The Family Affair on Stian Stu’s ‘Mutual Friends’ Beat Compilation (Interview)
Mutual Friends is a new aptly-titled beat compilation from Norwegian label Mutual Intentions. A mix of new and unreleased beats compiled by label co-founder Stian Stu, presenting beats by familiar faces and the label’s extended family.
(Cover photo: Ol’ Burger Beats (front) and Stian Stu (back) by Lisana Preteni)
Before we talk about beats: the artwork by Joe Prytherch is super nice! Does “Stu’s Corner Store” pictured on the cover represent an existing place?
To the well-trained eye, Stu’s Corner Store is pretty similar to our local favorite bar/bike-shop, Oslovelo. Where the release party coincidentally is gonna be on March 7th. When Joe asked me about the idea and theme, I said something like a coffee/record shop that would represent the feel of the record. But I didn’t expect to get what he sent back. The detailing in the artwork blew me away, and it also gives me a feeling of nostalgia as you have to sit with the artwork and actually study it really close to catch all the references. Man, let me tell you. Joe is on another level. Super talented!
Is there an inner-beatmaker in yourself?
[Laughs] Like many others I tried to make beats on Fruity Loops and various software. Then 9th Wonder went and won a Grammy with Fruity Loops and I understood that it was time to quit… But on the real: I’ve always admired artists and their ability to express themself through music. I wish I could do that as well. But I understood quickly that my fire and passion was more in the department of giving artists space and a platform to tell their story. Curation and A&R’ing with Mutual Intentions is my way of telling my story. I feel blessed to be able to work with musicians that make music I love and are a fan of.
“That was my intention. To go back to the roots a little bit and capture what brought a lot of us together: beats.“
The new compilation obviously features tracks from the extended family of the Mutual Intentions label. But apart from that, what were the requirements for your selection?
The requirement was to use Mutual and my extended pedigree to create a piece of music that feels cohesive, genuine and as a family affair. Every beatmaker/producer that has a track on this record is somebody I’ve been following and listened to for a while. And it feels good to get all of these people on a record together! The beat culture has always been something I keep dear to my musical heart. And these guys have been a major part of the culture and my playlists for the last years.
Do you feel like this compilation can also somewhat be used as a ‘time capsule’ to show the direction of Mutual Intentions?
Hmm… I feel like this compilation is more similar to what we released in the early years of Mutual Intentions. 2019 was a year filled with more house music from us. But with this record, Ivan Ave, Fredfades & SRAW and a lot of new signings’ records on the way, I feel this record is pretty accurate on capturing what Mutual Intentions’ DNA is and what made us come together. That was my intention. To go back to the roots a little bit and capture what brought a lot of us together: beats.
“I’ve heard horror stories about making compilations before. But this felt like a thanksgiving dinner compared to that.”
Who on the compilation do you consider to be actual friends?
Obviously I consider everybody on the record from Mutual Intentions to be really good friends: Fredfades, Yogisoul, SRAW, and Kristoffer Eikrem. These are people I spend a lot of time with in music, but also just in general on the daily and social occasions. I’ve known Fred since I was seven years old. And Yogi, SRAW, and Eikrem for about five to eight years now. Ol’ Burger Beats is also a friend I’ve spent a lot of time with; traveling, working on music and DJ’ing together. Jabar Ligla from Denmark is probably a new name for a lot of people, but he is one of the nicest people you will meet in Denmark. Peep his brand Pasteelo.
I just booked Jake Milliner to Oslo for the release party of the compilation, so I’m looking forward to getting to know him! I met ShunGu when traveling to Belgium for a gig he and Fred had together. Great guy! The rest of the guys I’ve just admired from afar. I got to say every contributor on this record were so easy to work with and exceptionally nice. I’ve heard horror stories about making compilations before. But this felt like a thanksgiving dinner compared to that. Great people all around!