The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Swedish producer, Zoo Brazil, has delivered a head-turning remix of ‘Dark Force Angel’, the new single from the eclectic electronic talent, SANJAY. Like all of Zoo’s productions, its stylish and emanating melodic, indie dance flavours from start to finish.

Based in Stockholm, Zoo Brazil, better known to his friends as John Andersson, has enjoyed a stellar career as a record producer, songwriter and DJ. He remixed Giorgio Moroder & Kylie Minogue’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ hitting #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart, and landed on Steve Angello’s Size Records with ‘Save Us’ – a collab with Per QX.

With an exciting year ahead with releases on Bedrock and Metamorfosi, relaunching his own label, and with touring on the cards, we caught up with Zoo Brazil to find out more.

How are you and whereabouts are you chatting with us from?
Hello, great to speak with you. All is well and fine here, but stressful studio times, but all good. Right now, I’m in my studio in Stockholm working on new music and getting ready for a DJ gig tonight.

What can you tell us about the creation of your remix of SANJAY’s Dark Force Angel and how did you first hook up with SANJAY?
I first got to know Sanjay when I was asked to remix his single Dive back in 2021. We’ve grown a good friendship and I got asked again to make a remix. It’s a great song so it was easy to say yes. Creation wise I tried to make something more hypnotic, haunting around the vocal but with a danceable groove. And for the real nerds, I recall I was tweaking the vintage Moog Modular System Model 12 for the synths and baseline.

What does the process of creating new tracks look like for you?
It all depends on the mood I have. It can be building up around a drumgroove that pushes me forward to build up from there, or it can be me just tweaking and patching synths and suddenly I find something that I like. I record that idea and try to build and build around it until I have something that I feel I don’t get bored listening to over and over – usually that’s a good sign. Then it’s usually something worth finishing. The amount of songs that never get finished or sent out to labels is crazy, but the process of making music every day makes me learn more and pushes me forward, so it’s not really a waste of ideas, it always leads to something.

Are there any specific bits of kit or studio gear that were prominent in the remix?
Yes, a vintage Moog Model 12 and an Arp2600, which at the moment is my favourite studio gear, but it various from time to time. I tend to focus on a few synths for a moment of time, and then I feel sorry for other synths that kind of wave at me for not getting used. The studio is like a living, creative place: vinyl, books and way too many vintage synths. Everything has a purpose and meaning, or it gets kicked out of the studio. I’m not a studio gear geek in the sense that I collect; everything needs to be used or fill a gap. I feel I have a nice set up now.

Looking at your formative years as an artist, who or what were your biggest musical influences and inspirations growing up?
It’s all over the place from Factory Records, Creation Records, Warp, Martin Hannett, Andrew Weatherall, Flood, and Depeche Mode as a teen to listening to early house and techno, and endless cassette tape recordings of radio shows. In general, the UK music scene has always been a huge inspiration for me especially in the early days from Joy Division to the rave scene.

You’ve played in every type of club and festival setting from the big stages to the intimate underground. What’s does your ideal gig look like?
Festivals are very different from club gigs of course, but they can be equally good and intimate, so I don’t really have an ideal gig. It’s always fun in a club with dark, hot, strobe lights and smoked filled rooms where everyone has the same transcendent goal and they’re into the music like nothing else matters. Saying that, having the sun in your eyes on a big stage with an unreal huge crowd has its own kind of spirit as well.

Your versality has led you to write music for audiences outside of the clubs and onto the film and TV screens. Do you have any project like this coming up that you can share?
Oh yes, I produce, cowrite and mix all kinds of music, as long I like it. There are a few bands that I’ve just finished, some that I’ve been writing with and for, and others I’m part of the band with albums coming out later this year. I’ve even done the music for children’s TV over the last few months. It’s not every day that you get asked to use animal sounds in the music – it’s very far from nose-bleed techno – but as long I feel it I do it. That’s always been my approach: let the music speak. I’m here for the music and I’m doing it for the music. This is why I never post everything I do on social media. Some I do, of course, but I’m not doing music for the reason of posting a video on socials, I’m not really a fan of that approach to music.

What else have you got planned for the rest of the year on the release and touring front?
I’ve just teamed up with a new booking agent which I’m really, really happy with even if it’s a very early stage of working together. It feels like a family and they treat you like family. I share the roster with artists I love and respect, so I’m very excited to get back to touring again and build on that.
On the release front, I have releases coming on John Digweed’s label Bedrock, Booka Shade’s Bluefield label, a huge number of songs coming up on Joseph Capariati’s Metamorfosi label, and much more. I also plan to re-start my own John Henry Records label again – I already have 8 releases lined up for that including some vinyl only projects.
On top of this, I have my band projects but that doesn’t have anything to do with Zoo Brazil, and other co-writes that I just finished off as we speak. It feels like a very exciting year and in some ways, it feels like a restart of everything with new labels and people around me; it feels so fun.

Finally, what are your Top 3 tracks that you love to play out at the moment?
That’s a hard one. I don’t have a clue, so I’ll give you 5. It varies from week to week and by the time I‘ve charted this, they’ll probably be something new. But ok, just on top of my head:
Zoo Brazil and Audiofly – Good Times [Promo / Stil vor Talent]
Leinad – Souvenirs (Deep Dean Remix) [Mysticisms Records]
Zoo Brazil – Tomorrow [Bedrock Records]
Daschund – Speechless [Reborn Project]
Toto Chiavetta feat Kelo – Next To Me (Tape Proc mix) [Borders of Light]