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When Galantis Met Dolly

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Swedish EDM conquerors, Galantis, are about to play a ‘virtual reality show’, a concert on their YouTube channel that will be broadcast for free to hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

“It’s the first time for us doing this, in about two hours time,” Christian Karlsson (who forms one half of the duo, alongside Linus Eklöw) says. “It’s a brand new thing for us, and it’s been a long time in the works. It’s exciting and people seem to be really up for it. It’s a way for us to reach out to a lot of people that couldn’t see us at a festival, or in a country we haven’t had a chance to play. We can see people are logged in and waiting for us to hit the stage!”

Galantis have launched a huge, dance festival-headlining career off the back of monstrous hits such as Runaway (U & I), racking up billions of streams. They’ve just dropped their third album, Church, that sees some massive collaborations with John Newman, One Republic…oh, and Dolly Parton.

“We’ve had amazing feedback,” Karlsson says. “We’re always nervous. Of course, you want your fans to like your music! But you also need to stay true to yourself. So working on something so heavily for two years and then releasing it, it’s a delicate thing!”

It’s interesting to hear the word ‘delicate’, considering both the fact that the music of Galantis is so earth-shuddering, and that their fans always immediately eat it up. But it’s a nice reminder that even the most successful artists know these things are never guaranteed.

As mentioned earlier, Galantis featured a certain singer-songwriter named Dolly Parton on Church. Not known best for recording top-lines for EDM bangers, I exclaim what a coup this is for the producer duo to have secured Parton’s services.

“It was just a crazy idea we had a long time ago,” Karlsson says. “We just wanted to see if she’d be into it! We didn’t even have a song, so whenever we came up with something, we’d be asking ourselves, ‘is this the one?’ And of course, Dolly Parton isn’t in the phone book [laughs], so it was a case of getting in touch with her. “But she was super into it!

"We spoke to her on the phone, and she immediately started bouncing off ideas, lyrics and melodies. Then she asked, ‘so shall I come to you? Or do you want to come to me?’ And we said ‘we’ll come to you, of course!’ [laughs] So we headed to Nashville, which was an amazing experience.”

I ask what the immediate feeling was when she said yes. “I was out of breath for a long time! I didn’t believe it until I was stood in the studio with her. She’s such an icon and legend. Her energy is unmatched.”