Sweden's Rebecca and Fiona on I Love You, Man and EDM's Gender Bias: "We're Often Called 'Female DJs,' But We're Just DJs"
When American socialites start DJing, it's never pretty. But when Swedish duo Rebecca and Fiona hit the studio, the rest of the world takes notice for all the right reasons.
These fashionistas are more than just pretty faces, they're masters of the modern synth-pop sound. That's why Kaskade tapped them to sing on his record "Turn It Down," and that's why they're currently touring the U.S., promoting the upcoming debut album, I Love You, Man.
They'll be invading SET with high-energy beats on Sunday, August 5. So we caught up with Ms. Rebecca Sheja as she checked into her L.A. hotel room.
Crossfade: Is this your first trip to America?
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Straight No Chaser and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
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Symphony of the Americas 26th Anniversary Summerfest
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Sheja: No, not at all. We've been touring here the whole spring and the summer. And now we're going to continue the tour pretty much the whole year.
How do you like it?
We love it! It's amazing.
How does it compare to the crowds in Sweden. Are people feeling the music so far?
Yeah. People are more hungry here to hear new music and they're really into the whole lifestyle around house music and EDM as they call it. For us, it's really nice to just be able to be DJs and producers and play our music.
I heard that in Sweden you and Fiona had a reality show before this album came out. What was that experience like?
It was a documentary, and they followed us during the summer, like, two years ago now. We had pretty much our first tour in Sweden as DJs. And they followed us, documenting our early career. We just started producing at that point as well, so they were following us in the studio and stuff. So, it's more like a documentary and not so much like a show, you know?
You did some work with Kaskade. How did you get hooked up with him? And what was it like working together?
We had teamed with my boyfriend, Adrian Lux. They had a gig together and Kaskade overheard our vocals on one of his tracks. He wanted to work with us. We talked to him and we knew about him and we liked his music and stuff. So one year later or something, we ended up meeting in the studio and we made the track.
It was a really fun experience and it was really easy-going. He's a great guy and a great producer and it was fun to collaborate with him.
Tell me about the album I Love You, Man. What's the story behind that title?
We didn't have a name. We were like one week before release in Sweden and our record label dude called us, like, "Girls! You need to figure out a name. You can't just call it Rebecca and Fiona, that's weird. You need to have an actual name." And we looked through a magazine trying figure out something to call it. And we didn't know, really, because we didn't want to be pretentious. Or, like, have something deep and dark.
So we saw the title of I Love You, Man in the magazine, and it kind of summarized our whole values around making music. Like, me and Fiona, we love each other and we're happy to be able to do what we do, and we're girls in this male-dominated business. So it's kind of a joke.
I notice oftentimes with female musicians, the media will make a big story out of the fact that you're girls. But do you feel personally that your music is particularly feminine?
We're often called "female DJs." And for us, that's a shame and really weird, because we're just DJs, just as male DJs are DJs. So we never really think about it and we try to avoid all the negative energy from people that try to put us in a different category. We don't think it's a big difference for girls and guys to make music.
In electronic music right now, everything is very heavy. There's a lot of aggression. But your style is more fun and summery, almost light. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
We get inspiration from each other pretty much, and our friends and family. We only try to make the music that we like, and we're combining the genres we were listening to when we grew up. We're trying to make music that's timeless. We don't want to match the commercial stuff that's on Beatport.
You use a lot of vocals and there's more of a traditional song structure to your tracks than dance music's current big-build-and-drop formula. Do you think of yourselves as strictly EDM artists? Or more of a genre-blending crossover act?
Yeah, we're crossover artists. That's more like it. The music we produce is more minimal, dark and pop and organic than the music we DJ, which is pretty heavy. But live, we're combining genres as well. We like a lot of different stuff. So it's hard to put a name to it.
What can we expect from the show in Miami?
We've only played at Mansion before and Cameo. But I think SET's going to be even more fun. I don't know, but we're looking forward to it. We're going to play a lot of new stuff and other new stuff from our friends. It's going to be fun.
Anything you want to say to Miami before you get here?
Tell them to come! We want them to dance!
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