Wasted Penguinz is settled as solo act after bandmate quit the group

Dreamhack Winter 2023 took place, once again, in Jönköping, Sweden, earlier this year.

Between energy drink brand Monster holding Call of Duty tournaments, DOOM-playing lawnmowers, and a seriously impressive light show, there was a lot of musical entertainment, as well.

Swedish DJ, Wasted Penguinz, played the annual festival on the first night, hitting the stage in the dead of night to a sold-out show with more than 45,000 attendees.

Speaking just hours after playing at Dreamhack Winter 2023, Wasted Penguinz (real name Pontuz Bergman), explained why the event is such a cultural touchstone for the gaming community, Sweden, and music producers alike.

“I think the vibes and the energy and the people are connected in one place,” Penguinz said. “Basically, they share the same penchant, and that’s maybe also for computers and everything. And what comes with it.”


Penguinz described Dreamhack’s community as a “family” while adding that, as a gig, it is a powerful opportunity for him.

And it’s easy to see why. With tens of thousands of attendees and record-breaking attendance figures across the weekend, Wasted Penguinz brought his art to a huge audience that could only be matched at international festivals. He also managed to get his rider without question (“I have quite the rider. I had a cheese plate, with champagne and stuff like that. Sandwiches. Beers. Coke, Coke Zero. Yeah. Basically everything you can think of.”)

While Wasted Penguinz gives off the vibe that he works as hard as he plays, he has endured some massive changes over the past few years.

Wasted Penguinz was a DJ duo when it started back in 2008, but in 2020, Pontuz’s bandmate, Jon, resigned from the group, citing mental health issues. As a result, Pontuz has been working alone ever since.

After working as a solo artist for almost three years, does he feel settled now? “I mean, yes and no,” he confessed. “Because you don’t have that extra person to, you know, share ideas [with] and everything. That’s a minus when it comes to that, but I think I’m doing pretty well with being solo now.” 

With that said, he added: “But of course, yeah, you don’t have that second person to balance ideas, or something like that, with.

“So when it comes to production, as well, I mean, you had two different brains working at the same time. So now I’m just like, in my own bubble, if you know what I mean.” 

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Penguinz also struggled with the notion of his friend abandoning him. “When [Jon] first left Penguinz,” he looked back. “I didn’t speak to him for quite some years. Because, yeah… The mood wasn’t there.”

You can’t keep a good friendship down, though. He went on: “And slowly, last year, we started talking again, and we see each other, we had dinner. And now, to this day, I’m speaking to him every day, basically. So that’s really good.”

Thankfully, friendship aside, Penguinz loves working with other producers, creating soundscapes in a team, and building the Penguinz brand.

What’s next though – perhaps a new album? “An album is not on the list these days,” Penguinz admitted. “Because I’m trying to prioritise single releases. So I have a full schedule with releases coming up.”

Dreamhack will return in 2024.

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