Since Jeremy Olander’s first release on his label Vivrant in December of 2015, the imprint has seen nine out of its fourteen EPs make number 1 on Beatport. Parallel to the label’s growth, the founder has seen his own profile ascend closer and closer to the top of the game.
The birth of Vivrant has allowed for incredibly artistic growth, and brought Jeremy a career-first residency at esteemed LA nightclub Sound, opened the door to host multiple sold out label showcases across the globe, an invitation to Ultra’s Resistance night at Privilege alongside Sasha & Digweed, Art Department and Dubfire and key festival plays, such as Baum Park in Colombia, Big Burn in Turkey, Labyrinth Open in Croatia, Pleinvrees in Holland and Extrema Outdoor in Belgium to mention a few.
The label’s had an unusually rapid chart ascent with remixes and original work from, other than Olander himself, Henry Saiz, Tim Engelhardt, Finnebassen, Khen, Marino Canal, André Hommen, Ejeca and seen repeated support from dance music’s crème de la crème like Sasha, Pete Tong, Joris Voorn, Kölsch and John Digweed.
2018 has had Olander’s touring schedule filled to the brim with notable shows at marquee clubs and festivals around the globe, including Sydney’s Electric Gardens, Montreal’s Stereo, London’s Steelyard, Labyrinth Open in Croatia, Woobar in Bali, Vivrant showcases at 1,100 capacity venues Jet in Buenos Aires and Kraken in Stockholm, a Berlin debut at Chalet as well as a slew of sold-out Vivrant at Sea boat parties in Toronto, New York and Boston.
Musically, Jeremy started the year with the anticipated ‘Karusell’ EP on Vivrant, which went to number 1 on the Melodic House & Techno chart and number 2 overall on Beatport. He followed it up with recently released ‘Zanzibar’ (Sthlm Edit), also on Vivrant. The dreamy summer record, which saw support from Edu Imbernon, Yotto, Cristoph, Guy Mantzur, Sasha, Lane 8, Sébastien Léger and more, features vocals by up-and-coming Australian artist Kamaliza and is a surefire soundtrack to any given sunset for the remainder of the year and beyond.
I grabbed a few moments to chat with the man behind Vivrant… When I spoke with Jeremy he was in Saigon enjoying a few days downtime before he was due to head off to India. We both agreed that downtime in the music world is essential and I went on to speak with him about his home, Stockholm. I asked him what his favourite parts of the city are… “I think everyone loves their city. There are so many memories and feelings of nostalgia just from walking around. I have all of my family and most of my friends there. There are a lot of good restaurants to try out and in the summer the vibe is something else. Sun is up forever. Everyone is out and about, day drinking in parks and hanging out. There’s a lot of water around the city, which is basically a collection of islands. 20 minutes southeast of the city is the archipelago which is gorgeous. I could go on.” I would have been happy for Jeremy to go, as I would definitely love to visit Stockholm at some point in the not so distant future. It sounds a fantastic place!
I went on to speak with Jeremy about his early influences… “I could name a lot of artists. I think the subconscious registers all music you are exposed to from early on. I made a Spotify list where I tried to gather as much of my musical journey a while ago.” Check out Jeremy’s playlist below. There are some absolute gems!
Jeremy Olander’s ‘My Musical Journey’ Spotify playlist.
Whilst talking about Jeremy’s musical influences and style we went on to speak about his productions. I asked him how he goes about constructing a track from scratch… “Sometimes I go in with an existing idea, or I just sit down with an empty canvas and play around. Both approaches have their pros and cons but one thing that’s constant is that things can’t be forced. When I’m not on the road I don’t have to force myself to sit and try to make music despite if nothing comes out. I have the luxury to do something else, clear my head and ease the frustration.” Jeremy went on to speak about his setup which is not quite what I expected…
“I have an iMac, Genelec monitors, an Apollo Twin soundcard and a MIDI-keyboard. That’s it. My setup is very minimalistic and that works for me.”
