Jan Blomqvist
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Jan Blomqvist

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
DJ Electronic

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May
20
Jan Blomqvist @ Rok

Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland

Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland

Feb
20
Jan Blomqvist @ Centrum

Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany

Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany

Dec
19
Jan Blomqvist @ Akvárium Klub

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

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Music

Press


"Wall Street International"

The DJ talks music and mountains
Jan Blomqvist interview

2014 was a good year for DJ/Producer Jan Blomqvist. From his hometown of Berlin, his signature introspective vocals and lush, atmospheric beats have made him something of a household name in the dance music world; and his quirky sense of style has won him media support from underground radio stations though to Vogue Italia. From a humble beginning playing grungey guitar riffs with his band in a caravan in the woods to crossing over into the electronic world and owning the stage with his impressive live show at huge open air dance festivals; Jan is a musician in the truest sense and a master of his craft.

We asked Jan if he felt music was always in his blood...

I guess my career started early,’ the renown DJ told us ‘,I sang a lot as a kid and my parents were always playing nice records, classic rock, mostly. They gave me a guitar and I eventually started a little band. Rock music just started to get boring at some point and I think a lot of people would agree. I mean rock sounds from before 2000 were great, but then it kinda fizzled out and all we were left with was The Strokes pretty much. Electronic music was new and interesting, so many possibilities and much less borders. The party scene was way more alive and the sounds were way more massive. It was also more tolerant, more fun, more intense, and sexier. Electronic music became more rock and roll than rock music basically. And that’s still what kids want when they leave their homes. I still want it…

Does that make him a kid still, we enquire?

(He laughs) I would be ok with that!

WSI: Tell us about 2014, for you?

I think it was a great year. Sometimes I felt super exhausted but it makes me happy if it comes from a good reason. So many highlights, it’s hard to name them, but the gigs with my band in the summer at amazing festivals like Fusion, Sonne Mond Sterne, Think Festival and Bmylake were really fantastic. Also the club gigs in Istanbul, Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Zürich, and Amsterdam were great... I played about 100 live gigs, which is almost too many for me, but I loved it. It's addictive actually. But in the end it keeps me away from producing new tracks and working on my album which is a bit frustrating. So I realised that it is always really important to balance your life. Especially if you are working creatively you have to be super disciplined and organized to stay focused on the mission. So that's exactly what I will try to focus on in 2015. Finding the right balance.

WSI: What does 2015 hold?

The most important thing for me is to release my album finally. And I really want to play more gigs in North America. We are working on a North America tour already and I hope it's gonna happen in 2015.

WSI: When were you last in London?

I played a live concert in London with my band in January 2014, one year ago. Feels like last month though. Crazy how fast time is running. I really need to go back soon. It was a great night. My gig there was a bit stressful however because the club was not made for band concerts and we had not enough time for soundcheck, but in the end we made it somehow with the team there. They were really great actually. The audience was also fantastic… I like the vibe in London, and the dance music scene there is really strong. That night I randomly bumped into some old friends from Berlin who moved to there some years ago. For a Berliner it will be always a bit strange that the parties end so early in London but I think I could get used to it if I would live there…

WSI: As a talented singer and guitarist who performs a live electronic music show, do you feel that today’s dance music production is lacking in ‘real instrumentation’?

Maybe people would say that everything is getting more electro and using more electronic samples... But I don't know. Maybe after a few beers I would have a lot of things to say about this, but maybe I wouldn't really mean them!’ (He laughs) ‘, At the moment I would personally say I use more real instruments and live recordings than electronic sounds and samples in my music. But I remember when I started going to clubs I noticed there were really no live instruments in the tracks. Something was really missing there. So I had this intention from the start of my electronic productions to bring back pianos to the club, not like old house music though, more like packaged in clean melodic techno. Also the techno and house basses for me were way too static, so I thought about layering them with my guitar. The guitar is still an amazing and useful instrument for me, the attack especially and the sounds of fingers on the strings. And I use my voice a lot like a synth. Its better just to use what you have I think and try to make beautiful sounds and not worry if it’s real or analogue or digital…

WSI: It's hard to box your music into a genre, is this crossover sound something you actively try to create?

