Exclusive Interview: Dada Life Talk Going Against The Grain And Why They Skipped Ultra


There are three words synonymous with Dada Life: champagne, bananas and party. Olle Cornéer and Stefan Engblom are Sweden’s craziest DJ duo, and we mean that in the best way possible. The Dada Life dynamic is one that cannot be matched, and must be experienced to truly understand. Anyone who has stepped foot into Dada Land knows that these two are all about throwing down the wildest shows with high-energy rage music.

Dada Life have been producing and DJing electro & progressive hits since 2006, and show no signs of slowing down. They have already played across the world at the biggest festivals and clubs, and have expanded their shows drastically in scale. The Dada Land Compound is the ultimate party, incorporating props, photo booths, and larger than life bananas. The duo even broke a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Pillow Fight at one of their Compound events in 2013. This isn’t the only record Dada Life holds though, as they have plenty of the musical kind, including “Happy Violence,” “Born To Rage,” and “Freaks Have More Fun.”

A couple of weeks back, the Dada Land Compound touched down in Toronto for another absolutely wild show. It was everything we expected (and more) as we “arrived beautiful and left ugly,” in true Dada fashion. Before the boys hit the stage, however, we caught up with them for a brief interview to discuss where they get their energy from, why they skipped Ultra, how important it is to stay unique and more.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

Welcome back to Toronto!

Dada Life: Thank you.

Tell us a bit about how Dada Life first started?

Dada Life: We met in the line for Disneyland actually. We heard each other speaking Swedish and just started talking. When we got back to Sweden we kept in touch and decided to try and make a track together. We were both making dance music alone already, so we thought it would be a good idea. We knew that we wanted to do something different as well.

At the time, DJs were so stuck up. No one smiled or interacted with their fans. We felt kind of fed up with that so we decided to just go out there and have fun with our music. We didn’t have Dada Land at that point either, but all the ideas we’ve come up with since we started are because we want to be different from everyone else.

Speaking of Dada Land, what are the official rules?

Dada Life: I can’t even remember them all. There’s so many. That’s what Wikipedia is for. [Laughs]

You started in 2006, when the EDM scene was very different. The whole “explosion” of dance music hadn’t happened yet. Have you felt the need to adapt in recent years to keep up with the industry now that it’s changing so much and moving so fast?

Dada Life: You don’t really need to change. You just need to rtemember why you started making music in the first place. And that’s because you want to make incredible songs that you love yourself and that you haven’t heard. And that’s easy to forget when you’re caught up in the whole thing. We never feel the need to keep up or conform. If everyone is running left, we’ll run right. It’s important to do your own thing.

Where do you get all of your energy from on stage? It seems like you just have boundless energy up there.

Dada Life: It’s just all about the music and the fans and the happiness. We love what we do. So when we’re doing it, we have fun. It’s no fun DJ’ing standing still. We want to move and feel the music. We just did a one hour live mix in a radio station and the whole time we were bouncing up and down. We just can’t stand still when we DJ. It doesn’t matter how tired you are because when you get on stage and hear the music, you feel that energy. Even when we’re absolutely exhausted, the second you hear the first note, it’s go time. It just wakes you up.

Where do these wild ideas for your shows come from? It’s not often that we see artists having pillow fights or photo booths at their shows.

Dada Life: We just come up with it. [Laughs] We also have a lot of time in airports with nothing to do.

Why did you choose to skip Ultra this year and instead play the Dada Land Compound in Miami?

Dada Life: We prefer to do our own show. You can’t do both. We want to bring our Dada Land experience to Miami and we couldn’t do that at Ultra. It’s a fun festival, but we’d rather be in our own venue and do what we want. Miami Music Week is an iconic week, but almost all of the parties are the same. So for us to bring our Dada Land Compound show there, and bring our unique vision for the show, it’s important for us. We want to bring that experience to Miami and the people there.

That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Dada Life very much for taking the time to talk with us.