A rising star within the Swedish house scene, twenty-one-year-old Lucas Nord has already made an impression with a string of successful singles and remixes. This week he releases his debut album Islands, and we met him to learn more.
Growing up in a family of musicians, Lucas Nord literally has music flowing through his blood.
– The music has always been there, Lucas says. I grew up with it. My whole family is very musical, and on my mother’s side they’ve all been working as musicians; my mum, my aunt, my granddad. It wasn’t really an option for me. Naturally I’ve had other interests as well, but music has always been my main focus.
Beginning his musical path as a drummer, Lucas found his way to house music in his late teens, attending the music school Rytmus in Stockholm.
– I did this whole play in a band thing when I was younger, playing indie pop and rock and such. But in school I had some friends who spent all their time in the studio, making house music, and eventually I joined them. And as I had mostly been working with pop music before, it became some kind mix of those two genres.
Last year Lucas Nord made his debut with the single Let Us Stay Young, featuring vocals from his friends in Swedish indie pop band Urban Cone. Followed by a string of successful singles, including collaborations with fellow rising star Tove Lo and well-known DJ and producer John Dahlbäck, as well as remixes of Adrian Lux, Loreen, Fibes Oh Fibes and others, Lucas was quickly proclaimed the new Swedish house star.
It has this feeling of ’us against the world’ and ’no man is an island’
This week Lucas Nord releases his debut album Islands, featuring contributions from Tove Lo, Urban Cone, Melo from Hoffmaestro, Emil Héro, and Colleagues. Seamlessly blending dark and dramatic soundscapes with taut compositions and hooky beats, Lucas reinterprets the characteristic Swedish melancholy with a bright and youthful edge.
– When I first began to release singles I didn’t really have an album in mind, Lucas says. It wasn’t until this winter that I realised I had a whole bunch of songs that worked well together, and where not all songs were obvious singles. It simply began to sound like an album, so when I finally decided to make it an album it was quite easily done. I could also let go of the idea of always making hits, which in the end was rather tiring.
– It’s a great relief to finally be able to drop the album, but I must say I’m a bit nervous. I’ve spent a lot of time on these songs, and I hope it will be well received. I think it deserves it, Lucas says laughing.
How did you come up with the title Islands?
– It’s a name I’d had in mind for quite a while, but just as a title for a song. One day when I was in the studio with Emil and Rasmus from Urban Cone, we wrote a song that we decided to call Islands. It has this feeling of ’us against the world’ and ’no man is an island’, a feeling that I believe characterises the whole album, so I found the name suitable. It reflects the fact that I haven’t done this on my own, but together with friends and others.
You’ve been named the heir of Swedish house giants such as Avicii and Swedish House Mafia. How does it feel to be included in this wave of commercial Swedish house music?
– Well, I don’t mind. Just the fact that you’re from Sweden and makes house music makes people interested. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of music out there that sounds pretty much the same, so you want to distinguish yourself in some way.
How do you do that?
– I don’t listen that much to commercial house myself, that’s not my thing. I mostly listen to hip hop, indie pop, indie rock, a lot of French music. I try to take in influences from everything, and then mix it all together to find a sound of my own.
So what happens next?
– The moment I was done with this album, I began thinking about the next one, and now we’ve started working with it. This was the first time I worked with the album format, but I liked it a lot. Then I also have a few projects where I work as a producer.
– At the moment I’m also working on a live set for future shows. I want to step away from the mere DJ-sets and use live instruments and singers. Even if it the DJ-sets can be super fun, they can also be somewhat uninspiring, and I want to push forward.
– I also hope to be able to tour abroad, and try my wings somewhere else.
Listen to Lucas Nord’s debut album Islands here.