“Life isn’t just sun and beer and happiness”

Linus Lutti, a.k.a. Little Children, just released a new song from his upcoming EP. We met up with the musician, trained therapist and part time bartender to talk about self-awareness, crazy popular fan videos and not being able to write happy songs.

His new EP will be released on 2nd of June, but Linus Lutti has already revealed two of the songs on it, including today’s release We’re Falling – a track that was meant to be a happy pop song but ended up being about suicide. Radar met up with the artist who makes beautiful indie music that feels fit for both light-hearted rides on the highway and melancholic nights in.

Your upcoming EP is called Traveling Through Darkness, does that title say anything about the EP as a whole?
– Yes, I think so. I had a period in my life when a lot of people who are close to me were suffering both physically and mentally. But of course, the saying “After rain comes sunshine” is true, and that whole process ended up resulting in this EP.

I’ve always seen myself as this happy person making happy music and I thought I could write a happy song… but fuck no, I just couldn’t!

The title track features Titiyo. What’s the story behind that collab?
– We have a lot of friends in common and my partner has known her basically her whole life. Anyway I was listening to the song and realised that the lyrics were perfect for a duet, and I’m in love with that Kleerup song with Titiyo, so I thought it would be really great to have her in the song. I called her and she said yes so there’s no dramatic story behind it.

You’ve said that you set out to make a happy pop song when making your new single We’re Falling, but the lyrics ended up being about suicide. Do you feel that sort of signifies your music in a way?
– Yes, kind of. You know how you can have perceptions about yourself that just aren’t correct? I’ve always seen myself as this happy person making happy music and I thought I could write a happy song… but fuck no, I just couldn’t! As soon as it started sounding happy I just thought it sounded really bad and ended up throwing it away to start over.

Do you feel that can be applied to you whole musical identity, wanting to be near the darkness?
– I do, and I don’t know why… I think there has to exist an antithesis to the light, because life isn’t just sun and beer and happiness. There has to be contrast, just having the darkness isn’t interesting either.

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You’ve said that you’re bad at writing lyrics and that you find it boring…
– I think it’s hard, above all. I reflect a lot on the aspect of self-disclosure and can be like “God, people are going to understand what I mean” which makes me stressed. And I have a really low self-esteem when it comes to lyrics.

Does writing music have a therapeutic effect on you, since you cover a lot of dark subjects?
– Absolutely, it’s almost like it comes in periods, I walk around with a bad feeling and it itches in my whole body but from that comes the music. I always write a lot of music during the end of summer.

Because you’re depressed during that time of year?
– Haha no it’s not about being depressed it’s rather about feeling a distance to things, you think life is great but then you realise that everything can’t be amazing all the time. And that realisation sparks a creative process in me.

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You studied to become a therapist. Has that helped you at all in writing about difficult stuff?
– No, but I think it has helped me to get to know myself better. It’s a lot about why you do the things you do, and why you react the way you do… I’ve learned to interpret that in a new way, and I’ve also learned that it’s not all about me. That I’m not the centre of the world all the time hah.

That’s a good lesson. But you’ve left that line of work completely now?
– Yes, I’ve never worked as a therapist but I have my education. I don’t know why I don’t work as it, I think I’m just lazy, and I also have this thought that I need to work as little as possible in order to keep music as the biggest part of my life.

But you must have had work in mind when you started studying? Was music not as big part of your life then?
– I don’t think I had decided to stop playing but I was close to thirty, my girlfriend got pregnant and I thought I have to start adulthood. But I guess that never happened… haha. You always have this idea that it’s impossible to just have fun, or at least earning money while having fun.

How about your work as a bartender? Is that fun?
– No. It haven’t felt it being fun for ten years. Well, it’s not super boring but you know, I started working when I was fifteen and I’ve been in the same line of work since then.

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You’re planning to going on a tour in the States this fall. How are you feeling about that?
– I’ve been there a few times on tour, and I yearn to return.

Do you like being on stage? I read that you don’t like to be in the centre of attention?
– I both love and hate being the centre of attention so I have really mixed emotions about it. I think it’s super fun but I get really nervous. I start focusing on all the wrong things when I go up there, like “Oh no, I missed that chord!” instead of seeing the whole.

So how comfortable would you be if Little Children grew to become a really big and famous act?
– I don’t know really, it’s a good question. I aim to do this fulltime and so I would just have to deal with everything that comes with it. I don’t view it as a big problem really.

But being famous is nothing you aim for?
– No, not at all, I’m completely uninterested in that. The goal is always to get to make music and reach a lot of people. And to get to develop as an artist, try new things.

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You’ve had songs in several TV series, like Grey’s Anatomy and Bones, which is quite a big deal. How has that affected you career?
– I didn’t even realise at first that you got paid for it. I remember getting the first request and I was like “Ok… why?” and then they told me about the money. Besides that, it probably opened a few doors for me.

It must have given you more listeners?
– Yes, I did get more followers but that has more to do with the fact that the fans of these shows are crazy obsessed with them so they listen to all the music featured there. Which is great! I’ve also gotten fan videos with my songs, which is quite funny because they get like a million views and when I spend time and money to make a really cool video it gets like 200 views.

Photography by: Liam Warton.