No I guess it’s just something that happens. But to have a 'crossover sound' there needs to be first borders to cross over and for me the normal borders between music styles are not real borders. Maybe they are just friends inspired by each other, not people trying to live inside a border, (he chuckles) I just try to use the sounds and instruments that best fit the vibe of my track.

WSI: Having toured extensively over the last few years, where is the best place in the world you have performed..?

I always enjoy playing on Corsica. I am really in love with all the beautiful nature there. Such big mountains for such a small island. Or Vision Festival in the Swiss mountains. I love to go for long overnight hikes when I can. Unfortunately after gigs I usually have to leave the next morning and don't have time. But I make a note in my mind and when the album is done I will make a little tour of the nicest spots I have been to…

WSI: Your single ‘Time Again’ – which was a huge hit last summer - is about failed relationships in your hometown of Berlin…?

Yes, the track is about how people continue to repeat mistakes and how we stay in routines which do not help us. Everyone comes to Berlin expecting something fantastic, which they usually find because they are already in that mentality that it is there. So people get cosy here even though maybe they would be doing better in another city maybe. Like a relationship that should have ended at the first breakup.

WSI: Is there a musician you’d love to collaborate with?

(Enthusiastically) ‘,Thom Yorke. Damn his new album is pretty good. Unstoppable. I wonder what he eats for breakfast…?’ (He muses) ‘,But I am currently listening to Daniel Bortz, David August, Nu, Acid Pauli, Christian Löeffler and Lake People…’ -


"Electronic Groove"

Jan Blomqvist is a Berlin-based live electronic artist, whose signature melancholic vocals, introspective melodies and lush beats are celebrated throughout the international dance music scene. With his band he performs dance-oriented electronic pop; as a solo artist, vocal techno.

As a child Jan was always singing. His open-minded parents immediately saw and encouraged his natural talent by exposing him to a variety of music and by giving him his first guitar. Fortunately or unfortunately he was not allowed to join the school band, so instead he formed his own band in a caravan in the woods. There they were free to play whatever music they wanted, which at that time was mostly melodic grunge and punk rock. While the band had moderate success it seemed unrealistic that it would become a career option at that point so after high school Jan, who was always keenly interested in the sciences, began studying aerospace engineering. Then, at the age of 21, he saw his first techno DJ and realized an alternative path in which music could in fact be a profession for him.

Jan continued making music, sharing his nights between producing and working at Berlin’s Week-End club where he earned enough behind the bar for even the odd educational trip to a Radiohead concert or sunday picnic at Bar 25. Through these inspiring experiences he began to form a new goal for himself as a musician, to bring a concert atmosphere to the dancefloor through strong vocals, detailed minimal beats and minor key melodies that are actually somehow uplifting. And more generally, to break up the monotony in the techno nightlife by injecting some pop and rock sensibilities back into the club scene.

In 2011 he got his first big break, a prime time slot at the fusion festival in front of 3000 people right before a big rainstorm. Then after 2 popular releases on Dantze and Stil vor Talent Records he got his next lucky punch, a beautiful video of a flawless live concert performance on the rooftop of Week-End club, which immediately went viral on YouTube and now has almost 2 million hits. This seamlessly flowed into what is now over 250 gigs in three years in places like Moscow, Paris, Istanbul, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, Athens, Budapest, Beirut, Tunis, Naples, Bucharest, Warsaw, Zurich, Marseilles, Montpellier, Thessaloniki, Munich, Vienna, London, and Dubai.
EG. 541 JAN BLOMQVIST

But in the background of all this and his numerous other collaborative releases Jan has been steadily working on his debut album, taking all the time he needs to get everything perfect. And its getting close now. Sonically it stays true to the big club sound and dark melodies that he is known for.

