Dag Krister Volle, better known as Denniz Pop, started out as a DJ at age 15, becoming one of the most successful and influential DJs in Sweden of his time. Before his sudden and tragic death in 1998, Denniz had not only grown into an accomplished producer and songwriter in his own right, but equally as important, he had helped launch the careers of fellow producers whose impact on popular music can still be felt today.
It all started in 1986, when Denniz teamed up with five other DJs in Stockholm to form SweMix Productions. The idea was simple: Create remixes of the latest chart hits catering to the nightclub scene. SweMix Records, a strictly dance-oriented label was born.
Denniz’ first commercial hit came in 1989 with Dr. Alban’s "Hello Afrika." It became a huge success in Europe and a breakthrough for Denniz and Dr. Alban alike. “It’s My Life,” the first single from Dr. Alban’s second album, was Denniz’ first European No.1.
At the same time Denniz had received a demo from an unknown band in Gothenburg, Sweden. The demo got jammed in the cassette player in his car so he was forced to listen to it repeatedly. One song got stuck in his head so he decided to produce it. The song was “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base. “All That She Wants” was the band’s breakthrough-single in Europe and later went on to become a huge success in the US. With Ace Of Base’s follow-up single, “The Sign” Denniz got his first US No.1.
In 1993 Denniz and Tom Talomaa started the production company Cheiron as they wanted to widen their musical horizon and work with other musical styles than just dance. Shortly after “The Sign” Denniz teamed up with Max Martin who he had met when he was making a remix of a song recorded by Max’s heavy-metal band It’s Alive. The remix was never released but Denniz was very impressed with Max’s musical skills and saw a lot of potential in him. Over the coming years the duo wrote and produced songs for artists such as: Backstreet Boys, Nsync, 3T, Rednex, Robyn, 5ive and many, many more. One of Denniz’s dreams was to work with Michael Jackson, a dream which he fulfilled on 3T’s “I Need You” where Mr. Jackson did the “featuring” vocals. Shortly before his death in 1998, Denniz, together with Max Martin shared a “Special Honor Award” at the Swedish Grammy for their outstanding contribution to Swedish popular music.
During the Cheiron era, Denniz also worked with and mentored fellow Cheiron producers, Kristian Lundin (on songs with Dr. Alban, Jessica Folcker, and others) and Jake Schulze (on songs with 5ive). Additionally, Cheiron was instrumental in launching the careers of world renowned producers and songwriters Rami Yacoub, Andreas Carlsson, David Kreuger, Per Magnusson and Jörgen Elofsson.
On many occasions Denniz was asked what his greatest success was and his reply was always, “To know that millions of feet are dancing to my music on a Friday night”.
On the 30th of August 1998 Denniz PoP tragically passed away after a short battle with cancer. The following Friday a silent minute was held in his honor by DJ’s all around Sweden. He was on the front page of every newspaper in Sweden and was mentioned in most newscasts around Europe. Crying fans gathered outside the Cheiron studio leaving flowers, letters, pictures and burning candles. He was missed by a whole world of music lovers and always will be.
In loving memory.