Steny: Transcontinental Duo Discuss “Ghost Stories” and More

Swiss-South African Duo Steny recently dropped a melodic masterpiece called "Ghost Stories", out now via Karonga Records.

Blending their musical mastery from their homes in Switzerland and South Africa, Stefan and Michel have been releasing dance music as Steny since their first release in 2017. Garnering support from industry icons such as Lost Frequencies, EDX, Nora En Pure, Sultan & Shepard and Lucas & Steve, the duo charted on Spotify‘s Viral Top 50 Netherlands with “Hideaway“, and continue to gain attention with their distinct sound. Steny’s “Ghost Stories” marks their first release of 2021, and is destined to light up the soundwaves with its soul-stirring aura.

Hard-hitting, yet delicate, Steny’s latest creation is an intricate cut, which floats across a sublime sonic environment. Calling upon a haunting vocal piece, intertwined with reverberating synths and driving percussion, this mystical slice of melodic house is the perfect addition to their captivating back catalogue. Steny’s “Ghost Stories” is out now for stream and purchase via Karonga Records. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Steny as they discussed “Ghost Stories” and music plans and personal thoughts in the ongoing COVID-19 era.

Kenny Ngo: COVID-19 looks to be approaching its end soon. What are your thoughts on this whole pandemic?

Steny: A lot has definitely happened. The music and events industry has suffered a lot. Above all, we feel the connection to music lovers, but the pandemic has left something good, people will value freedom much more again. Our privilege to simply belong together and do what we want is a great gift.

The approaching end to COVID-19 also means that many music festivals are returning as well. Which music festivals are you guys planning to perform at this year and perhaps in 2022?

We will concentrate on smaller parties first, because these will be possible again earlier than big festival and the club feeling. The risk is definitely much smaller.

Changing topic to your latest track, “Ghost Stories”. How is it like balancing dark and light, yin and yang, when producing this vibrant track?

Well, we always try to think as a “customer”. As most of us started as young guys going to parties and enjoying the music, we still try to think or feel like that. We try to get that goosebumps feeling with emotions but at same time not getting bored and pushing forward by the beat/groove.

Were there any significant musical changes to “Ghost Stories” when you guys were producing the track?

We wanted to do a track that is more emotional this time. The last few productions were some club-focused tracks so we tried to stay on a more spheric side with Ghost Stories. We felt the vocals were made for that, so the direction of the track was already there.

Is there a background story behind “Ghost Stories”?

Well, not really. We just jammed around with some ideas and chords and then we found this mystic vocal which sounded like a “ghost” or a kind of prayer for us. Sometimes the story simply starts with finding a sample or a sound. That’s it.

You guys released “Ghost Stories” on Karonga Records. For the people who are not aware of the record label, how is like working with Karonga Records?

As an artist, it is always important to enjoy creative freedom and this is what we get from Karonga Records. We want to implement our ideas and we get this from the label. It’s a nice cooperation between us.

Are there any upcoming releases that we should look out for?

We were able to create a mix compilation from the label, which will be released on Friday and further productions are still in progress.

The Steny duo is from Switzerland and South Africa respectively. How are you guys able to work with one another given not only the vast distance between the two countries but also the current COVID-19 travel restrictions that have mainly been maintained for over the past year?

Having thousands of kilometers between us is very special, but it is also what makes us unique. Usually, producers sit together in the studio and work on new ideas and insights. But everything works a little differently with us. Thanks to the internet and visual technology, we can work in the same style almost – except that we are not working in the same arrangement. We are forced to exchange our ideas and then we roll the dice to decide who can make the final arrangements with all elements of the track….hahaha. Being in two different countries has never been in the way of our amazing production value.

For over this past year, what are the positives and negatives of producing music during this pandemic?

At the moment, we have more time to concentrate on producing. This allows us to focus more on developing our sound and it is bringing us more ideas as well. However, as we said, we really miss being in contact with all the music lovers out there.

When COVID-19 travel restrictions are getting more relaxed, which countries would you guys like to travel to the most?

We get a lot of attention from Spanish-speaking countries, so we would like to travel to Spain or South America. We hope it will be possible again soon.

Steny Ghost Stories
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Ken Ngo

Ken is a passionate sports and music fan with soccer being his #1 sport and European (particularly French and Dutch) house music being his #1 genre. His favorite producers are Martin Solveig, Sebastian Ingrosso, Madeon, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and Armin Van Buuren.

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