On September 13th Eric Prydz joins forces with Data Recordings to bring you his hotly-tipped summer anthem ‘Call On Me.’ Commandeering a vocal from age-ripened rocker Steve Winwood’s ‘Valerie’, the first time Winwood has given clearance for one of his tracks to be used, Swedish-born Prydz loops it into what promises to be the biggest funked-up house monster of the season. Lola’s what?
Starting life as an mp3 in the hands of only a select few DJs ‘Call On Me’ has spread like wildfire, surfing label bidding-wars and dodging a spate of bootleg rip-offs along the way, to eventually land in the hands of Mr Winwood himself who liked the track so much he re-sang the vocals. Prydz began making music at the tender age of 9, and was so fanatical even at this early stage, that a lack of equipment was simply a minor obstacle in his quest for stardom. He developed a habit of breaking and entering in order to “borrow” his school’s keyboards: a habit that soon landed him in a Swedish reform school. But this set back merely strengthened his resolve and, buoyed by encouragement from influential friends such as Steve Angello, Prydz was soon producing tracks that found their way into the record boxes of some of the worlds most high profile DJs.
Influenced by the production quality of the ‘first generation’ of Stockholm talent, such as Håkan Lidbo and Adam Beyer, the Prydz sound is a merging of his love for Depeche Mode, early-electronica and a catchy 80’s melody with the stimulus of artists such as Alexender Kowalski and Underground Resistance. Working from his (literally) underground studio in the heart of Stockholm, Prydz creates hard-hitting tunes, with a firm foundation in funk but what sets him apart from the crowd is his talent for hooks and melodies.
After the success of an initial release on EMI, Eric moved to the label’s flagship dance imprint Credence and released the hugely successful “EP1”. By the time “EP3” came around, Eric had developed into one of the hottest names in house music. Word of his production skills soon spread, making him one of the most sought-after remixers on the scene. His work for the likes of Junior, Positiva and Ministry of Sound found favour with DJ’s including Seb Fontaine, Judge Jules and Pete Tong and his remix of “Miracles” even added The Pet Shop Boys to his long list of admirers.
The story behind the bootleg:
Two years ago Eric and producer friends Retarded Funk were working together in the studio when they hit upon the idea of using Steve Winwood’s ‘Valerie’ as the basis for a dance track. Armed with a CDR and keen to test it on the clubbing public, Prydz passed a copy on to DJ Falcon during one of his UK gigs, who immediately made it a regular fixture in his sets. Eric couldn’t have anticipated the stir the track would have: fans clamoured for more information, only for it to be uploaded to an internet site, assumed to be the follow-up to Thomas Bangalter & DJ Falcon’s ‘So Much Love To Give’ and wrongfully attributed to them.
As demand for ‘Call On Me’ grew an enterprising distributor downloaded and pressed up the track under the guise of Thomas Falcon ‘Valerie’. This went on to trouble the German DDC Chart, in a guise no different to Eric’s own version, apart from the addition of an acappella vocal from French band Phoenix. Meanwhile Eric spent his time producing his own version and eventually gained all important clearance from Steve Winwood to use ‘Valerie’.
Prdyz’s hard work paid off when Winwood not only gave clearance for the sample to be used exclusively by Data (the first time he has ever done this for any of his songs), but also went back into the studio to re-sing the vocals!
So on September 13th ignore the imitators and pick up ‘Call On Me’ as Eric Prydz releases the original, legal version on Data Records.