VILLE —I would describe us as a part of DIY culture, which I think stretches further than just being independent. We create the merch ourselves, the designs, and the cover art, the videos — we try to make everything that’s within our grasp ourselves.
PAUL—We are all from different corners of Sweden but we’re a collective by the vision itself. I think the main force of TRE60 has been all of us realising that we have all this power from being DIY, and that we’re actually able to do stuff we put our mind to.
VILLE—If we want to make a music video, we just look up a tutorial of how to do it, and see that it’s not too hard. Most of the time you’re just too lazy to learn it.
In what constellations did you make music before TRE60?
VILLE—We worked in two different groups that kind of merged together. The intent of the merger, and why we became a collective, was from the realisation that we are more of a powerhouse in a big group than working by ourselves.
How did your method of working in project cycles come about?
EREN—It happened by us trying to figure out how we would work in the long run. When we first started, we just wanted to do as much as possible. Then we realised that we’re only nine people, which put some strain on it. It’s not so easy to focus on a bunch of people’s videos and marketing plans at the same time. We came up with a structure which allowed us to focus on one artist at the time, and make sure they get the attention they deserve by the team.
Nebay, your biography on Spotify states ”for the youths by the youths”. Working with peers can feel rewarding in a way that is different from working with someone who doesn’t share the experience of what being young today is. You’re working independently now, do you want that to continue?
EREN—It is really hard, working independently. But it is also rewarding because you get a feeling of accomplish-ment and a sense of ”we’re doing this together”, instead of working with some 40-year-old white dude sitting in an office talking down to us.
PAUL—Also — referencing back to ”for the youth, by the youth” — we all come from the internet age. Us coming from that internet age gives us a lot more perspective on what’s hot and what’s not. With the help of the internet, we don’t need the things the record labels offer us. Instead, the power is in our hands, what we do with it is up to us. That’s the DIY culture again. We have chosen not to go the corporate way — not to adapt to what the norms of music today are and just do our own thing. We all understand it’s gonna take a lot longer for people to get used to us. But I think that there are more people like us and they just kind of need to find us the way we found each other. Music has connected us, even though we are so different. That’s the power it has.
Do you think that the music industry is afraid that more artists will start to think like you do?
EREN—I feel like they’ve kind of lost the power already. Just look at the people that have the most streams in hip hop Sweden. Only a few are signed to big labels.
VILLE—It feels like they’ve moved on to a new market. They specialise in making these super artists rather than signing indie artists. I think they are still pretty comfortable in knowing that they have such big resources that they can practically make a super star out of nowhere, if they would like to.
PAUL—I think they’re trying to adapt also. We’ve all seen signs that they’re actually trying to reach the market they used to have power of, but since the internet there’s a lot more to choose from, and a lot more to find. I think we’re doing a good thing, which is having the platform that we have, building it up slowly but surely. Just trusting the process really.
And do you arrange all your concerts yourselves too?
NESS—We try to. We have an upcoming concert called the Nebay Meles Experience, which is an intimate showcase of Nebay’s new EP with an all live band. So, it’s gonna be hip hop, live, and Ville’s brothers are the band musicians.
ISIDOR—Events like this really represent our ideas and how we work. I think we’re all kind of tired of club gigs. It doesn’t really do any of us justice.
The whole experience of everything that is TRE60 is so well curated. Both how you visually receive the music and the music itself. How do you create some-thing so cohesive?
PAUL—It really depends on the project to be honest. Most of the things we do when it comes to aesthetics is basically sit down and try to pinpoint what the music tells us visually. Now for example, when working with Nebay’s stuff, we would try to break down to get to the core of what he was thinking when he made it, and try to match the visuals to the music for people to understand our collective vision of it. But it’s more for us than it is for other people I think. It’s the same with our music, it’s also more for us. We get hyped to this shit in the studio, dance to our own music.
Who’s the next artist you’re gonna focus on within the collective?
NESS—Robin’s up next, we just filmed his music video. We start releasing his stuff in October. His first single is called Familjen (the Family)