Hej Victoria and Jonas! Can you believe ten years have passed since “Cry For You” was released as a single? 20+ chart positions worldwide, two videos with a total of over 50 million views on YouTube alone, tons of performances, interviews, remixes… At what point did you realize “Cry For You” was becoming an incredible worldwide success?
Jonas: When I was remixing the track from album to single I felt that it had something going on! It was immediately picked up by radio stations in Scandinavia. That was a strong indicator…
Victoria: Yes, I think we all felt it was going to be a big success. The record label was not so sure I remember. 😉
Jonas, “Cry For You” was released as the fifth single from the album In Orbit… Did you realize it could become even bigger than “Satellites”, after that song hit #8 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart? What did you think you had to take out of/add to the album version to create the catchy single edit?
Jonas: Since I thought this was one of the best songs on the album I wanted this to be a single. In order to make it more catchy I had to remix it. It is a few bpm faster and more minimalistic, tighter…
September songs have been remixed numerous times – “Satellites”, “Cry For You” and “Can’t Get Over” in particular. Do you have any September remixes you keep coming back to every now and then? What do you think of Dave Ramone’s remix for the UK release of “Cry For You”?
Jonas: I like Dave Ramone’s remix! One remix of “Satellites” from Germany was not one of my favorites… I’m not a big fan of remixes. They are rarely better than the original…
Speaking of remixes, more than a few were done by the mysterious Jackal, including debut single “La La La (Never Give It Up)”, “Cry For You” and “Until I Die”… An alias of yours?
Victoria, you’ve worked with Petra for over ten years and have accompanied her around the world. Could you describe some of your tasks as artist manager? What were you responsible for during September’s career?
Victoria: My work was always supporting her in everything and protect her – not all people were that supportive from the start. I signed Petra when she was 17 years, I believed in her when others didn’t… I think my work together with Jonas von der Burg was very important for Petra; together with Roffe Persson we found Michel Petré, who started his new label Catchy Tunes with our artists September and Lucky Twice.
Jonas, you’ve explained before that you met Petra while looking for a singer for a new project with Anoo Bhagavan and Niclas von der Burg. Do you remember your first reaction when she came along and started singing? What was it about her that made you all think, this is the singer we are looking for?
Jonas: Yes, I remember it very well. I had another singer lined up, but she suddenly wanted to explore the rock scene. After that I had an audition with about 20 different singers and Petra came with Victoria Ekeberg and was the last one to audition. I instantly felt that she had “something”. Especially that deep and personal voice that is kind of unusual with such a young person. She has a fantastic voice!
Please tell a bit more about the early September days! “La La La (Never Give It Up)” came out in 2003, was this also the year in which you met Petra? What were Petra’s first thoughts on the project, and was “La La La (Never Give It Up)” actually the first recorded September song?
Jonas: We had three songs already written and “La La La” was one of them and three different record companies interested. We decided on Stockholm Records/Universal and they released “La La La” as the first single. So yes, “La La La” is indeed the first recorded September song.
How do you create a September song? Does it start with a melody, something in your head? Or do you start by writing lyrics with Anoo and Niclas, trying out different melodies during the process?
Jonas: I always started with the beat… And from there we wrote the harmonies and the melody. Lyrics came last.
Victoria, you’ve also managed Petra during the Dance Nation Live tour in the UK in 2009, and you’ve stated that the tour was ‘fantastic’ (in a video, 1:17). A tour, rather than a single event, must have been a new experience for both Petra and you?
Victoria: The Dance Nation tour was amazing and we had a fun time! 😉
Jonas, “It Doesn’t Matter” only had a promotional release. Are there other album tracks that almost became singles but were not chosen in favour of other songs? Which song could have been a good single in your opinion?
Jonas: Not that I can think of. I think we picked the right singles but can feel that some of the singles did not get the attention that they should have gotten. Especially “Flowers On The Grave” or “Until I Die”.
Speaking of singles that never were, “Leave It All Behind” was featured on September’s UK debut album, Cry For You – The Album, as a UK radio edit. Was it originally written for a September studio album, and is the UK radio edit actually a different edit of the song?
Jonas: It is written for UK and I felt that they were too controlling and with that destroyed Petra’s natural vibe.
Victoria, what are you doing at the moment? Are you still running record label 4 On The Floor with Jonas and his wife Jeanette?
Victoria: Jonas von der Burg and his team are working together with me at the moment with a new artist. It’s a 23-year-old boy and it sounds amazing. 😉
Jonas, what are you currently working on? Would you like to work with Petra again in the future, and if so, what would the music sound like?
Jonas: Today I’m working with different projects. Not in the style of dance music at all. I would love to work with Petra again! We haven’t worked for a few years but I’m convinced that we would make great music. If I could decide – the music would be more edgy, dirty and a little bit more soul.