Backstage With Usher And Swedish House Mafia At The 2010 American Music Awards

By Adam Stewart

One little tweet from Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello was the hint that something big was about to happen with them during Sunday night’s (November 21) American Music Awards.

“At the AMAs. Feel like crashing someone’s performance,” Angello blasted out to his over 55,000 Twitter followers just hours before millions of viewers saw and heard the Swedish House Mafia perform (many of them likely for the first time). During the live telecast, R&B superstar Usher welcomed dance music’s biggest star collective to the stage for a mash-up version of his summer smash “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love.” The powerful performance represented an exclamation point on what has been a banner year for the Scandinavian trio. MTV News spoke exclusively with Axwell about how this memorable moment came to fruition.

(Click here for more behind-the-scenes photos from Swedish House Mafia’s trip to the American Music Awards!)

“Usher asked us to do it, but we didn’t tell anyone because we were not sure how it would turn out,” he explained. “We thought maybe we’d DJ from backstage or something.” But as it turned out, Usher had much grander plans for house music’s hottest act. According to Axwell, Usher’s decision to ask the Swedes to come on board wasn’t made on a whim.

“He knew our music and our videos — he let us [give our] input into the show,” he said. “He just ran with the edit we handed in, which was amazing as this was his performance in the show.” This sort of collaboration was not uncharted territory for the Swedes, who in the past year have teamed up with Pharrell of N.E.R.D. and Tinie Tempah on “One (Your Name)” and “Miami 2 Ibiza” respectively. Both tracks were included in the Usher mash-up.

After the show, everyone had reason to celebrate, as it was also Angello’s 28th birthday. According to Axwell, thanks to Usher and his team, the after-party was massive — so massive in fact that when asked to share some of the details of how the night ended, he paused, and with a laugh replied, “We can’t tell you everything!”

(Click here for more behind-the-scenes photos from Swedish House Mafia’s trip to the American Music Awards!)