks for your time Eric, and I’m sure I’ll see you out on the road again soon.
Eric Saade: I hope so. Thank you.
October 30th: Preview ‘Hotter Than Fire’ on scandipop.co.uk
November 2nd: The release of ‘Hotter Than Fire’ featuring Dev
November 30th: The release of the album, ‘Saade Vol.2’