Swedish House Mafia are an Electronic Music Supergroup that's Exactly What It Says on the Tin; i.e. a group of House Music producers from, well, Sweden. It was formed by three musicians: Axel "Axwell" Christofer Hedfors, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso. Angello and Ingrosso were already friends, while Axwell was brought in to complete the Power Trio. They had their beginnings in 2007 as a group of three relatively normal producers, releasing a few songs in collaboration with fellow producer Laidback Luke ("Get Dumb" and "Leave the World Behind") and touring together a bit. However, that all changed in 2010 when their song "One" became their Breakthrough Hit, reaching near the top of several European top 40 and dance charts (including #7 on the UK Singles Chart, #2 on the UK Dance Chart, #3 on Billboard's U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs, and #1 in the Netherlands), soon followed up by a documentary on their beginnings, and several other songs (including a collaboration with Knife Party and their epic anthem "Save the World".
But what contributed to their ascension as the Ensemble Dark Horse of progressive and electro house? They marketed themselves as heavily as the average rock band, and they took their live shows Up to Eleven with an elaborate stage presence and Visual Effects of Awesome, and full-on arena shows. They went practically everywhere, especially at a time when names like David Guetta and Skrillex were becoming household names. Plus, they even managed to sell out Madison Square Garden in ten minutes flat.
The group announced in June 2012 that they would be disbanding at the conclusion of their final world tour, aptly titled "One Last Tour", to focus more on their (now much more prominent) solo careers (some also attribute this to a violent incident at one of their concerts in Ireland some time before. Their second documentary, Leave the World Behind, goes into a bit more detail, but not quite). Their journey came to an end on March 24, 2013, when the group performed for the last time as the Grand Finale of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
The three members are still active on an individual basis; all three of them run their own EDM record labels (Axtone, Refune, and Size), and have continued to release new solo material and make live appearances (a reunion was subverted just a few months later at Tomorrowland, where all three members did seperate main stage sets on each night). But, clearly, Axwell and Ingrosso still wanted to work together: they contributed a song to the Monsters University soundtrack, did a residence at a club in Ibiza over the summer of 2013 entitled Departures, and then announced in 2014 that they would do a joint tour and album as a duo named "Axwell Λ Ingrosso".
To many people's surprise, the group reunited to perform at the 2018 Ultra Music Festival in Miami. At this show, Axwell strongly hinted that it wasn't merely a one-time-only comeback.
- Until One (2010)
- Until Now (2012)
This group provided examples of
- Auto-Tune: The lyrics in the Pharrell Williams version of "One" were originally intended for a completely different song. Then they realized that it actually worked quite well... well, "[after] Axwell Melodyne'd the crap out of it"
- Crowd Song: The crowd will always sing along to "Save The World" and "Don't You Worry Child", guaranteed. Even if it isn't being played at a SHM/solo show.
- Also "Leave the World Behind", which was their original Signature Song to an extent.
- Darker and Edgier: The Knife Party collaboration "Antidote", which has darker beats, darker lyrics, and a violent music video.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Their first songs with Laidback Luke were credited to the SHM members individually (but is usually Retconned as an SHM song for brevity). It also seems as if Eric Prydz was also a member◊ at some point.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: During One Last Tour, "Save The World" had an extended piano opening.
- Heroic Dog: The "Save The World" music video
- Grand Finale: "One Last Tour"
- Once an Episode: The "sit down, jump up" routine with the audience.
- Performance Video: "Don't You Worry Child", shot at the same concert as its premiere.
- Product Placement: "Greyhound" was originally produced for a commercial for Absolut's vodka of the same name.
- Robot Dog: The music video for "Greyhound" depicts a race between three robotic greyhounds, which the Swedish House Mafia activates.
- Supergroup: Aptly
- Take That!: The ending of the "One" music video has a man with "F*** ME, I'M FAMOUS" tattooed on his arm. Isn't that a David Guetta album?
- The Movie: "Take One", their first documentary, focusing on their rise.
- Followed up in 2014 with "Leave the World Behind", a documentary focusing on their "fall", as it were. It does not entirely elaborate.
- Where It All Began: An inversion. They publicly reunited in 2018 at the Ultra Music Festival, the same festival they last played at when they initially broke up over five years prior.