“It’s that imperfect sound that makes us,” Jan explains. “Emotional, honest, authentic, detailed, big-bassed, sometimes atonal, but mostly just indifferent to the rules. Because, more often than not, it is that wry-ish note that give you goosebumps.” -


"W Magazine"

From Berlin to Bushwick
W’s assistant to the editor in chief can’t wait until this star DJ comes to town.

This Saturday night, March 21, the Berlin-based DJ Jan Blomqvist will be in Brooklyn as part of ZERO, a monthly electronic music series in which top international deep house DJs take over a warehouse space that has been transformed by local artists with site-specific work. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, and a great way to celebrate the up-and-coming DJ’s first U.S. tour. -


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

JAN BLOMQVIST 

Jan Blomqvist, born in the 80s (not in Sweden) is a Berlin-based solo-artist and bandleader. It was him who invented concert techno: dreamy vocals and simple beats. With his band BLOMQVIST he’s into dancy electro-pop, as a solo-artist, he plays clubsoul. 

As a kid Jan never cried, just sang. His hippie parents approved and bought him his first guitar. Just as he had learned to play like Keith Richards, he realized he’d rather be like Mick Jagger. He formed/founded his first band in a little village in lower Saxony, Germany.

Then comes Punk: “musically rather destructive, but more or less character-building.” The first money earned was spent on an amp. The school band didn’t want him as a member. Their music was shitty anyway. At the age of 21, being an aerospace technology student, he gets acquainted with techno. DJs. It dawns on him that music could be a profession. “Being a teacher is riskier if you don’t like to get up in the mornings.”

In the daytime, he sleeps. At night, he constructs his tracks for hours on end. He earns (is earning) money as a bartender at weekend club and spends it on ‘educational trips’: Radiohead open-air concerts, Bar25, After Hours. Someday it’ll work: “to shatter the boredom in the clubs, to bring a concert feel to their dance floors, with simple vocals and minimal beats. Rock ‘n’ Roll in the club. Everything kept simple with finesse en detail.”

And then, boom: In 2011, a gig at fusion festival in front of 3000 people, releases on the Dantze and Stil vor Talent. “The more the merrier.” In 2012 a rooftop concert at weekend club; the YouTube clip is going to be seen by millions. 350 gigs in three years. Jan remembers them all: New York, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Rome, San Francisco, Mexico City, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, Athens, Budapest, Beirut, Tunis, Naples, Bucharest, Warsaw, Zurich, Marseilles, Montpellier, Thessaloniki, Munich, Vienna, London… For his first album he’s taking as much time as he needs. He loves half beats but hates half measures. For him, being in the studio is/means to draw from his experience playing live (live experience).  

And now, bang, there’s REMOTE CONTROL. With it’s immediate deep and characteristic JB feel. Radically democratic world hugging electronics. Bleep, bleep! To dance on a rooftop terrace while the sun’s setting behind dark clouds. Electro in drizzling rain. To ride the U-Bahn, feeling lost. Only to realize that you’ve already started nodding along long ago. In 13 tracks Jan blomqvisted his own musical journey: a pinch of Portishead, a dash of r ’n’ b, Radiohead of course, and the minimal sound of the noughties: Breathy melodies, souly vocals, clear and obscure lyrics. “Hey, whine at home.” The dancefloor is the transformer who turns melancholy into electricity and infects everyone: The concert lover and the raver bully, the escapist and the glitter girl. “The fucking rainbow has no gold”, Jan sings. His music helps us to get over it. 

Solo artist and bandleader Jan Blomqvist’s orchestra: Christian Dammann, drummer. Felix Lehman, pianist. Ryan Mathiesen, lyricist. “To turn the incomplete into character sounds: emotional, honest, authentic, bass-dominated, two-toney, rarely in text book fashion. Because it’s the minimally sloping sound that gives you goose pumps.”

Band Members