Smile: Dada Life on New Single, SubPac, and Hot Air Balloon Voyage
“One Smile” is the name of Dada Life’s new single, and there aren’t many titles that could be better fitting. Over the past few years, the Swedish pair—comprised of Olle Cornéer and Stefan Engblom—has become infamous for its raucous live shows, party-inducing productions, and curious obsession with bananas and champagne.
It’s a busy week for the duo, who have released their new single while simultaneously preparing for the first of two takeovers of Privilege Ibiza’s weekly Mass Bass party and their two-day, Insomniac-produced Dada Land: The Voyage camping extravaganza in San Bernardino, CA this weekend. However, this is just the beginning of the Dada Life’s 2014 world domination plans, as we connected with the member Stefan Engblom to talk about the group’s current endeavors, an upcoming mix compilation, and his own recent health concerns.
DJ Times: Your new single ‘One Smile’ just came out. What went into the creation of the track?
Stefan Engblom: We wanted to create a happy track that was still high energy and hard, which is very difficult. We love to challenge ourselves, and I think we managed pretty good with this one.
DJ Times: How did work on the track begin?
Engblom: We started working on the track in California. The main lyric is taken from these big smile masks that we’ve been handing out during our sets for almost a year now. On the back of them is the phrase “All you need is one smile; we will give you all night.” We decided to make a track using that as a lyric.
DJ Times: You premiered the single at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. What was that set like?
Engblom: It was really nice, because for us, EDC is one of the best festivals in the world. It feels natural to give the crowd there something unique. It’s a very good environment to hear a good track for the first time because you have its full production and visuals for it, which just brings smiles to people’s faces. And that’s what the track is all about.
DJ Times: And there’s an app for the new single?
Engblom: Yeah, we’ve put out an iPhone and Android app for “One Smile.” You’re able to do the Talk Box from the song with your phone. It’s amazing. It’s one you’ll play around with so much.
DJ Times: Are you working on a new album?
Engblom: We’re working on new tracks, so we’ll see where that ends up. We want to mainly focus on making new music, trying new stuff, and challenging ourselves like we did with “One Smile.”
DJ Times: You’re working on a compilation album, though?
Engblom: Yes. On that one, we’re going to have some new stuff and exclusive edits that aren’t around anywhere except our DJ sets. And we’re going to get exclusive stuff from our DJ friends. It’s going to be a really interesting and fun compilation album.
DJ Times: Your Dada Land: The Voyage is taking place this weekend. What can fans expect from the event?
Engblom: What can’t they expect? It’s a whole lot of fun. It’s everything you could imagine being at a little kid’s birthday party, but for adults who like electronic dance music. We’re going to start the whole event with a set of us playing old classics that we love and the ones that got us started in the whole electronic dance music scene. That’s going to be a voyage by itself. Then, at the end, we’re going to play a full Dada Land/Dada Life set.
Engblom: The main thing for us is to have a musical voyage, not just a bunch of big names. The whole thing should be a journey.
DJ Times: Are you guys planning other Dada Land events at the moment?
Engblom: We’re planning them all the time. There’s a lot of work finding locations, permits, and insurance. There’s just so much going on when we’re planning a Dada Land Compound, but we’re always working on new ones.
DJ Times: With hot air balloons, bouncy castles, and two days of camping at The Voyage, where do you guys go from here? Do you dream of a full-out Dada Life festival?
Engblom: We have our plans. We often say that bigger plans are dreams come true. We first thought of Dada Land: The Voyage two years ago when it was just a big dream, and now it’s actually happening. That’s the good part of being where we are at the moment.
DJ Times: Tomorrowland is coming up soon. What goes into preparing for a performance at an event of that magnitude?
Engblom: Tomorrowland is such a big production and they have their own production, so we can’t do any of our own Dada Life production stuff on it. They have such a massive set on their own, but we’re talking with them and trying to figure out something special to do.
DJ Times: Your Sausage Fattener plugin is near ubiquitous in the industry right now. Do you have plans for any other production plugins coming out in the future?
Engblom: We’re working on a follow-up to that one. It’s going to be similar, but it’s an all-new plugin. This one is a little bit more advanced, and since we have much less time to work on it, it’s taking a lot more time to develop. It’s going to be really good and there’s no plugin out there that’s quite like it.
DJ Times: What production hardware and software have you been using recently?
Engblom: Plugin-wise, we use Sausage Fattener and Ableton. For hardware, we’ve started using a device called SubPac, and it’s amazing. It’s actually a backpack thing that you put on your back that lets you feel the bass. For us it’s essential; we have it when we travel. It lets you feel the bass as if you were in the club, which for us is a massive thing to be able to have that in the equation when in a hotel room. But once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to the normal way of listening.
DJ Times: You recently had some health concerns to work through. How has this affected your touring/work plans?
Engblom: In my surgery, they removed my whole large intestines, and now I have a colostomy bag on my stomach. For me, I might need to just plan a month more before going on tour. It’s no different for me going on tour, except I just can’t go in, take a shower, come out and be like, “Alright, let’s go!” I need more time to take care of it.
DJ Times: What else do you have planned this year?
Engblom: Keep on doing our shows and working on our new plugin to hopefully have it out soon. We’ll also keep on making music that’s fun, and hopefully people will love it.