The phrase 'keeping it in the family' is sometimes a double-edged sword. Sure, you get to work with siblings you love and trust - but what if they're (whisper it) not very good? Thankfully, that couldn't be further from the truth for young Swedish buck Antoine Josefsson AKA AN21, whose brother Steve Angello is one third of the mighty Swedish House Mafia. This super-talented young producer has been consuming music constantly since he was a child - although ironically, he wasn't always a fan of the music he was surrounded by at home.
"It's true that I grew up loving music," he smiles. "But when I was young, I thought my brother's music was crap! It wasn't until I started growing up and got my first real gig at a club that I got my first taste of club culture." But again, it wasn't quite the experience he was hoping for. "I was expecting something really good since I'd seen so many scenes in movies - but that night was TERRIBLE! So bad that I got disappointed and said to myself that I would start my own club nights in Sweden!"
Given that Steve and Seb were his literal and spiritual music brothers - "Steve Angello is my brother and Sebastian Ingrosso has always been like a brother to me since he was always at the house when we were growing up" - it's no surprise that clubland would come calling - but it was another two years before Antoine would find his appetite for great music sated. "I played a bit everywhere and started building my reputation. Two years later I turned 18 and I got my own night once a month at one of the best clubs in Sweden; six months later I got to play at more nights at some other clubs and now I have my own nights on at the best clubs in Sweden." Ask him which DJs have helped shape his sound and although he says it's a tough question to answer, when pushed he says that he loves everyone from Joris Voorn and Carl Cox to Luciano, Steve Lawler, "my brother of course!" and Erick Morillo.
Music-wise, it won't be long before every single one of those DJs is hammering his productions. He's remixed music for major artists like Basement Jaxx ('Raindrops') and Tommy Sparks already but he also has an EP upcoming on his brother's label Size. Because like his brother - and the DJs he loves - Antoine's productions are all about great drops, great builds and bags of energy. House music with melody and emotion. Hear his productions LOUD and you'll realize that his songs "... always have a lot of things happening. And yes, I LOVE BIG DROPS!"
These records have not gone unnoticed either: the two tracks with Steve that are going to get released on Size Records - Steve Angello & AN21 - 'Flonko' and Steve Angello & AN21 - 'Valodj' - have already garnered massive support, and not just with the Mafia. 'Flonko' (which, aside from an excellent orchestral flourish as a hook is an assured big room house instrumental with drums, depth and drops to die for) has been played on Radio 1 by Pete Tong several times and was also a Essential New Tune - while 'Valodj' (which has the same horn-fixated charm as 'Trompeta' by Sis) has also been given the Tong seal of approval - twice. It won't be long before the rest of the dance nation catch up.
The other secret to Antoine is the way he plays. "I can tell you that I LOVE playing long sets," he nods. "I play everything from deep, groovy house to sexy hot tech house, before switching up to big room house and then techno. But after that I always try to play the opposite of what people expect me to play, because when I start banging house music, the crowd goes nuts!"
Oh, and did we mention that Antoine hasn't even turned twenty yet?