Eric Prydz with Fehrplay
They say that fortune favours the brave. For Eric Prydz, a bold musical agenda and an unrivalled ability to combine commercial success (3 x Top 2 UK hit singles) with underground notoriety (fastest selling release ever on cult download store Beatport), has allowed him to achieve worldwide recognition with his integrity intact.
The softly spoken Swede hasn’t given an interview in 6 years, he never appears in his music videos, and avoids ‘artist tweets his breakfast’ self-promotion. His refusal to play the media circus stems from the fallout ignited by ‘that’ video. His first No.1, ‘Call On Me’, was accompanied by a music promo that he didn’t clear, much less approve of. He shied away from the publicity and ensuing success (the Steve Winwood-sampling track he’d made “just for his friends” clocked up over 4 million sales), and retreated into his studio to continue making the dark, brooding electronica he was becoming known for.
But, every so often, and always at the time of his choosing, he’s emerged with a hit record – 3 of them and counting. Following his debut for Ministry Of Sound’s label, Data, he was the only artist ever to be given the go ahead to sample Pink Floyd, Prydz released the Grammy nominated ‘Proper Education’, the reworking of Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ that reached No.2 in the UK charts. This time Eric took charge of the music video; the resulting promo and its accompanying environmental theme was hailed by Greenpeace, used as part of the NGO’s own marketing campaign, and is still requested by schools across the world.
He followed this in 2008 with ‘Pjanoo’. After becoming Beatport’s fastest selling release, the instrumental track was championed by Zane Lowe and Pete Tong, given 4 separate Radio 1 ‘Record of the Week’ accolades and was playlisted by the station seven weeks upfront of its release; it hit No.2 that summer.
His next move was typical of his personality. While most artists would have been frogmarched into producing an album and encouraged to run the promotional gauntlet, Eric simply played a handful of gigs, and then went back to his studio in London to tend to his two record labels, Pryda and Mouseville.