Prins Thomas: King of the scene

The Norwegian electronic music producer is keeping the creative process fun.
Prins Thomas performing on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage at Lovebox Festival.
Prins Thomas © Steve Stills
By Gemma Lacey

Norwegian scene king Prins Thomas played on the RBMA stage at Lovebox at the weekend and we grabbed him to talk about partying, his dream festival line-up and imaginary genres.

Do you feel typecast as a space-disco producer?
“At one point, I was thinking it was annoying to be put into a sack, and after a while it changed more to: it could be worse. It could be called something really ridiculous, but I’ve been DJing, playing instruments and making music for such a long time now that what’s inside my head and what is my perception of what I’m doing is totally different to what other people hear. The easiest way out is to call it something for people so they understand it. Now, I’m indifferent. Call it what you want.”

Give us an imaginary genre of your own creation?

Describe dream-hop for us.
“Very, very slow and kind of floaty, bubbly hip-hop music, but no rapping. Like with the big bass drops in dubstep, and you would have angels singing on top of dream-hop. I have another one! Mini-folk, which is really minimal folk music. Like a busker, but with one string on his guitar, and he’s a mute.”

You didn’t come to songwriting in a traditional way. Do you think that’s given you creative freedom, because you’ve worked things out for yourself?
“Yes and no. I’ve discussed it a lot with friends of mine who are trained musicians, and they often envy the freedom that you have when you don’t know anything.”

So you broke the rules before you even knew what they were?
“I’m not even sure if I’ve broken any rules. When I make music it’s all about the process of making something, I don’t really think about the result. It’s not that I don’t care what people get out of it or whether they like it or not, but it’s most important that the process of making the music is fun. For me, that’s the natural way of doing it.”

© Drew Anthony Smith/Red Bull Content Pool

Why does Norway have such a big disco scene?
“Do we have to call it disco?”

What should we call it, then?
“You don’t have to call it anything, just… the scene! The scene in Norway is really good because there’s a lot of variation. There are people who are doing loads of different kinds of stuff. I’ve got my black metal friend who still enjoys going to my nights. We all know each other, like the jazz musicians, the DJs, it doesn’t matter what genre you’re from. The whole thing is based on, if you do something good, then people will help you.”

What’s happening with your label?
“It’s always the next record, whatever that is. Right now, I’m really excited about Neden Markovic from Serbia, whose debut album I’m putting out on Internasjonal. There is also Roland Tings from Australia who have an album coming out very shortly. There’s a new Full Pupp compilation with all the old guys and loads of the young guys – sadly just guys.”

Who would you book to play your own fantasy festival stage?
“I’d have Chi Shimitsu and Mix Master Morris doing an all-day warm up, then I would probably share the bill with DJ Harvey playing an all-night set, and then, when the sun comes up, Burt Bacharach would play all his greatest hits on piano with a strings section.”

Can we come?
“You’re all invited…. And you’re all invited to the after party, too.”

More from Red Bull Music Academy here.

Prins Thomas © Drew Anthony Smith/Red Bull Content Pool
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