Dada Life’s Bananigans

Olle and Stefan wax succinct about side projects, getting ugly and trouble in Dada Land

Photo by Al Powers

Photo by Al Powers


Olle Cornéer and Stefan Engblom, better known as Dada Life, are some crazy Swedish dudes. Seriously, their press-photo poses are silly, their love for fruit can be over-the-top juicy, their satirical interview answers are frustrating (but sometimes clever) and their relationship with the law is impressive. In case you missed it, this past March, Dada Life declared Dada Land a sovereign nation, citing: “basic human rights of freedom, fresh fruit, having fun and self-governed sovereignty.” They started a petition that has amassed nearly 7,000 signatures, submitted a Declaration of Independence to the U.N., organized banana-clad protests in Sydney, Stockholm, New York, Washington, D.C., and London … aaaaand then had their passports revoked for their shenanigans—er, bananigans. In fact, there may not be a crazier duo in all of music. Join in the fun when Dada Life performs November 8 and 22 at Hakkasan.

Olle and Stefan, please let us know who is answering.

We answer together, a united front!

Last time we spoke with you, in 2012, you told us about the origins of Champagne and bananas—the perfect party food that stays clean—that are today such vital elements of your branding. How has your performance rider evolved since then?

We now get a copy of the book Moby Dick at every show. Each time we try to read another chapter. Still working our way through it.

Stefen told us, “All of our music is happy-face music!” How do you describe the sentiments of your music these days?

Arrive beautiful, leave ugly.

What were you up to before music?

We were both professional chefs in Sweden. We met through food!

What have been your notable side projects?

Cornéer: I used to work as a lumberjack in the mountains of Sweden, not for long though as I wasn’t really cut out for it.

Engblom: I used to DJ at kids’ birthday parties. That’s how I first learned how to DJ.

What are you guys like when the camera is off?

Exactly the same.

You’ve been rising on the DJ Mag chart. What’s the best indicator of success?

How ugly people get at our shows. If they leave looking so ugly with a big smile on their face, we know we’ve done a good job.

You’ve helped lead this electro/progressive house thing to new heights. Where do you foresee dance music going next?

Who knows? We’re excited though!

For our readers who missed it, can you recap what happened with Dada Land?

Our lawyers won’t allow us to really talk about it too much, as it was pretty serious. But in the end we got our passports back, and it proved to us that we had to make Dada Land its own sovereign nation. We are getting persecuted too much and for too long to take it.

What’s been the most memorable moment since releasing The Rules of Dada?

When we did the first Dada Land Compound show at a disused packing factory in Brooklyn. Over 7,000 people following the Rules of Dada with us—great way to end the year!

Is there anything exciting coming up for Dada Life?

Our brand-new song “Born To Rage” came out on October 28 on Beatport. We decided not to just do it as a single, so we’ve made 39 different versions of the song, and we’re releasing them all at the same time.

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