Written by Eric B. Thornton // Edited by Bernadette
Last month, the Greek Theater turned into a vibrant party zone. The event on September 22nd was a part of Jai Wolf’s thrilling Club Babu Tour and featured performances by Manila Killa, Evan Giia, and the rising Swedish star, Kasbo. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Kasbo for an exclusive post-show interview (see below for the full scoop).
The evening’s headliner, Jai Wolf, delivered a high-production show that flowed seamlessly. Known for his hit “Indian Summer,” the Bangladesh-American artist drew fans into his music with captivating visuals, precisely timed lighting, lasers that painted the night sky, and a symphony of stage fireworks. Fresh from touring, which included an appearance at Coachella, I hadn’t witnessed his magic before, but I was thoroughly impressed by the extraordinary production values he brought to the stage.
If you were to pin down the genre of the night’s lineup, it would fall under Electro Pop “EDM” with hints of Glitch and Vapor Twitch elements. This genre carries a similar uplifting vibe to artists like San Holo, Odesza, and Mura Masa, to name a few. It’s music that pairs perfectly with the hues of a sunset, infusing the evening with a joyous spirit.
Although we missed the opening acts, Manila Killa and Evan Giia, due to the notorious Friday traffic in LA, we were in for a musical treat with the act preceding the headliner, Kasbo. I’ll admit, I wasn’t very familiar with Kasbo at first, but after diving into his discography, I discovered an appreciation for his music. Like Jai Wolf, he seamlessly weaves melodic elements into his sound, creating an ambiance that flirts with the realms of chillwave and embraces the pulse of trap beats, a style that aligns with the spirit of Jai Wolf.
Breaking through the music industry from his hometown in Gothenburg, Sweden, Kasbo’s unique approach to music production has gained him recognition in less than a decade. With a collection of tracks, remixes, and collaborations, including notable artists such as Louis the Child, Kasbo’s ethereal sounds serve as an inviting gateway for those venturing into the realm of dance music.
His latest release, “The Way You Had Me,” sees Kasbo lightly treading towards a house music terrain, akin to the mastery of Garage powerhouse Disclosure. We eagerly anticipate what the future holds for Kasbo. As he concluded his tour in the early days of October, be sure to keep an eye out for his next performance in your city.
Check out Frank151’s interview with Kasbo below:
First question is the question that we like to ask every time; if you can have your dream festival, who would be the top three headliners? Dead or alive?
Kasbo: I think I’d have to go with Sigur Ròs, Daft Punk, and maybe like Coldplay circa 2000
Your recent show at the Greek Theatre had the crowd absolutely pumped before Jai Wolf’s set. Can you share any pre-set rituals or routines you have to get in the zone before you hit the stage?
Kasbo: I’m unfortunately a bit dull in that apartment. I generally just like to be by myself in a silent greenroom for the last 15 minutes before a show, might have a beer, and say the city’s name that I’m in about 40 times, haha.
If you could pick three artists, again, dead or alive, to collaborate with in the future, who would be on your dream collaboration list?
Kasbo: 070 Shake, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean
When preparing for a performance, how do you adjust your set and approach differently when playing at a concert venue or a festival compared to a set at an intimate club? Do you prepare your songs beforehand?
Kasbo: It depends on the type of show. If it’s a DJ set at a club, I make DJ edits of a lot of my songs, which generally means making them faster and making the drums a bit more housey. I also play a lot of other people’s music. For live shows, it’s pretty much all my songs, as well as edits of other people’s songs. I try to make it so that there are different moments that aren’t in the DSP versions of the tracks. Having a few surprises in there really helps in keeping the energy up with the crowd
“The Way You Had Me” marks your return after three years and has a slightly different vibe from your previous releases, leaning more towards deep house with a soulful touch while retaining your signature melodic hooks. What inspired you to create this track?
Kasbo: I was just trying to imagine what the next era of Kasbo would sound like. I was listening to a lot of house at the time and was just trying to find a way to take influence from that genre while still retaining my own identity.
Sweden is renowned for its vibrant music and dance culture. How would you describe the dance scene in Sweden compared to the United States, and what do you think are the most appealing aspects of both scenes?
Kasbo: Sweden’s electronic scene is quite subtle and low-key right now, I’d say. There isn’t a ton of electronic music coming from Sweden that people would throw on Spotify. The main place you’d see it is in the live scene. We have a fairly flourishing underground scene with a lot of clubs and raves playing dance music and pulling a lot of people. The music there would range from everything from Techno, Garage, and Jungle to more minimal and subtle house music, like Studio Barnhus, who are massive here in Sweden. In America, I feel electronic music is a way bigger part of people’s everyday lives. There’s a bigger focus on the artists and headline shows, compared to Sweden where it’s more anonymous club shows and raves. Music wise, I feel you see that reflected as well. In America the music is more up-front and identity-heavy, whereas in Sweden it’s more subtle and discrete.
If you had to choose one track from your discography that you believe best represents your artistic journey and musical identity, which one would it be and why?
Kasbo: I think it would be my latest single, “Alive”. It feels like the perfect representation of where I’ve been and where I’m going. It has that feel-good and euphoric feeling and incorporates a lot of vocal chops, which has always been very prevalent in my sound, but it’s also a lot more upbeat and, to me, has a bit more finesse when it comes to the payoff of the track, it knows that bigger isn’t always better which I think is something I’ve always tried to accomplish, but have struggled with a lot. With the new music, I think I’ve finally understood that better.