Cédric Steinmyller was born in the North of France. But because he releases melodic but thumping dance bangers under the name Klingande, which is a Swedish word meaning “chiming,” a lot of his fans assume he’s from the land of IKEA and meatballs. He’s cool with that.
“At first, I really wanted a name so that people would not know that I was French, just a little bit anonymous. And, then, also because I was a huge fan of Avicci, Alesso, and all those guys, and because I’m a huge fan of their music, I thought it would be fun to find a name like that,” Steinmyller says. “I realized the meaning of the name, because when you take a glass and you do the “ting ting ting” on it,” he says, making a gesture of tapping a glass with a fork, “I was like ‘ah, that’s cool.'”
In a few hours, Steinmyller will take the stage at Wake Up Call at W Bali. Very often when he plays shows, he will drop beats while flanked by saxophone, piano and violin players, creating a lush, melodic sound that sets them apart from other DJs. “I just love to experiment and also I love when music is not too electronic,” he says, adding that “it is a DJ set, but we have two musicians on stage. I am not really flexible with my set, so I need to tell them a little before the show, ‘Okay I’m gonna do that, that, that,’ because I want it to be a show. I don’t want them to go out there and improvise. I want it to be very structured.”
Steinmyller studied music theory in school, which he says influenced the complex songs he makes today. “You just need to understand how music works and which chords fits with which,” he says. While in school, he and his friend Edgar Catry began DJing but Steinmyller was still frustrated. “I found it to be not as creative as I wanted,” he says. “So, I was like, ‘No, I have to make my own music. Because if not, I will not be happy in what I do.'”
He began studying music at Point Blank Music College in London, and got to work on using the skills he’d learned. Klingande’s debut single “Punga” became a worldwide hit, as did their remix of Clean Bandit’s “Extraordinary.” Catry left the group shortly afterwards.
Looking back, Steinmyller recalls “that ‘Punga’ was my first song ever,” he says. “So, when I came back from London, I just put it on YouTube and then it blew up, everyone was talking about it and I didn’t expect anything at first.” The success allowed him to tour the world and continue to release acclaimed singles like “Jubel” and his recent “Rebel Yell” with Krishane, and it also allowed him to host the House of Chill radio show on Sirius FM.
But is the guy who makes warm, soft music and hosts “House of Chill” himself, in fact, chill IRL?
“I don’t know. Maybe!” he says with a laugh. “I don’t know if it’s chill, but I can be a very lazy guy. I wake up really late and I’m late to the studio every time.”