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Olof Dreijer on the Knife, Swedish nationalism and dancefloor activism: ‘Music gives us energy to overcome’

The past decade has been a journey for Olof Dreijer. In 2014 he and his sibling Karin disbanded their avant-pop duo the Knife at the height of their fame, and the Swedish producer found himself reckoning with his creative future. “I was spending my time doing a lot of youth work and activism and the tracks I was releasing weren’t in my own name,” Dreijer says over a video call from his home in Stockholm. “I wasn’t sure if I would continue working professionally in music.”

Having already released a slew of eerie, techno-influenced solo singles under the moniker Oni Ayhun from 2008 to 2010, Dreijer went on to teach music to undocumented migrants in Berlin and Stockholm, as well as produce for friends including Tunisian multi-instrumentalist Houeida Hedfi. “I didn’t think we needed more music from people like me,” he says, ie a white man. “I wanted to focus on helping other people realise their projects.”

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 06/03/24]

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