As a kid Michael "Spicey" Björnlycke used to dream of Jamaica and becoming a toaster (rapper). Together with his childhood friend Dele (Swedish singer Kayo's smaller brother) he used to hang around at reggae clubs and together they played the tapes they had brought with them; at this time the clubs had no DJs. This was 1981 and they were both fifteen years old.
Today Mike is somewhat of an "all-rounder". He is a designer as well as a DJ and a fan-zine editor. He is running his very own club Spicey's Casino, he is a free lance journalist and he has been designing flyers for more than ten years. One might wonder:
How do you keep up with all of this?
- Well I don't work all that much, Mike says. I write one or two articles a month for the magazine Edge. Occasionally, I do some freelancing for other magazines. I play records every Saturday at my club Spicey's Casino and then I do some none payed jobs as for example with the guys at Bomben.
Mike is easy to talk with. I scribble as fast as I can down my notepad while Mike is talking. He talks and I'm trying to keep up. Then he leans forward to look into the notepad, throws an occassional glance at his girlfriend Emma who is sitting next to him and seems to be studying German grammar, then he continues telling me about his experience of creating flyers. It's not always the easiest thing to get payed after a job.
- It's not that they wouldn't pay, but it always took time and you didn't get anything without nagging.
Has it occured that you don't get payed at all?
- Yes, it happends.
And what about these customers. People still continue accepting their job offers?
Mike shruggs his shoulders.
- You forget.
After doing his military service Mike decided to apply for Beckmans, a school specialized in different graphical carriers.
- For three years we got to create in all types of mediums, Mike says happily. After the graduation in 1991 I went out to find a job, but it was hard to get a steady one.
Mike switched jobs. He worked at some advertising agencies. Had a summer job at Dynamo and continued making flyers for Swing-A-Ling, something he had started already in 1990, when he was still a student at Beckmans. He has continued with the freelancing ever since he graduated from Beckmans, but doesn't seem to be happy with it any more.
- I'd rather get a nine to five job, working at some advertising agency or at a magazine.
Is it hard to freelance?
- It's hard and bad paid. A steady job is better paid. The best for most freelancers would be if they could have agents who found the jobs, but this was illegal ten years ago.
In five years Mike sees himself with a steady job at a magazine or an advertising agency. On the question what he'd do if he'd got the chance to pick a job for one day he thinks for a long time.
- Headmster for a girl's school, Emma suggests.
- Yeah, or a gynecologists, Mike laughs.
- Or a subway driver. No, don't write that! I hate the subways.
Mike explains he can't use the subways because of something like a phobia. Finally he decides for replacing Fredrik Virtanen as the editor for the weekend magazine Puls.
- Not that there's anything wrong with Virtanen, Mike adds.
Mike is a guy who always seems too have something up his sleeve. A good example is the summer picnics. It was out door picnics to which everyone who liked was invited to bring their own food and tapes to play (no DJs).
So how did you get the idea for the summer picnics?
- Well, I just got an idea to make flyers for a picnic. It seemed like a good idea. You didn't need to make a reservation for a place to be and everybody brought their own food. For the first picnic a lot of people called and thought it was a concert. It was cold and rained almost everyday. But we had fun.
Will there be more picnics next summer?
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