Lukas Graham Forchhammer features a backstory that’s practically designed for a music biopic. Raised in Copenhagen’s self-governing hippie commune Christiania, where marijuana is openly sold, the singer-songwriter studied classical music like a kid, smoked his first blunt at 12, and was fired up to American hip-hop. “I knew i was different,” says Forchhammer, now 27. “[But] when I first heard rap, I understood that somebody else was angry and afraid.”
You can hear that hip-hop impact on “7 Years,” the soul-pop single from his band, Lukas Graham. The track, and that is No. 2 in the time printing on Billboard’s Hot 100 and it has earned 277 million Spotify streams, was inspired by his unconventional and hard upbringing, marked from the 2012 death of his dad. “I just started singing, ‘Once I was seven yrs . old…’ when I heard the melody,” says Forchhammer, who wrote it which has a crew of his friends. “Like, eight people found themselves drinking wine and writing together all day.”
That communal vibe is perhaps all over his group’s self-titled debut (out now). EW recently swept up with the charismatic frontman to debate his unique childhood, touring the planet, and why success won’t change him.
“7 Years” is often a massive success. How do you pick which memories to share with you? There’s one from seven yrs . old, 11, after which future dreams from 30 and 60.
LUKAS GRAHAM FORCHHAMMER: Everyone was pitching in. People can be like, “What should you did this after you turned that?” After three hours we’d a 10-minute song [laughs]. But my pops died at 61. That’s why I sing, “Daddy got 61/ Remember life then your life gets to be a better one.” I just can’t see myself being old—it’s really f–king strange. The furthest I can see is me being 60. Check Lukas Graham 7 Years sheet music page.
Your father’s death is within a lot of other places around the album, like “You’re Not There” and “Funeral.”
Writing is quite cathartic for me personally. I discuss what happens inside my life—and my dad’s passing became a huge blow if you ask me. He was my biggest fan and biggest motivational force. He never pushed me into doing music, he just supported my choices. He was the supportive, cool dad and it’s really challenging to be a half-orphan.
‘7 Years’ Official Video
My mom could be the coolest mom, but she’s equally as proud of my two sisters as she’s of me. And a a part of me understands why a mom is equally like to show off all her children, but that young boy inside me just wants my mom to convey, aloud but even just in my experience, “I’m a bit prouder individuals.”
Rap was obviously a big influence to suit your needs early on, what attracted that you the genre?
In their early ’90s, my cousin afflicted me with a Snoop Dogg cassette tape and also the rawness in the lyrics were something new for me. I spent my childhood years in a neighborhood that didn’t have got police and was sort of rough. When I first heard rap, I understood a burglar else was angry and afraid.
There are communities around the planet that are never free, since they don’t own their particular bodies and there is really a system holding them down. That’s what actually transpired in Christiania. As a 10-year-old I would ought to stop and empty my school bag out on top of the street—[police] didn’t care I was only 10, they desired to patronize us to be from that neighborhood. So you have this fear that will become anger that gets frustration and also you can’t really express it. Rap music was this type of beautiful outlet.
What do you think may be the biggest lesson your upbringing afforded you?
The difference between kids inside our neighborhood and marginalized kids from the outside in the suburbs is the fact that I didn’t know we spent my youth poor until I was a mature. Christiania features a lot of strong, nuclear families. It gave us feeling of empowerment and belonging and richness. We had a great deal love; we had arrived never unsure that we had arrived wanted nowadays. What we realized, instead, is the fact that there are certain individuals who don’t want us these days, and everything you end up doing is saying, “F–k those guys.”
It may appear off as arrogance, but it’s given me the cabability to not offer a s–t. This feels weird to state, but I don’t provide a s–t about yourself or my lovely publicist. I spent my childhood years with nothing and I realize that I don’t need something to be happy. We were wearing second-hand clothing and eating leftovers and I was happy. Five-star hotels and pick-ups hasn’t changed that.
Something that isn’t within the new album is usually a traditional pop-love song.
Haven’t you heard “What Happened to Perfect?” [Laughs] I don’t know why but I don’t fancy writing love songs; I didn’t. And you don’t need another album brimming with them! Adele has three albums, there are lots!