As I am sure many of you are aware, Jeremy runs his own label, Vivrant which has been around since 2015. I asked him why he decided to start his own label… “There were a few reasons. The biggest is that I didn’t feel there was a label out there where most of my music naturally fit. I also wanted to create a home for other artists that I admire, big and small, and help out others like I was once helped.” I went on to ask Jeremy where he sees his label going over the next 5 years… “It’s so young and there’s still so much work to do in terms of truly establishing it, so we’ll be doing more of the same. More label shows in more countries, more releases, more interesting content surrounding the music and so on. It’s really important to be able to give the care and attention to each release rather than just throwing a lot of stuff on the wall to see what sticks.
“At this point, Vivrant is of course very associated with me as an artist, but the long term idea for it is to be able to put on label shows in multiple countries on the same weekend without me necessarily playing either one. It’s suppose to be bigger than just “Jeremy Olander’s label.”
As a label owner, and a man always on the lookout for new talent I asked Jeremy who has been his most memorable newcomers over recent years… “There’s a lot of great new artists coming up. In Stockholm, we have a girl called MOLØ that can go on and do great things. She opened at our Vivrant show in Stockholm in February and made an impression on me. After that, she played our open-air party this summer and opened for me at my Cercle show and recently we’ve been spending a little time in the studio too. Look out for her.”
Jeremy Olander recently debuted on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth label with his ‘Leftwoods’ EP. I asked him how the release came about and if there was any story behind it… “I wish there was a cool story to tell here! My management has a relationship with Sasha’s, and ever since Last Night On Earth was started, it’s been a label I could see some of my music is a fit for. After starting Vivrant and focusing on building that I’ve only done about one release every 10-12 months on a different label, and after speaking to Last Night On Earth and sending some ideas over things just fell into place.”
Now that the crazy summer is (what feels like) far behind us I asked Jeremy what some of his summer highlights were… “I had a really nice trip at the end of the summer with the family. A 3-week trip to South Korea, Australia, and Bali. That was definitely a highlight for me. In terms of shows The Vivrant at Sea boat parties in New York, Boston and Toronto were all a lot of fun and really great to see them all sell out! I could mention a few bad ones as well because you can’t win them all, but that would not be nice to promoters who believed in me and try to add to the scene.” Whilst on the topic of gigs I asked Jeremy about what gigs he is looking forward to for the remainder of 2018, and into 2019… “Loads! Not too many have been announced yet, but one I’m really looking forward to is Picnic Electronique at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne in January. I love Australia and that venue looks sick!” Certainly, one for the Decoded Australia team to check out!!!
There has been much talk about how mobile devices are often impacting on live music and gigs with people trying to film and take pics of everything. I asked Jeremy his thoughts on this… “On one end I appreciate that people that come to see me think it’s a special enough moment in their life that they want to record some video or take pictures. I think it’s also become a bit of a measuring stick to gauge how much people dig the tracks you play.”
“Before, the more people screamed and raged, the more they appreciated the track. Now, you can gauge the same based on how many phones are out trying to Shazaam or record video.”
Jeremy went on to add… “All in all, though I think we can all agree on it kind of ruins the vibe. When you experience something through a screen instead of live with your eyes you’re not fully immersed in it I think. It is what is though, and it feels silly to complain at the end of the day.”
The topic of touring and its impact on an artist’s physical and mental health is very key at the moment. I was keen to know how Jeremy keeps himself on top form whilst touring… “I try to drink less than I used to and spend time with friends and family to keep my mind off the music and the road when I have time off at home. The travel is absolutely a drag sometimes but really do enjoy it. I like being on my own, meeting new people, exploring a city.”
Jeremy is set to run a label showcase in his hometown on 25th December alongside Guy J, Karmon and MOLØ. I asked Jeremy about the show and what we can expect… “Besides myself, we’ve invited Guy J as a special guest. He’s a legend in the true sense of the word and one of the best DJs I know. He hasn’t been playing much in Sweden at all so I’m very excited that he wanted to come over for this show. Then we have Karmon, who many know from Diynamic. He released a mini-LP called Picture this year and it’s one the best pieces of work I’ve heard this year. He’s done something for Vivrant that will come out soon, so it made sense to invite him over for his debut Stockholm show. Lastly, MOLØ, that I mentioned before, is opening.”
I thanked Jeremy for his time and the great chat. He is a great ambassador for electronic music and is an all-round nice guy. Decoded Magazine wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.