We have been following Asbjørn‘s career since the release of ‘Pseudo Visions’ in 2015. Now that he’s back in the game with new music and a forthcoming album on the horizon, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to have a little chat with him and talk about his future music, the masculine ideal in the music industry or his special relationship with the fans.
Hi Asbjørn! Thank you so much for answer our questions. Can you please introduce yourself to those you didn’t know you?
You got it. I’m a Danish wannabe-palaeontologist-and-superstar, but focused on the latter. I’ve always been too pop to be indie and too stubborn to be mainstream, but no matter what I am a bonafide pop geek, searching for that magic song between dancing and crying. With my forthcoming 3rd album I feel like I found myself within that shamelessness that defines true pop music for me.
At the time you released your second album ‘Pseudo Visions’, you mentioned in an interview that you were “trying to make brave pop music”. Do you think that you have reached that goal? And what does it mean “brave pop music” to you?
There’s no objective definition of what brave pop music is to me, apart from knowing that I am putting myself on the line. On my first two albums the production played a big part in that bravery, due to its experimental approach. With my new material, I felt like it was time to move the bravery to the songwriting, to try and be as self exposing as possible. Now it’s about being brutally honest in my lyrics, but wrapping it in something that sounds and feels like a warm hug.
You’re not afraid to show your feelings and vulnerabilities in your songs. How important is for an artist to use music as an instrument of self-exploration and self-understanding?
I’m not that interested in self-exploration or self-understanding. I’d rather explore the “we” and get to know myself as a reflection in others. I am not interesting in myself, I am only interesting because of how other people see me, react to me, and how I react to their understanding of me. The perception of identity as a core that you have to find alone has never resonated with me. I just wanna connect with people.
One of your best appeals as an artist is that you show people a more open and diverse ideal of a male pop singer. Do you think that the music industry still has a lot of prejudices about LGBTQI+ singers?
The female popstars have fought for decades for a free ideal, and they have come such a long way in terms of shaking off the stigma connected to sexuality and identity. Male popstars have a responsibility to create that broad range within the masculine ideal, to make sure this generation of boys don’t grow up as old-fashioned as we did. And yes, the music industry is definitely afraid of that, because it becomes harder to manufacture the “perfect popstar”.
In another interview a few years ago, you described yourself as a quite disciplined person and how that helped you to don’t lose yourself in a city like Berlin. Are you still that disciplined?
Yeah, I’m disciplined when I should be and then I lose my shit when I don’t have to be. It’s a constant balance between living as much as I can and then putting it into music that we can connect to. The two can’t exist alone.
Do you remember the first song you’ve ever written?
Yeah, it was so sad! My best friend through the first years of high school didn’t wanna be friends anymore, and it was just this very depressing but beautiful song about losing him and being reminded of him when the wind was blowing and the waves were crashing on the shores.
I really believe that dance is the way we express ourselves when our words are insufficient. How important is the dance for you?
It’s an inseparable part of making music for me. When I get stuck writing a song, I turn it the fuck up and dance my way to the rhythms in production and melody.
How would you describe your relationship with the fans?
A lot of them kind of end up in my music. My album title, ‘BOY PWR’, was inspired by all the messages I got from fans all over the world, telling me how they felt alienated from society, because they didn’t fit the ideal. A lot of them find some kind of acceptance in my songs, because I often sing about that. I can’t wait to tour in all of these countries and actually look the in the eyes and create a moment for us to melt together.
In February you released ‘Nothing 2 Lose’ the first taste from your upcoming third studio album, and now we have the opportunity to listen to ‘We & I’. How has been the reception of the new music by far?
It’s been completely overwhelming. I received over 300 messages after the release of ‘Nothing 2 Lose’, telling me how it related to their lives and that’s just incredibly touching. ‘We & I’ is under a week old and I feel like it connects even more. I didn’t release music for a couple of years now because I needed to figure out where I was going, but everyone has been waiting and are showing so much support. It’s pretty amazing.
A few weeks ago you mentioned on Instagram that you have more than 60 songs for your album. How is the selection going? Any release date on the horizon?
Haha, yeah – it’s been a productive couple of years and especially the last half year, since I found my direction completely. Of course it’s hard to make the final selection, but I am just going with my gut and which songs had that magical birth in the studio, or on a walk or in my livingroom. Can’t say anything about the album release yet, but there will be lots of music coming until!
There is nothing like being on the stage and having a connection with the audience. There are any tour plans for the future? Maybe a small promotional tour around Europe?
You bet. It’s in the works and I can’t wait. We just had our BOY PWR debut show in Denmark, kind of a homecoming concert, and will do a second homecoming show in Berlin on June 22nd. It has never felt better playing live, probably because the new songs are embodying me quite 1:1.
Your favourite album and singer?
Ouch, that’s a hard one. I think Lykke Li’s ‘Wounded Rhymes’ has been a pretty substantial influence, as well as Robyn’s ‘Body Talk’ but right now I am just so fascinated by Charli XCX and how she has reinvented pop music with the ‘Pop 2’ mixtape.
What’s your goal for the rest of 2018?
Start touring, finish the album!
And the last question. What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about you and your future music?
I hope you’re all gonna see yourselves in my stories about boyhood and support each other in being the type of boy or girl you wanna be. That’s the community I wanna create at least.