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Axwell (born as Axel Christofer Hedfors; 18 December 1977) is a Swedish DJ, remixer, record producer and record label owner. He is one third of what once was the Swedish House Mafia along with Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello. In 2011 he was placed 23rd on the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ Poll.
Axwell's interest in music appeared at an early age, having taught himself to play the drums by age nine. Four years later, the 13 year old exchanged his drums for a computer so he could create each element of his music independently. By late 2004, Axwell released a global hit, "Feel the Vibe", which was re-released under Ministry of Sound in 2005 with lead vocals from Tara McDonald as "Feel the Vibe ('Til The Morning Comes)" co written by Tara McDonald and Tom Kent. It peaked at #1 in UK Dance Singles Chart & #16 in the UK Singles Chart #16 Finland #62 The Netherlands #4 France club chart in August 2005.
Also leading the way has been Mambana, his collaboration with Isabel Fructuoso (of Afro Medusa fame). Signed to Soulfuric Recordings, they have released three tracks since 2002. "No Reason" was their debut single, which hit the top spot in all the Hype/Buzz charts that Summer and was featured in the sets of all the top DJs including Little Louie Vega, Danny Rampling and Ben Watt. The follow ups were "Felicidad" and "Libre". "Libre" was released in 2003 and was arguably bigger than its predecessor. "Libre" was licensed to more than 12 different territories and featured on compilations that sold in excess of half a million copies.
Axwell has also been responsible for Jetlag's "So Right", which came out in September 2002 on Soulfuric, featuring the vocals of Noel McKoy and co-produced with Brian Tappert. In late 2002 Axwell went back to his roots and produced a track under his own name - "Lead Guitar" which was released by fellow Swede Stonebridge on his Stoney Boy imprint.
2003 saw Axwell recording for London based label suSU (the UK home of Masters at Work) under the guise of Starbeach. The track was called "Get Naked" & featured the vocal talents of D'Empress (from Mutiny). This was followed up by his version of Evelyn Thomas' classic "High Energy". In the autumn of 2003 Axwell's "Wait a Minute", featuring the vocals of Nevada, was released on Soulfuric's sub-label Device. This song was a club smash that gained support from the likes of Pete Tong, Junior Jack, Kid Creme.
In between all this, Axwell has been producing remixes for other artists - recent mixes have included Usher's "Burn" (BMG), Room 5's "Make Luv" (Positiva), Clipse & Faith Evans "Ma, I Don’t Love Her" (RCA), Stonebridge's "Put 'em High" (Hed Kandi), N*E*R*D's single "Maybe" (Virgin), and more recently Hard-Fi's "Hard to Beat", Deep Dish's "Dreams", Pharrell's "Angel", Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" and Madonna's "Jump".
In addition to a re-release of "Feel the Vibe" on Ministry of Sound, he has produced several club remixes, as well as his own productions, including "Get Over Here" by Rasmus Faber, "2 Million Ways" by C-Mos, "Turn On the Music" by Roger Sanchez, as well as his collaboration with Sebastian Ingrosso on Ernesto vs Bastian's "Dark Side of the Moon". Alongside his original productions, he collaborated with the Swedish producer Ingrosso on "Together". Axwell's most successful release of 2005 was "Watch the Sunrise", with Steve Edwards on vocals (famous for Cassius' "The Sound of Violence"). The track reached #3 in UK Dance Singles Chart and BBC Radio 1 Dance Chart. In between Axwell's productions he also found time to create Axtone, his own record label.
In the spring of 2006, Axwell and Steve Angello, under the Supermode alias, remixed Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy", producing "Tell Me Why". It was released under the Data label. Later, he teamed up with Eric Prydz and produced the tracks 123 and 321 releasing them under the alias Axer.
That same year, Axwell branched into a New York house sound with his mix of "Counting Down the Days", a dance pop song by Sunfreakz. Axwell ignored the vocals (sung by Andrea Britton) for his mix, which was a blend of cutting progressive-house sounds and ethereal keyboards. The Israeli DJ Offer Nissim featured the mix prominently during his set at the March 2007 closing party for Manhattan's Roxy.
In August 2007, Axwell teamed up with performer Max'C to create the track "I Found U", which made it to #6 in the UK Singles Chart.
On 12 August 2007, Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso played the Main Room at Cream Amnesia under the alias The Swedish House Mafia as part of Radio 1's Essential Mix Ibiza. The live set received rave reviews.
Axwell co-wrote and co-produced the song "Rain on Me" with Cyndi Lauper for her 2008 album Bring Ya to the Brink and after co-produced the song "Steroids" with Softwell. In June 2008, he released a song which was originally produced as a remix for David Guetta's "Everytime We Touch". Somehow, Guetta rejected the remix so Axwell took the instrumental of the song, teamed up with Bob Sinclar who brought in vocalist Ron Carroll and together they created "What a Wonderful World". In August of the same year, Axwell collaborated with an Australian DJ and producer, Dirty South, and released "Open Your Heart". At the same time, he also remixed "Hometown Glory" by Adele. The remix was released in two versions, "Original mix" with more vocals and more club oriented "Remode".
In 2010, Axwell and Dirty South's remix of the song "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap, received a nomination for the 53rd Grammy Awards in the category for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.
On 24 April 2012, Axwell's remix of "In My Mind" by Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl featuring Georgi Kay was released on Beatport, and then was nominated for the 55th Grammy Awards for the category of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.
Following the Swedish House Mafia:s farewell, Axwell and former SHM member Sebastian Ingrosso announced on 17 April 2013, their new side-project "Departures". They will appear at Ushuaia, Ibiza, June 12th.
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Image from Discogs