Who is axel thesleff?
My musical life began roughly around the year 2000, when I started taking classical piano lessons. From early on I was very keen on developing my own melodies and little songs and got exited about new ideas. Being a slightly nerdish type growing up, I discovered the digital side of the musical realm pretty quickly and started to program my own tunes with MIDI-based software on the PC and the sequencer of my digital keyboard. During the years from about 2007 onward I taught myself Ableton Live, and really got more serious about audio engineering as I learned more and more about sound design. I kept making a ton of tracks, mostly influenced by post-rock bands like Sigur Ros and Godspeed You! Back Emperor and IDM and Indie artists like Aphex Twin, Telefon Tel Aviv, Radiohead, Burial, Gold Panda etc. I kept developing my style and taste and as I discovered the online communities like SoundCloud I got introduced to a myriad of different electronic genres. My musical taste has always been quite far reaching and broad. I started listening to metal bands about at the same age as I started playing the piano. I then joined bands and quickly became a fan of progressive metal and rock because of their complexity and possibilities in self-expression and storytelling. And from there I found all the wonderful music of the 60s and 70s. Even today I’m a member of the prog band Octopie, which feeds that side of my musical hunger. When it comes to electronic music my taste is also very diverse, and I believe that can be heard in my music. From post-rock infused IDM I started getting into 2-step and future garage which eventually brought me to the dance floor. Well, that and the fact I turned 18. This was around 2011 and in the online world I started turning some heads when soundcloud featured my concept album inspired by T.S. Eliot’s the Waste Land in their ”soundclouder of the day” series. During these times I also started studying Musicology at the University of Helsinki, where my main area of interest was sound design and electroacoustic music. From 2011 onward I released a couple of EP’s where I further developed my skills as a music producer as well as a composer. During these times I also performed my music live for the first times in local venues around the Helsinki area. In 2014 I experimented with some eastern vibes and samples from India, which lead to the smash hit ”Bad Karma” which ended up getting tens of millions of hits online and got me out of Finland to perform. I also continued my endeavors with mr. Eliot and released my musical interpretation of his poem ”The Hollow Men”. Today, I’m still exploring the same way I explored when I first started out as a ”bedroom producer”, and I’m constantly searching for the next thing that gets me inspired and excited. For me, music has never been about genres, it’s been all about self-expression and self-reflection, and I’m utilizing different avenues of music to get my inner world transformed into soundwaves. The most important thing to me is to grow as an artist and as a person. I’m keeping all the doors open to new possibilities and new experiences.