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Steve Angello on DJing without headphones: “It’s not that hard”

“The thing is, I lost my hearing in my left ear two years ago,” inthemix heard Swedish House Mafia alum Steve Angello tell the room at the EDMbiz conference in Las Vegas last year. He’d just been asked about the YouTube upload titled, Steve Angello – How To Fake Your Fans, which showed him DJing without headphones at Dance Valley in The Netherlands. “I couldn’t hear for almost a month and thought I was going deaf,” he went on. “I’m always in planes working with my headphones on really loud. So I taught myself how to DJ without headphones.”

In the recent episode for his Size TV video series, the Swede returns to the topic that stirred up so much controversy. He continues to tour with his self-taught method. “If you’re a guitarist, you can play tight,” he tells the camera in a quiet moment. “If you’re a drummer, you play tight. The only thing you’ve gotta do as a DJ is to press that button at the same beat as the other track, which is not the hardest thing in the world, because people do it every day. You just gotta be synched. The CD player tells you which BPM your record is. If you know that one track is 125 and the other is 128, you just put the pitch three BPMs up. Then you’re good to go. It’s not that hard if you know your records, and it’s definitely not hard if you re-edit all your records so you know the exact timing of things.”

While his SHM mates Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell have struck up a new collaborative project, Departures, Angello is busy forging his own path. After a mainstage slot inside the Owl at EDC Las Vegas, his Summer Love tour is now focused on Europe, building up to Tomorrowland in Belgium. He’s also presenting a Size Matters tent at select festivals with his label protégés. “If you think about it, people don’t even dance anymore,” he muses in the video on the new wave of EDM fans. “They’re jumping. And that’s awesome. But there’s a gap where [funkier music] used to be.”

The Size TV episode peaks with Angello’s set at Green Valley in Brazil, where the DJ has been known to play some marathon sets in the past. His record is 11-and-a-half hours in 2010. As he told inthemix of the hallowed club: “When I’m in Brazil, I do 11-hour sets. That’s what I really love to do. Last time I was at Green Valley, I broke the record for playing the longest: I think I started at 1am and stopped at 2pm the next day.” Watch the Size TV Episode Six below.