Being signed to Eric Prydz’s label Pryda Friends can put on a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations of the dance music messiah, but Jonas von der Fehr (known simply as, Fehrplay) has exceeded the expectations of many a naysayer. With the release of his two new tracks off the label, “Monte” and “Talk to Me,” this deep progressive prodigy is infiltrating airwaves and rising through the ranks under an esteemed label and with exuberant mixes.
VIBE: You’ve mentioned in other interviews that you had sent a ton of demos to Eric Prydz and just before you were about to give up he reached out to you. What do you find to be the lesson in that experience?
Fehrplay: Well it definitely taught me patience. I also had to learn how to be objective about my own music, which can be difficult when you’ve been slaving over a track for weeks. In hindsight, I can see that the early stuff I sent Eric which didn’t get a response wasn’t as good as the stuff that did get signed. I knew I had to raise my game, which I did with a lot of time in the studio. Now I'm signed, I'm trying to keep raising my game after every single release. It’s an on going process.
Do you feel a pressure being sort of the golden prodigies behind Pryda Friends along with Jeremy Olander?
I don’t really feel pressured from it. It’s a real family vibe with the artists, the management and the label team; we all work together where we can buzz off each other and bounce ideas around. We are all different acts, and we each bring something unique to the table. When we do bring it together, it’s just a really positive and enjoyable experience so we’re going to explore it further next year – especially as it will be the 10th birthday of Pryda Recordings.
^left to right: Eric Prydz, Fehrplay, Jeremy Olander
When we saw you at Wavefront, it was sort of upsetting that you had to go on early and come off early (nobody’s fault in particular I might add). As one of the more creative and deep artists out there today, how do you deal with some of the tough realities of the industry?
Unfortunately that’s just part of the business, and you’ve got to start somewhere! I was grateful just for the opportunity to play at Wavefront and hopefully next year - if I’m lucky enough to play again - I’ll get a later slot…. But I leave those decisions up to my agent, my manager and the promoters. I will just concentrate on delivering the best performances I can, and working hard in the studio on my music and hopefully people will like what I do.
Prydz has Cirez D, Olander has Dhillon, Maceo Plex has Maetrik. You on the other hand, seem to delve both in the dark and lighter sides of the musical spectrum with the Fehrplay moniker. Have you considered an alter ego and what is your stance on multiple monikers?
When the time is right and it feels like a new project warrants its own moniker I will definitely consider it. Right now I'm only thinking about making the best music I possibly can; the name of the project itself is secondary… and I still have plenty of growing to do as Fehrplay.
Have you had a specific moment in which you realized you had truly established yourself as a name in the dance music world?
I really don’t know. I'd like to think maybe I'm on my way to establishing myself, but 'established' feels a bit premature. There is so much more I want to do and achieve before I start patting myself on the back.
Playing gigs with Jeremy Olander, what is the weirdest occurrence you two have had to deal with?
We’ve only done one gig together before, so ask us again in a month when we finish the summer dates together. I'm sure we’ll have some stories for you then!
How would you describe your creative intentions for “Monte” and “Talk to Me?”
It is a mix of the sounds that are really inspiring me right now. There are elements of deep, progressive and tech house in the tracks. They don’t quite fit into any one genre, but at the same time they lend themselves to each of them too.
As a fellow Scandinavian, what element about your career would you want your countrymen to be most proud of?
All of Scandinavia is a hot bed of incredible talent right now. Hopefully I can help shine a light on some new Norwegian talent. There is some amazing music coming out of home.
Check out Fehrplay’s upcoming dates with Jeremy Olander!
8/09: Los Angeles @ Create
8/10: Miami @ Space
8/14: Orlando @ Beacham
8/16: Chicago @ Castle
8/17: San Francisco @ Mezzanine