A couple of months back I was contacted by Swedish hit song writer Andreas Stone Johansson about his piano music (you can read the spotted post here). I was a bit starstruck, but as it showed; I didn’t have to be. Andreas is a really nice guy, and we’ve been keeping in touch ever since! Hence it became kind of natural to do a Behind the piano post about him and his music; both the piano music and the hit music.
How did you come up with your artist name?
My middle name is Sten (Which is Stone in Swedish), plus my dad’s name is Sten, so it’s also kind of a tribute. Pietra means Stone in Italian.
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I’m from Malmö, Sweden, where I’m also currently living. I grew up in Arlöv, a suburb to Malmö.
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started playing the Piano when I was around 5-6. I sing too and play the guitar. I also play most other instruments a bit too, hahaha…
Tell us about how you started playing music.
It’s always been in my life, mind and around me. An addiction I suppose! A good one most of the time, haha..
How long have you been making piano music?
I actually started writing (If you can call it writing at such a young age) when I started playing the Piano. But the will/ambition to come up with melodies yourself. To be creative and driven by your imagination.
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I do remember when I was about 6 or so, and I heard ”The Final Countdown” on radio and realized how much I loved music. From that moment I wanted to make my own songs.
How long have you been able to make a living out of making music?
I dropped my work as a Teacher (Music ”Piano/Vocals” / English / Art) around 2008 and have been living of my music ever since.
Do you remember your first song that became a hit?
I don’t exactly know if it became a hit, but it was the opening song for Jakob Sveistrup’s debut album right after he participated in Eurovision for Denmark with his song ”Tänker På Dig”. My song was entitled ”Forever And A Day” and the album did actually sell gold in Denmark. That was a big moment for me.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
There are so many talented ones, but I can mention a few I really appreciate. Aaron Zigman, Chopin, Keith Jarret, J.S. Bach, Michael Nyman, James Horner, Hanz Zimmer, etc.
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano?
It used to be Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin, back when I practiced a lot and knew how to play it, hahaha..
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
All !!!! Study / Learn music by all means, there are tons and tons of information / knowledge that is useful. Then remember that there are no rules in music, only heart! What comes from the heart reaches the heart.
How do you record your music?
All by myself usually. Nowadays my studio is a little bigger and a little more fancy, but it always used to be just a small room. Whatever that gives you inspiration.
Whats your take on sampled instruments?
I use it a lot. You have to remember that music has to be played/felt at some point of the creation. If you use a sampled Cello, you still ”Play” it on a keyboard and thus has to be able to play the Piano and also listen and respect the authenticity of the Cello. As much as I wish I knew how to play every instrument, I don’t. If I could I’d have tons of musicians in the studio all the time. But 99% of the time I end up playing everything myself. The piano and sampled instruments are very useful this way.
Anything else you want to share?
Always remember, You are what you love, not what loves you! That said, you are everything you love about music, life, etc, not necessarily what people love about you! Be your own dreams.
The last question is asked by my 5 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
It comes from everywhere around us. We see it, grasp it, borrow it for a while. We put our heart into that moment, try to seize it, so it won’t disappear. Until the next time we get a chance to capture it.