Danish pop artist Gustaf has just released his second single 'Young Love', following his debut 'lose u.' back in May.
We had a chat with Gustaf as part of our Introducing series where we talked about the new single and much more...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"Hello The Lowdown! I’m Gustaf and I’m a 27 year old alt-pop artist from Denmark. I have a
bachelor degree in theology, but quit a year ago to pursue a career in music. Oh, and I love
When did you first develop an interest in making music?
"I remember when I was around 9 years old my brother taught me 'Hold The Line' by ToTo, and that was the first song I ever learned to play on the piano. From there until I was 19 I would mostly just play covers. For a long time that was kinda it. Then I started writing small pieces on a loop pedal. I really wanted to be a singer/songwriter or a folk musician. It wasn’t until 2017 when a friend of mine showed me a song by LANY, and it changed my world! I immediately sold my loop pedal and bought a midi keyboard, some music software and started making pop music. I still haven’t taken any music lessons yet, which also means that I barely know any chords or scales! I remember a teacher of mine from High School told me that I should never take any piano lessons cause I would be, quote: “musically destroyed”. Which I held onto. I would love to take piano and guitar lessons though, but it definitely gave me a lot of freedom to explore instruments in my own way and I think it kept me interested in making music."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about it?
"I grew up in the countryside in a very small village. My favourite thing from my childhood was
being able to explore, dream, having tons of different hobbies and just be a kid. For me school
was kinda a social activity more than it was about studying and learning - and I’m just realizing
that was the same approach I had to music, and probably everything else. It wasn’t about learning or cramming piano scales, I just loved playing piano and guitar... I miss that. It’s just hard work at the moment."
Do you feel as though your surroundings have inspired your sound in any way?
Very much so! I grew up with a family of super talented musicians. Everyone played an instrument or sang. On one side I was influenced by my dad and my brother, who listened to U2, Tears for Fears, ToTo, Genesis, Supertramp etc. and on the other hand my two older sisters who listened to the big divas like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Alicia Keys etc. Fun fact, the orange poster in the background on the single cover is actually my dad’s band from when he was my age."
Who are your biggest inspirations?
"ToTo, John Mayer, The 1975 and LANY."
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
"Probably LANY or The 1975. I also have a dream about writing a song with Kenny Loggins."
What would be your dream venue to play?
"I actually don’t have a specific dream venue. But I do have a dream about me and my band renting a van and touring around the UK or some place in the US."
You’ve just released your new single ‘Young Love’! How have you found trying to be creative
during the pandemic?
"Yes I diiid! Denmark shut down from December till April. I quit studying theology last summer, so I had nothing else to do other than making music, since I didn’t have a job and no homework from UNI and therefore no real responsibilities. Which meant I had no input and I didn’t feel that I had any inspiration. I was very close to losing my mind! On top of that I poured coffee over my laptop twice and lost a bunch of projects that I had to recreate. Most nights I couldn’t fall asleep cause I knew when I woke up nothing exciting was going to happen the next day. So to be honest I didn’t find a way to be creative during the pandemic. I just kept pushing through the hard days."
Tell us a little about the track!
"As mentioned before I had a hard time being creative and finding any inspiration during the
pandemic. So this track actually started with a friend of mine who challenged me to write a song
in 5 hours, because we had to meet up in his studio later that day, and that’s how Young Love
was born. Usually if I don’t have an idea for what I want to sing I just start scatting and mumbling
random words and suddenly I sang something that sounded like “Young love we dreamt it big,
was not enough” and I immediately knew what the song was about! 5 hours later I had the first
demo for 'Young Love'! This song is NOT a love song, or a “I miss you, while sobbing and watching the Notebook 10 times” but an anthem for dealing with a break-up saying “F*** You”."
Do you have a favourite lyric in particular?
“So sorry I loved you first, I’m good, still it kinda hurts”. It needs to be understood in relation to the rest of the song. There’s somewhat a hint of sarcasm hidden in the places where I sing “sorry” throughout the whole song. But I think most people can recall the uniqueness of one’s first love - but in this case it’s mostly like: it’s not my fault that I was your first love, and by the way... you broke up with me”."
What’s coming next for you?
"There is a major label from LA that reached out to me and showed interest in my music and they really dig 'Young Love', but nothing is for certain. I would love to be signed, but for now I’m just focusing on my next single, my EP and an album. I’m trying to plan a year ahead. And then me and my band have to rehearse so we can play live shows - hopefully in the near future!"
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