First Swedish House Mafia, then Axwell ^ Ingrosso.
On 16th September, Billboard wrote that ex-Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Ingrosso have decided to part ways with longtime manager Amy Thomson.
Quoting Ingrosso, Billboard also reported that the mafias have plans to join Ash Pournouri’s At Night Management, the same management and booking company that houses names like Avicii and Cazzette.
Ash responded to the news, saying:
The guys are close friends of mine, so we just started talking recently. But nothing is agreed, and I would help them regardless of who they continue their journey with. I have tremendous respect for what Amy has accomplished with them.
Amy Thomson, on the other hand, was initially quoted as saying:
It’s a shame that I didn’t know the article was running today. At this time I’m not able to comment further, except I wish them the best. My role as manager of Swedish House Mafia and their rights management remains unchanged.
Then it got a little messy as fans begun to assume who or what went wrong and where.
As you may already know, Amy was the person responsible for Swedish House Mafia’s rise to fame. The fact that she managed to mastermind and sell-out Swedish House Mafia’s now-historic Madison Square Garden gig says a lot about her capabilities.
She basically packaged and sold the mafias, took them to the top of the EDM ranks, and turned them into a dance music juggernaut in less than a decade.
But that also meant that Amy pushed them hard. In fact, her relationship with the mafias was known to be rocky. So in 2013, Swedish House Mafia announced that they were no more, but Axwell and Ingrosso stuck with Amy. The duo later relaunched as Axwell ^ Ingrosso in May 2014, only slightly more than a year ago.
Needless to say, news of this split sent shock waves through the EDM community. Various sources apparently “close to the situation” revealed that cracks in the relationship had begun to show and that relations became “uneasy” due to Ingrosso’s reluctance to renew their contract with Amy. Other sources blamed the “changes” in Amy’s “behaviour”.
This is despite Ingrosso tweeting the below statement following Billboard’s report:
We didn't leave Amy, we very mutually decided it was time to part ways. We are super grateful for the time together.
— INGROSSO (@Ingrosso) September 16, 2015
As one would’ve expected from such news, the EDM world is basically on fire with assumptions and rumours.
Amy Thomson quickly stepped in to put out the flames with her two cents on Axwell and Ingrosso’s decision to part ways. She wrote on her Twitter:
Reluctantly I have decided to answer the Billboard article posted yesterday. I haven’t done an interview since I talked about my fears over SFX at the IMS in LA in 2013 and got attacked for it, I refused my interview in Billboard’s recent EDM power list issue, because I just feel that discussing clients isn’t something I want to do
However once I started to see some emails and tweets start to accuse Ax and Seb of being unfair to me I am actually going to step in.
I was shocked yesterday , as I said in the article when I was asked for pretty much an immediate quote , as I was told very early in the morning the piece was running and I had no idea, and if I’m honest, I forget that people choose to write about these things, and I forget even more that people seem to want to talk about it. For me, this is a private relationship like all my close friendships.
I’ve known and worked with all 3 members of Swedish House Mafia for 12 years. When I started working with them I was their agent and house music was writing it’s own rules. From the way gigs were being run, to the structure of how business worked, to the roles you had in a team. People didn’t have tour managers back then, or pyro guys, or videographers, or social media…. I was their agent, but I also managed Steve. Then we ran Size together, then I managed Buy Now and Angello & Ingrosso, then I managed Swedish House Mafia, then I managed Axwell, then I managed Axwell & Ingrosso.
Whilst the business around house music, since someone named it EDM in order to bottle it and sell it more, has grown up, and become more official, and the entourages have grown, and the shows have got bigger, and I played my part in all of that, good and bad….at the very heart of it, we were just 4 people, loving every single second of what we did, and using music to scream out all of our frustrations with life and we went on one hell of a crazy ride.
We didn’t book Madison Square Garden that first time around to try and look big, we just wanted to see where we could put a rave that had never been done before…throw the greatest parties on the planet, and ride a wave we already felt turning. We would book venues and then wonder what show we could afford to build, blundering around the world of pyro and LED like kids in a candy shop…it was an incredible time.
There are 4 people in the world who know why Swedish House Mafia ended, and I am one of them. I’m not about to start talking about it now, same way we didn’t talk about it back then, but would we have even been where we became if we didn’t end? Maybe not. We took our moment and we ran with it. The conspiracy theories and gossip around it makes me smile all the time. I’m proud of all we did, but that was one chapter of our lives. It’s not what defines them, and it’s not what defines me.
I was happy to work with Axwell and Sebastian after SHM. It wasn’t about a beef with Steve, it wasn’t about revenge, it was just how we all wanted to do stuff. Me and Steve are cool. It’s that simple. Ax and Seb made much of that album in my cottage in LA and we had a nice time sticking together after the One Last Tour, still shell-shocked from the incredible journey we had made, but deafened by the noise in so many ways and how you move on from that and we supported each other in essentially getting over Swedish House Mafia.
When we headlined Ultra this year, and subsequently closed Coachella, that moment came. We got over it. We started to smile again and have fun with everything, the gossip had stopped, an identity of our own had begun, reunion tweets were dying down and the first question in every interview wasn’t ‘when is SHM getting back together’
In that time I had moved to LA with my daughter and my personal interest in music widened. The consumption of it, the future of it, it’s changing landscape and in LA the world is at your feet to explore it. Sweden is 9 hours ahead of me, it was inevitable the relationship with me and the guys would yet again evolve.
In the summer of this year, it was clear to all of us this chapter was done. People need to understand, there is no contract or job title that covers the friendship we have, and it would be wrong for any of us to cling to a structure where we don’t feel challenged, creative, at our best….
I’m 40 years old now, I live in LA, my eyes are so wide open as to all of my own dreams and the guys have their dreams, and for once, we just hugged it out and agreed we should go our separate ways.
To wake up to headlines about them leaving, about sources saying I was flying to other countries to beg for my job, is so alien to me, because none of us will ever leave each other. We are possibly the closest friends anyone could ever have. They’re like family to me. We have simply evolved. We have grown and we have respected each other’s needs and journey’s.
We all needed a change, and we all gave each other that courtesy. Swedish House Mafia and Axwell /\ Ingrosso was an amazing time and I don’t regret one single moment of it, but it’s not my future. But we will be in each others lives always and maybe some people who live by contracts and lawyers, don’t understand the genuine relationship we have that requires no paperwork.
My company and team do so many amazing things and for me, it’s time to shift my focus, and for them it’s time to have a fresh set of eyes on their incredible music and shows.
So thank you to everyone who emailed me / texted me / tweeted me and helped me in this last year of me working on Ax and Seb. Beats campaigns, H&M campaigns, albums, singles, videos, festival headlines, show builds…all of the effort that went into the final year being something I’m so proud of. But it’s time to move on now. Its mutual and for anyone who wants a story beyond that, I wish you the best of luck making it up…