(Original Photo By: FATUM Music)
In most cases the people in our lives, whether they are loved ones or supporting friends, want the best for us. They worry about our choices because they fear for our failures as if they’re their own, but sometimes this mindset can cloud their view of the big picture. Pursuing the arts or a creative career isn’t always the clearest path, but it still exists, and taking the risk to follow it is worth it if it is approached with the right attitude.
Bruce Karlsson, of FATUM has always wanted to achieve something in his life. While many kids spend their childhoods with fantastic dreams and hopes for the future, Bruce had more of an abstract passion for achievement. As a kid, Bruce’s mother had introduced him to everything she could think of to give him a well-rounded life experience. Some of the things he liked the most were acting, gaming, and architecture— in that order to be exact.
“My mom introduced me to everything possible, whether it was sports or— I was actually in acting for a really long time. I did pretty well there, but eventually I fell out of love with it because acting is extremely competitive. Sometimes it’s not really about how well you act, it’s more about your appearance that fits the role. So it wasn’t really for me, and at the time I was into gaming. Eventually I got pretty good at it so I started professional gaming. Then it dwindled out because people got greedy in that industry. Right at that time I decided to go back to school for architecture, and then I started to get into music.”
As many artists would say, the rest is history. Once Bruce started to dive deeper into music, things really began to take off. After the legendary Markus Schulz played one of Bruce’s earliest finished tracks on his radio show, Bruce started to really believe that this was more than just a dream or passion of his, and that there was an opportunity to make it his career.
Since then, Bruce always looks for the newest sound. As an artist working in two very different electronic music groups, there is always inspiration to be found and gathered from outside sources. To Bruce, the best thing to consult when trying to create is either the newest music or the deep underground sounds that don’t quite make it to every playlist or radio show.
Even with the success of both FATUM, there are moments when Bruce wonders what route his career would have taken had he forged his own path as a solo artist.
“I love being in a group because it takes away a lot of stresses on social media or even other production aspects. We all work together really well. It’s great, but at the same time it’s also pretty hard to make a living off of it until you’re at a certain point. But then again you’re working with your friends so it’s awesome. Who knows…at some point maybe I’ll work on some solo projects when I have more time.”
Time, of course, being the operative word. It can be extremely difficult for an artist to balance all of the passions, hopes, and future aspirations while staying in the moment and remaining focused on the projects he is responsible for within the group. That being said, knowing the difference between when you should keep going and when it’s okay to walk away is a valuable lesson to learn. For Bruce, that learning experience had the best possible outcome.
“There is definitely a fear of being pigeonholed in this industry. That’s why I actually left my old group. I really wanted to branch out and try different things, and sign off different types of music. I of course understand that our management had a set view on how we should have stayed on one route. It’s totally respectable because they don’t want to hurt their brand and they don’t want us to hurt our brand either. But at the same time I was falling out of love with it because I was doing the same thing over and over. I couldn’t even spend time working on something else because people would ask me why am I wasting my time? Well… I need to learn. I think it was a good surprise to everybody when I totally left the scene and went faceless for about two years. Then I ended up on Mad Decent and people were like, ‘Wow you really did it, you actually came back.’”
When hard work pays off, there is no better feeling. The hard work, however, is not without its hardships and obstacles. Working in a group with your closest friends can be great, but also strain relationships. Finding the balance and boundaries within the group is important, and Bruce has managed to do so in both groups— a feat that not many are able to accomplish.
“If anybody is going to jump into business with friends, make sure you’re in the same mindset and headspace. Sometimes we argue, but it’s not in the sense that we’re bashing each other, we just have our own opinions. People just need to go into business with friends knowing the direction you all want to move in—and you have to stick to that, otherwise you’re going to have all this tension building and building. Sometimes it can hurt friendships, but we know how to work through it and that’s the best— to be able to take a step back and move past it.”
However, music is certainly not the final chapter for Bruce Karlsson. As he described his childhood dreams, there was a passion for achievement in general. Whether he chose music, acting, gaming, or anything else, his passion has revolved around the journey of building and creating something in itself, more than anything else.
“Music is not my end game. I love music, but I think that I will start seeing a better vision of where I want to go when I can financially do it. If either of these groups really takes off and we start to see a huge income, then I can start to invest in more things that I want to do after music. I really respect Elon Musk and what he does. That’s the sort of thing I want to be a part of. I want to help revolutionize something. I know people think it’s crazy, but I really don’t care if I make a profit off of it. If I can still do something like that without losing money then that’s totally fine. I just want to help the world be a little bit better of a place.”
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