Rebecca & Fiona may be well-known names in their native Sweden, but Australian audiences are yet to experience the pop power of these two emerging DJs. Tone Deaf caught up with the duo to talk about their upcoming Australian shows, the local release of their album and what it’s like to be a famous female DJ.
Rebecca Scheja and Fiona Fitzpatrick met at a party four years ago and began making music for fun. They started landing gigs alongside DJs they described as bad, to say the least, before scoring their own self-titled reality show that tracked their rise through their country’s bustling electronic scene.
They’ve also owned the DET club at Stockholm’s Spy Bar since 2008, helping them climb the ranks of electronic music in Sweden, and subsequently, around the world.
The girls have already collaborated with some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Kaskade and Adrian Lux, and amidst heavily giggling, Rebecca & Fiona described the experience of working with the former: “It was really sexy, in a different way; an intimate way,” the girls laughed, before saying more seriously “he was a great person, a great producer and really friendly.”
It’s not just big name collaborations that are giving these girls worldwide attention. Fresh from a tour around the US, including a place on the world famous Tomorrow Land festival, the girls will soon be departing for the Australia to attend Fat As Butter festival, playing alongside such electronic acts as Bombs Away, 90s revivalists N-Trance and Eiffel 65, as well as Aussie mash-up maestros, Yacht Club DJs
The pair say they are excited to be coming to Australia, but wanted to make it clear that they weren’t typical young Swedish tourists. Many Swedish tourists aged 18 or 19 travel to Australia to “find themselves,” the girls teased. “That’s not what we’re doing! We won’t be doing that,” they said. It’s an easy dismissal to make, considering the pair could easily pass as svelte models with their bombshell looks, but behind the decks – they’re just as explosive.
Having released their debut single “Luminary Ones”, featuring the pair singing plaintive melodies in anthemic lines (it’s been a long time since I had some fun) over a pulsing four-four and juddering synths, they’re now ready to unleash their next volley.
Next they’ll be unleashing follow-up single “Bullets” and their debut album I Love You Man to Australian audiences later this year. The music has been immensely successful overseas and the girls expect fans down under will respond to the music just as well.
“They’re going to like the music a lot. We have lots of unreleased stuff and new edits,” Scheja says confidently.
Many in the electronic dance music industry would argue that female DJ’s are subject to prejudice in the male dominated industry, but the girls, who claim to be to sick of the topic, say any prejudice that exists doesn’t affect them. “It’s not a problem, we just do what we like to do,” they affirm.
The girls are positive about the future of females in the dance music industry. “I think [an increase in women] will come naturally as the world becomes more equal. It’s just a natural development,” they add.
Although the duo say they believe a change in the gender balance is inevitable, they are still doing their bit to get more females involved in the industry. In conjunction with Adidas, Rebecca & Fiona are in fact hosting a DJ school in Sweden.“It’s almost all girls, there are almost 20 girls and only 4 guys,” the pair confirm.
The school gives the young DJ’s, who must be under 24 years of age, the opportunity to learn from the best producers and DJ’s in the world. “The idea was supposed to come from some advertising firm but they couldn’t come up with anything so I made it up,” says Fitzpatrick
Teaching and understanding music is something Rebecca & Fiona are familiar with. Both of the girls’ fathers are famous musicians, Rebecca’s – Staffan Scheja – is one of Sweden’s best classical pianists, while Fiona’s dad, Greg Fitzpatrick was a famous Swedish pop star in the 80s.
When pressed about the musical influence of their family, the girls simply laugh once more, describing their fathers as “really old” and denied that the relationships had influenced their music in any great way.
“They’re really cool but they haven’t influenced us that much,” they explain. “We actually took a stand against them, but they’re really proud of us.”
The rejection of the “boring, classical music” their fathers played has helped to create their music today: large scale, stadium-filling electronic music designed for appreciation in the dance setting as opposed to the dancehalls of the classical world.
The last thing these girls want is to do anything that has been done before. They even provided some encouraging advice for readers: “Work really hard, be careful and try to find new music.” In other words, ‘be different!’