An interview with Power Plant honcho La Fleur

Don’t even think about putting La Fleur into a box. For a start, she’s had too many twists and turns in her career to be edged into one particular corner. “I don’t like the word perfectionist because sometimes it makes it hard to think outside the box,” she smiles. “But actually, I am a lot like that! I have a real attention to details. I’m never really satisfied with things – so I work and work until it feels right. I never leave anything to chance.”

10345779_10152383004879269_7130363207120114842_nSanna actually started her working life as a pharmacist – but despite her acute understanding of laboratories, her passion was for an altogether different kind of mixing. “My choice of career…. Well, it came to a point where I had to choose…. and I like the way it’s turned out!” It was an active choice to make music, and Sanna chose with her heart – and her feet. Her first residencies were at Sunday Secrets and Berns in Stockholm and a third key place was an infamous spot called Grodan Cocktail Club. “I was playing a bit more soulful house and US garage back then,” she smiles. What she really learned was inner confidence – and that practice makes perfect.

With a slew of cutting-edge club productions under her belt garnering praise and attention from producers like Ian Pooley and clubs like Watergate and Panorama Bar alike, La Fleur’s sound is simultaneously house and techno, classic and futuristic alike. She knows how to speak to a crowd and – just as importantly – she knows how to make them move. Indeed, her recent three-hour set at Panorama Bar is testament to her technical and musical prowess, mixing in her own productions with future-facing tracks and a sprinkling of classics. “I really love to dance and when I discovered dance music, there was a real connection. In general, the people who inspire me are devoted to the things they do. Artists need to make me feel something. Music-wise, I like tracks that tell a story.”

Sanna closed her three-hour Panorama Bar set with the chiming, winding melody of ‘Flowerhead’ – mainly because so many people came up and asked her to play it! – All Power Plant releases come with unique sleeve art. “The visual side is very important to me. When I’m thinking about a track to sign or to release, the artwork needs to match the music and vice versa when I started the label there was a recession and a lot of labels only did a white label with a stamp but I wanted beautiful vinyl for the home so I thought, fuck it I’ll do it my way!” Sanna has worked with Olaf Hajek based in Berlin, as well as Sweden’s most famous illustrator Hans Arnold, who drew the distinctive ‘Eavesdropper’ artwork.

Of course, none of Sanna’s success came overnight. As well as playing shows as varied as Watergate, Zoo Project in Ibiza and P Diddy’s after-hours in Miami in 2010, she also has a residency at Watergate to attend to. But for three years, Sanna La Fleur hosted the electronic dance music show ‘P3 Dans‘, on Swedish National Radio, but once that specialist stint came to an end, she already had her next move planned out – “I moved to Berlin to get inspiration and to make time for my new productions”. Building on the success of the Flowerhead EP, Eavesdropper and Flowerhead Revisited, 2012 marked a new chapter for La Fleur as she moved ever closer to her innermost musical ambitions. Remixes for Adana Twins (Strange – La Fleur Remix) and Magit Cacoon (ShowUp ShowDown – La Fleur Remix) consolidated her position as a go-to remixer. Sanna was also recently nominated for “Årets Dans by P3 Guld for Dance Music Of the Year. “I was very happy and honoured to be nominated,” she says.

With a brand new residency at Watergate up and running and a brand new club track called ‘Slingan’ already a firm favourite for Kerri Chandler, life is good for La Fleur. “I’ve been playing Wednesday nights – there are more locals and I like that. I play the Water Floor, which is really cool. Playing there allows musical freedom. Sanna clearly wants a long life in music. “I don’t know what I would do without music,” she muses. And what of her original choice of office environment, wearing a lab coat? “I can’t see myself working as a pharmacist again – maybe when I’m 60!” We doubt that dance music will let her go.

La Fleur – Flowerhead (Power Plant Records)

Hi Sanna, thanks for taking some time out to answer some of our questions. To start off, you’ve quit your daytime job as a pharmacist to kick off your musical career. Was it a scary decision and what was that specific period of your life like?

“Hi, thanks for having me at House Cult. I usually welcome change, it develops challenges and often that leads to new inspiring adventures. It was of course nerve-racking but at the same time it felt natural.”

1522162_10152294731819269_1383686152_nCan you share your musical background with us? How did you get in touch with electronic music?

“I got into electronic music through dance. Coming from countless dance classes in ballet, salsa and oriental dance, I always liked to spend the whole night on the dance floor when I reached the age to go out clubbing. I ended up at parties that played dance music and I remember thinking ‘wow’. Somehow I felt I could move and dance more freely, without rules.”

You played a 3-hour set during your first Berghain appearance. What was that night like?

“I played in the upstairs area of Berghain floor, called Panorama bar. The first time I played back to back with a friend of mine, Michelle Owen, but the second I played a three-hour set solo. Every time I’ve played at Panorama Bar it’s been something special, it is a very special place for a lot of reasons.”

Can you share some producers with us who definitely need some recognition and don’t receive the exposure they should at the moment?

“Jesper Ryom, Justin Massei and Hans Berg.”

What was the reason or motivation to start the Power Plant imprint?

“I wanted to start my own label for a long time, mainly to have full control over the music, artwork and visual aspects. But the tipping point was when I wanted to sign my ‘Flowerhead’ track and nobody else wanted to release it, so I thought I’d just do it myself and that was that.”

What is the mission or vision you have with the imprint?

“Power Plant is a breeding ground for artists within different fields of creativity. Power Plant has branches in music, art, and fashion, and our vision is to create an organic and constantly growing foundation for the artists who are in the visionary spinning wheel of Power Plant.”

The force behind Power Plant is quality, curiosity, and artistic expression woven together in an exciting, ever-growing multidimensional garden of trust. Power Plant encapsulates many different forms of creativity under its name.

How’s the future looking for you? Any interesting stuff coming up your willing to share?

“I just released the Feline EP with remixes from Art Of Tones and Jesper Ryom on my Power Plant Records as well as the Watergate 16 compilation, which I recently mixed for Watergate Records. Carl Craig has done a bomb remix for me of my track ‘Arms Around’, one of the exclusive original tracks from the Watergate 16 CD which will be out on the 23rd of June and I’m looking forward to the tour which runs throughout the summer and also some exciting forthcoming remix projects.

la Fleur – Feline

Housecult

House Cult is a community focused on electronic music. A particular active subculture full of people who all share the same passion for electronic music. For some still a cult, for others a way to enrich everyday life. For all of us a culture that brings us together.