Andreas Asingh better known by his moniker SLOWOLF is the widely sought after; drummer, producer and remixer from Copenhagen.
After a string of tight remixes and solo projects, Slowolf released his five track Ep ‘White Feathers’ last week. Featuring some brilliant collaborations in the shape of names like; Dream McLean, Pell, Scruffizer and Kimbra – who left her indelible mark on the music scene when she featured with Gotye on the timeless ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ in 2011. The Ep is a tight amalgamation of genres, delving into; grime, hip-hop and of course elements of jazz (a product of his years training as a jazz drummer).
In a more sobering adjunct – the Ep is inspired by Karlo’s son who was born with Down Syndrome. The title track is an introspective arrangement yet ultimately a proud shout to the endless possibilities; ‘I see everyday with Karlo.’
We caught up with the man himself to talk all that jazz and much more.
Firstly I have to ask about your musical journey and how music became a love?
When I was young like 12, I started playing the drums and playing jazz music. My dad used to play music really loud, artists like John Coltrane and Miles Davis, so my love for jazz obviously grew from that.
I read that you actually ended up in a music conservatoire…
Yes I did. Back then I moved to Copenhagen from Jutland which is an out in nowhere area – I was living on a farm. I was basically wondering what the f**k to do so I went to do a course. I was like if I can go through the course I can get money because that is what they were doing at the time. I played a couple of tunes for them and the head of drumming really loved what I did even though I could not read notes or write notes.
I assume you grew as a drummer there?
Yes and no. When it came to learning theory I hated it because I would create something but it was not enough to create, you had to also explain why you did something, why that note was there and what you were trying to do. I found that whole thing so difficult, I was a pain in the ass because all I wanted to do was play songs but I did graduate. Right after I graduated however I sold my drums and started to produce.
So to production, what is the founding basis of creation for you?
When I write music and produce music I am always wanting to try new stuff. I do not listen much to the popular music because I want to go to different places, push limits and not be afraid of doing something new and a bit out there.
The Ep then let’s first go with the track which is inspired by your son Karlo.
I have four kids and Karlo is the fourth – when he was born we did not actually know he had down syndrome because we never got checks – we just wanted to have the child who would be born. Then when we heard that he had down syndrome it was a shock. These past couple of months have been hectic I must admit but Karlo is a blessing and unique.
It’s amazing that you manage to be so prolific as a producer while of course having such a stressful situation.
It is really difficult and we actually had a time where the doctors thought he might not make it. He was on a respirator and he did not show any signs of progress for a few days and they were quite negative about his prospects but then like a miracle happened and he started showing some good signs. He is now in a normal childs department now it is just about when we can get him home so hopefully he should be home soon.
Ok the Ep features some great collaborations before we talk about the UK connection let’s talk about the brilliant Kimbra.
Well with Kimbra she initially reached out when she wanted a remix for her. While I did the remix I asked her if she might be interested in jumping on my Ep and she did not even hesitate. I sent her tons of email back and forth and then we met face to face in LA. She is a true artist. I mean she did a lot of pop stuff early on in her career but the direction she is heading in her career is really amazing.
The UK connects; Dream McLean and Scrufizzer – did you make the beats with the artists in mind?
Well to be honest I did a lot of beats and then I was just deciding who should go on what. When I had decided I just reached out to them. With Dream, I was at a studio and he turned up and we really gelled. In my world he is one of the biggest in terms of his delivery and the way he performs. He literally showed up at the studio and did his stuff in about an hour – it was like two takes and that was it. Hopefully we are going to be working together again soon.
Talking about Dream McLean I saw some footage of your live performance with him, it looks quite eclectic.
It is really; I have a live set-up with a trombone player and a saxophone player and then my son is playing the MPC-he is 11 years old. My son and I played a festival with Dream McLean and when he saw my son he was like, ‘what the f@~k is going on’ – my son properly nailed it though so I am so proud.
Tell me more about your son getting on the music vibe.
He started playing drums when he was young I did not force him. He did not like playing football and other things like that so I just let him play. He is pretty good at it but he has not been trained he just like it. I think it’s because when he was growing up I was playing a lot of hip-hop music around him.
…And what about trusting him to get on the MPC?
One day Albert and I were just having fun; I was playing the drums and Albert was on the MPC and we played a couple of remixes I had done, which we changed up a bit and the product was fucking amazing. It was so great and it felt like a whole new way of performing that I just thought why not let up both play together and that is it really.
Lastly anything you want to add?
It’s just great to be putting out new music and I hope everyone in the UK will love it. Also just to say I should be dropping a live show in the UK very soon.