Studio Barnhus got started when the producers and DJs Axel Boman, Kornél Kovács and Petter Nordkvist found a spot on Barnhusgatan in 2009, and decided it to make it their studio HQ. Things spiralled from there, and soon Studio Barnhus became a label and DJ trio, who over the course of a decade have thrown spectacular parties at home and abroad and released a bunch of magnificent records. Now that their ten-year anniversary is here, they’re throwing a massive party at Cirkus to celebrate. Previously debuted at international festivals, their show Studio Barnhus A/V, featuring live visuals and guest spots from around forty of their comrades in the form of the Studio Barnhus All Stars is coming to town on Wednesday as part of Red Bull Music Festival. We caught a few words with Boman ahead of the show.
So now you’re celebrating ten years of Studio Barnhus, did you see it going so far when you started back in 2009?
Absolutely not! We still don’t have a plan, and we are still learning every day! We were just lucky to be surrounded by talent, and to be stupid enough to invest the last bit of money Kornél had into making records. But today, we all feel this is something we should continue doing, possibly for the rest of our lives!
Are there any shows that have stand out in your memories from Studio Barnhus’ history? They don’t have to be your favourites, but personal highlights that stand out for you guys.
We hosted a boat party at Love International festival [in Croatia] that was pure magic, as we sailed into the sunset we played Orinoco Flow by Enya, and suddenly there were dolphins jumping and following the boat. It was unreal.
And another on that topic, are there any releases you’ve put out that you’re especially proud of, or that stand out as personal highlights?
The latest record is always a favourite… but all our babies are equally loved! Personally, I’m a little bit extra proud of having released my childhood heroes Jesper Dahlbäck [Udda Katter] and Jimi Tenor [Sleepover].
Now that you’ve had so many shows, and been doing this for so long, what would you say are the ingredients in a Studio Barnhus DJ set that give it its DNA? What is it you try and bring to every show or party to put your stamp on it?
Unpredictability, a bit of chaos, party music, curveballs and deep beautiful soul music.
How do you feel the scene has changed, both in Sweden and globally, in the time you’ve been doing this, and do you see it going in a positive or negative direction?
I guess you mean the dance scene? We always felt a bit outside of everything. When people want to pin us down as a dance label, we feel like a pop label, and when people say we are a crossover label we feel like a house label. We’re still not sure about that. It’s interesting to see trends come and go, clubs open and close and festivals growing smaller and bigger. Sometimes we miss the old rave days and sometimes we’re super happy that musical acceptance is at a worldwide high. Was that even an answer to the question?
And ten years since you started, how is the bond between you three now, after you’ve been through so much together?
Our relationship has never been stronger. We have deep love and trust, as well as super stupid little fights and nagging of course! But we have accepted each other’s flaws.
Last year you started the Parkfesten one-day festival concept. Are you constantly looking for new ideas and opportunities to expand what Studio Barnhus can be? How do you want to develop going forwards?
Yes. Parkfesten was a fun experiment, we learned a lot from it! We hope to have our own festival someday. A crazily-curated and open-minded mix of food, music and freestyle rap.
Finally, tell us about the show at Cirkus. This format has previously only been put on at Sonar Barcelona and Way Out West, so what can guests expect?
Well, our show consists of 90 mins of intense dance hypnosis, highlighted by five dancers and a VJ, embodying the Studio Barnhus chaotic take on how to liberate your soul. Apart from us, we have invited some 40 acts that have either released on Studio Barnhus, work at Studio Barnhus or have played with Studio Barnhus in the past, to create the most insane line-up Stockholm has ever seen. You’re welcome!
Studio Barnhus A/V, May 5, 20:00-05:00, Cirkus. Tickets 300kr.
Photo: Luis Khan/ Red Bull Content Pool