Sandro Cavazza is a Swedish pop singer-songwriter whose voice you’ve almost definitely heard over the years, even if his name doesn’t sound familiar to you.
After surrounding himself with a variety of musical influences growing up, he honed his craft by attending Rytmus, Stockholm’s prestigious music school which was also attended by the likes of Tove Lo, Robyn and Icona Pop.
Sandro later moved to LA, where he grew from strength to strength as an artist. From busking on the streets to touring with Allen Stone, the singer-songwriter also met Dhani Lennevald, who later became his producer and close collaborator.
Through Dhani, he also came to know the late DJ and producer Avicii, who had a big impact on his life both professionally and personally. Not only did the two forge a genuine friendship, but Sandro assisted in co-writing and toplining songs across Avicii’s 2015 album Stories. The two also collaborated on ‘Without You’ which went on to become a platinum-selling record.
Sandro has also collaborated with a number of other artists over the years, including Lost Frequencies on ‘Beautiful Life’, and most recently Kygo on ‘Happy Now’ in 2017. However, the singer-songwriter also has a string of successful solo hits under his belt, including ‘High With Somebody’, which has garnered more than 25 million streams globally.
Sandro’s most recent hit, ‘Used To’, features Lou Elliotte and offers a unique perspective on your typical break up song. The track has been in the works for a while, with Sandro also spending over a year putting together a music video for it. Combined with a newly released remix package including remixes from BEAUZ and Ruhde, it’s safe to say that ‘Used To’ is set to be another success story for Sandro Cavazza.
We caught up with Sandro to talk about ‘Used To’, how his sound has evolved over the years, working with Avicii, and more.
Welcome to CelebMix, Sandro! Please introduce yourself to our readers with a little-known fact about yourself.
Hi, I’m Sandro Cavazza and two random facts about me is that I play classical guitar and have broken my back.
We love your latest single ‘Used To’, can you tell us about the inspiration about the song?
The song was created by Sarah (Shy Martin), Anton Litens and myself. It is a collaboration of stories about the end of relationships. I think we all drew from some of our own memories to create a pretty unique break up song.
The track is a collaboration with Lou Elliotte. How did the collaboration come about and what was she like to work with?
I wanted to work with Louise ever since I first heard her voice and it just happened that she came in on the other vocal section and it just felt perfect for the song. Working with her has been a dream and she is much like my own sister. She has a very strong temperament and is so passionate, just like I am so it was so much fun discussing/arguing over the tiniest details about the video.
What was the creative process like, how long did it take for the song to form from an idea to the finished product?
The creative process behind this song was absolutely insane. It started out as an idea for a duet and then turned into this massive project of us doing a relatable and emotional music video. The picture was pretty clear early on but it is a totally different thing to actually make happen.
Which lyric from “Used To” stands out the most to you?
I love the line ”Wanna sail again, 4 am Lake Michigan, like we used to”. It just felt really relevant in my own life since I sail so much. Honestly, I love that we ‘through-composed’ the entire song lyric-wise.
The music video is certainly something special with you creating visual footage for a year, how did the visual concept come about?
We turned something negative into something super positive here. We, unfortunately, weren’t able to release the song early in January as planned (because of industry reasons) so I got the crazy idea to create the craziest most in-depth music video of my life! Then it was the process of getting a filmmaker to understand what we wanted to achieve creatively and Robin Robinovich was incredible at finishing the idea.
You got to travel a number of European destination whilst filming, is there a city/country which you particularly loved and would like to see more of?
I hadn’t been to the center of Paris before and I must say that I fell in love with the city more than any before. I will go back there someday and not work although it was so fun to visit all the main tourist attractions and pretend to be a couple taking cheesy pictures.
What was your favorite memory from the filming experience?
Hard question, there was so many! Maybe when we went sailing in October in our tiny sailboat and tried to make it look as though it was during Summer.
Music lovers recognize you as the vocalist on one of Kygo’s recent singles ‘Happy Now’. How did the collaboration come about and what was the experience like?
Working with Kygo came about after he had heard my singing on ‘Without You’, which he really liked. Hearing him say that ‘Without You’ was his “favorite song” when he closed Coachella last year was amazing and I was really surprised. He is so chill and he is an amazing producer & artist. The creative process with Kygo is one of the best I have experienced. He can transform a regular song into a smash in just a moment and that’s really just a handful producers in the world that can do that. Besides good writing, he is such a great person and I count myself lucky to call him a friend.
You’ve also worked with other artists in the past, perhaps most notably the late DJ Avicii. Can you tell us about your experience of working with him and how he impacted you both musically and personally?
Tim is to this day one of the best writers and producers I have ever worked with. He had such a gift for melodies and with him, nothing was impossible. He was just open door to all creativity. It was both the most rewarding and sometimes challenging sessions I’ve had in a way. I loved writing with him so much.
Personally, we talked about many things about music and the industry that will stay with me forever. I also feel very grateful to Tim for all the music and moments I got to share with him.
You’ve had a passion for music from a young age and you cite Eagle Eye Cherry and Freddie Mercury as some of you’re biggest influences growing up. What is it about them that inspired you the most in your youth?
Eagle Eye Cherry is probably because he was big at the time when I was growing up, but his voice and songs were great. (Farrokh Bulsara) Freddie Mercury has been one of my favorite vocalists of all time. Where should I start? It’s the tone, the phrasing the drive in his voice. As a songwriter, he was also absolutely incredible.
How do you feel your sound has evolved over the years?
From singing only Rock n’ Roll when I was 15, it’s easy to see how much my sound has evolved. I explored my falsetto in my early twenties when I got vocal nodules and had to work around that. It got me thinking about music in a totally different way as well. I think all the different kind of music I’ve been singing, Blues, Rock, Pop etc. it all has influenced and shaped my voice and the way I write today.
What do you hope that fans learn/take away from your music?
Hope. Even if a song is sad, you can find strength in that song. That’s what I loved about ‘Happy Now’, it is sad and empowering at the same time.
You have achieved some great things in your career so far. What’s been your personal highlight to date?
Personal Favorite? I love that I have gotten a life outside of music while being so invested in my music. It’s harder than you think to be able to be a good brother, son, boyfriend, relative and friend while being a professional artist at the same time.
What are your plans for 2019, can we expect more music/touring from you?
More music is in the making! I will also have a spring tour in Sweden! I still haven’t written the best song of my life so I’m still chasing that this year as always.
The remix package of ‘Used To’ is available now. Check it out below.