We speak with interesting and creative soul Aron Estocolmo to celebrate his latetst release on his own Girubu label. We find out more about the label, his sound and the inspiration behind the EP…
Hi Aron, pleasure to speak with you. How are you?
The pleasure is all mine amigo. I just quit my job which is an interesting feeling. I keep telling people that I am self-employed, but then of course, that is but a fancy word for unemployment. Life has been kind to me, nevertheless.
How has your 2018 been so far? Any highlights?
Other than music, I have been working in Media/IT on the side for the last four years, and it is one hell of a feeling to get out of that office. In all honesty, even if I liked the people I worked with, working in the media industry feels almost like working for a cigarette company. I am glad to be out. Now the only tricky part is what to do with the rent.
Other than that, the feedback I have been getting from people like Nick Warren, Jody Wisternoff etc on the new EP, has been very encouraging. I am looking forward to the release really.
We’re digging the new release on Girubu! What was the inspiration behind the EP?
One of the great poets of the Bengal, once said “The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough”. Time is our most valuable resource. However, in life, we tend to sell many of our hours cheap. Spending years at an office made me reflect over what I want with my life, and it also got me thinking of my childhood years that I spent partly with my grandparents in India and Latin America. That whole process of introspection gave birth to a lot of music, and this EP is part of that body of work.
What’s the story behind Girubu? How did the label come to start?
I needed a label, but I was unable to find a satisfying deal through the connections I have. Eventually, I came to realize that considering where I am at right now, releasing these tunes on my own would be the only way to do it right. I never intended to run a label, but it feels good.
You have a very distinct sound. How would you describe your music?
You are not the first person to say that. I guess it is true that I work with a distinct sound. It is a gift and a curse really. I love it because people tend to feel that they have never heard anything like it before. On the other hand, compared to conventional dance music, it is more difficult to find people that are willing play it. It is challenging even for the best DJ’s to fit this sort of music into their sets, even though it is very rhythmic.
I believe what makes these tunes stand out is that I use percussion in a slightly different manner than most people. I also grew up with mainly Latin American and South Asian music since my family originated in those regions, and there is definitely an influence there as well. The music I make is still very “western” so to speak, but there is an underlying touch of “otherness” to it, if that makes any sense.
Tell us bit about the track names. What do they allude to?
So “Ganga”, is the Hindi name for The Ganges. When I was a child, my grandmothers driver Anil, took me to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu bridge outside of Patna, which is the capital city of Bihar. Now I had heard many things about the holy river during my life, and I had even seen it when I was a bit younger, but the images in my head from the trip with Anil are the first real memories I have of it. The Ganges that runs through Patna, is nothing like the clean river upstream. I remember watching it, and I remember feeling a deep sadness seeing how filthy it was. The tune represents what the ganga should be, not what it currently is. It is a tune about the Ganga portrayed in the legends, and in the history of the lands that it flows through.
The second track, “Rabindranath’s’ teardrop on the cheek of eternity” is about my teenage admiration of Mughal Architecture. I remember the first time I laid eyes on great Mughal structures such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, or the Lal Qila in the heart of Delhi. Rabindranath Tagore once described the Taj as “A teardrop on the
cheek of eternity”. The Mughal Empire in general, is an interesting part of human history, and in this tune I tried catching the enthusiasm I used to feel about these buildings.
Were you always musical growing up? What drove you to this sound?
I am not explicitly musical. I am expressive in general, and music is a medium that I have always been fond of. In many ways however, I still know very little about music. I play some percussion instruments, and I have studied some music theory, but I still have much to learn. To answer your question though, I have been working with music in one way or another since childhood.
What artists would you say are your main influences?
I am influenced mainly by my life experience, so whoever/whatever created this enigmatic world of ours is the one artist I can say I draw inspiration from. Other than that, I tend to listen a bit too much to what Zlatan Ibrahimovic has to say on whatever he speaks of. Luckily enough, he does not talk much about music.
Tell us a bit about the artwork. Who designed it and where does the influence come from?
It is a portrait I drew of my cousin. It is from her wedding. I paint and draw a lot. I used to do graffiti when I was younger, but eventually I had to change the walls and the trains for paper and canvas. I do mostly portraits. My work is not for sale, but I like drawing, so you can always hit me up on instagram (@aronestocolmo) if you want a charcoal portrait. I will do it for free when I get the time to do it. I will keep the original, and I will send you a digital copy.
What is your favourite place to travel?
Cuba is good. I like Latin America in general. It is good to visit my family and my friends over there. India has the best food in the world for us vegetarians, and Japan is pretty awesome as well. The world is big, and to be honest, I have found beauty even in the slums of Lima, and the brutalized Westbank in Palestine/Israel. I would recommend anyone to travel wherever you can. No matter how different the country is from whatever you are used to, take it for what it is. The experience in itself is an opportunity for learning, and personal growth.
What are your 3 favourite records right now?
Jimmy Sabater – Salchicha con Huevos RY X – Beacon (Joris Voorn Remix) Ted Jasper – Mali Mali
Kent – Den döda vinkeln
Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No. 1
What do you do for relaxation outside of the studio?
Right now I am halfway through Albert Speer’s Spandau diaries, and I am also reading Edward Said’s Orientalism. I like to reading in general. Then of course, I do listen to a lot of music as well. The inflyte inbox fills up with promos every week which is a blessing. I no longer search for music, I just have my promo sessions, and I find a lot of music through that. firstname.lastname@example.org . Please do keep them coming!
What does the future hold for Aron Estocolmo?
The gods and my girlfriend are the ones who make the plans. You would have to ask them.
In search of Moksha… or somehting of the kind is out now! Stream here: