Words by Jordan Hirst
French melodic house producer Klingande's breakthrough track ‘Jubel’ forever changed his life.
The summery track, named for the Swedish word for cheering, was certified 3x platinum in Australia and reached the top five in 11 countries. But the 24-year-old producer, real name Cédric Steinmyller, said the story began very simply.
"I put Jubel on SoundCloud to share it with my friends, I uploaded it publicly because they pushed me and the Internet did the rest," he explained.
"Blogs reposted it, it went on YouTube channels, and you know the end of the story. The Internet is the key nowadays.
"I remember when I reached 3000 fans on Facebook I was excited. You discover a new life and I felt really frightened of all of this for a while. Now I’m getting used to it. I've made my life around this."
Klingande began as a duo, Cédric and his friend Edgar Catry, in late 2012, taking the name from the Swedish term meaning "to chime" or "to sound." Both fans of Swedish house music, the duo released their debut track ‘Punga’ themselves in 2013 and it became a minor European hit.
These days, Cédric goes it alone and, like many of his EDM peers, what began as a hobby for him has turned into a global career.
"I started DJing in my bedroom, then for my friends. When I started DJing I was playing Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Eric Prydz, David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, but I was also listening to Justice, Air, Sebastien Tellier, Kavinsky. There are so many great songs and talents out there," he said.
"I decided I wanted to play my own music, so I learned how to produce music so everything came very naturally. I think if I made a decision at a certain point it was when I discovered that people actually love my music."
As ‘Jubel’ spread, Cédric began receiving invitations to play at major events like Miami's Ultra Music Festival and the monster EDM event Tomorrowland in Belgium. He also began receiving requests for remixes from artists like Avicii, Alex Adair and Sigma.
He's also known for livening up his DJ sets with live musicians: his saxophonists regularly take to his stage to deliver Jubel's signature melody.
Cédric was last in Australia for this year's final Future Music Festival, but earlier this month partied in Fiji for the tropical boutique festival Your Paradise. He headlined alongside Aussies What So Not, Motez and Carmada.
"It was actually paradise! For my first time in Fiji I wasn’t disappointed," he recalled.
"This festival is so intimate, on the beach. I felt like I was partying with friends. I really loved it."
But his hectic schedule can leave Cédric with little leisure time in the exotic places he travels to.
"I don’t really have a lot of time to do sightseeing unfortunately," he said.
"We do it as much as we can with my team, but honestly, I see and remember more about the airports than anything else. It’s terrible but this is a huge part of our life."
Earlier this year Cédric released his latest single ‘RIVA (Restart The Game)’, featuring French singer Broken Back. The track's almost folk-like riff by French musician Greg Zlap does with a harmonica what ‘Jubel’ did with a saxophone.
Cédric's debut album is also on the horizon.
"I have a new single ready and I’ll be off until March to work on my first album," he explained.
"I’m very excited to be in the studio, making music and stop touring for a while. It’s coming shortly so stay tuned.
"We managed to lock this period in, after a very huge summer. I have maybe 20 songs and ideas already on the way, maybe more. I really want to make a great album so I’ll take my time, and release new singles in the meantime."
Cédric loves the sound of producers like Kygo who have helped make ‘tropical house’ the newest EDM buzzword, but he said he was interested in a diversity of sounds in the house genre.
"I’ll continue to make what I want to make and what my heart pushes me to make," he said.
"I hope people will love it, but I don’t want to make music to reach the charts, only because I love what I’m doing."
As for the future of house music? Cédric says it's impossible to predict.
"I’m thinking about it, listening a lot, but honestly I think you can’t predict this and those who try to are just giving a suggestion," he said.