Swedish house don AN21 (pronounced Antoine) is perhaps best known for his family connections – he is younger brother to former SHM lynchpin Steve Angello. However, nepotism, this is not. The younger Swede has formed a sound all of his own and has remixed the likes of Basement Jaxx, and Pendulum in addition to scoring a series of Beatport smashes on Size Records in recent months.
He recently left his NYE booking policy in the hands of his online audience, asking them to hashtag the city where they would most like to see him ringing in the new year. We caught up with the future-thinking house artist to discuss all this and more.
Hi Antoine. Please can you introduce yourself. Who are you and where are you from?
“Hey I’m AN21, I am from Stockholm, Sweden.”
Describe your sound in five words:
“I think it’s pretty cool, that’s five words right?”
Do you think most people know you pronounce your name Antoine or do you get lots of confused promoters calling you AN21?
“The promoters I work with always know, it’s usually knew fans who have just discovered the music that think at first it is pronounced ‘A N Twenty One’. The only thing that used to confuse me in the beginning was when I would play in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language…and they would pronounce it as ‘A N Twenty One’ in their language, and I wouldn’t know they were talking about me!”
Steve Angello is your older brother. Did you guys grow up DJing and producing together or were you inspired by him growing up?
“We have an age difference of seven years, so when we started making music, I was still at home playing with lego! But obviously now, he is my mentor and inspires me everyday. ”
We can’t think of another example of siblings both reaching such heights in the same scene. How does it feel to have got to the stage that you are at now?
“It’s amazing, like a dream come true to be able to share something like Size with my brother. We work 24/7 without it feeling like work.”
You have used an unusual method to choose your NYE gig this year. Tell us how it works?
“Yes! We decided to do something different this year, so the fans would choose where I would play on NYE. Using the hashtag #AN21NYE they could tag me and let me know where they thought I should play. It was a really cool way to interact with the fans and see their opinions!”
What inspired you to run this project?
“Rebels, which is an amazing creative agency that we’ve been developing with over the years. I wanted to do something different, and I knew they could come up with the right way to do it.”
And have you made your final decision?
“Yes, on NYE I will be in Trancoso, Brazil! I will also be touring around South America during that time, making a few stops in Brazil, and Uruguay.”
On January 1st we will be launching Top 100 Clubs, powered by Miller Genuine Draft. Last year Green Valley won the public vote. Can you tell us your favourite club to play in and why?
“It’s really difficult for me to name one when there are so many different kinds, I’ve played at so many at this point. Can you name the best fish and chips meal you’ve ever eaten? [laughs] But Green Valley is amazing…it’s just too hard for me to choose one!”
And how about when you are not behind the decks. Where are the best places in the world for AN21 to party?
“My life is a party. So when I have time off, I just work on Size, and living the Size lifestyle. ”
You often produce alongside Max Vangelli. How did this come about and how do you guys manage the production tasks? Do you get in the studio together or is it all done remotely?
“When we started out he was in the States and I was in Sweden so we did it remotely, which was very productive, because I could be working on something all night and when I went to sleep I could send it to him to take over, let him know my vision, and when he woke up he would continue to work on it. It was awesome!”
You are fully subsumed into your brother’s Size Recordings. Do you have any plans to start your own label?
“Never! I live for Size!”
Finally – what can we expect from AN21 in 2014?
“I plan to focus on solo music and touring. I’ve been trying to make something different from previous projects with Max. It’s been challenging but a lot of fun….can’t wait for you to hear it.”