Spot Festival

Asbjørn: “I sing about every man I have loved”

Danish Asbjørn is breaking through the German pop industry. In is recent release Pseudo Visions his aim was writing love songs with the aim reach anyone, regardless of sexuality.

By Gabriele Dellisanti, Jutland Station

With a mix of melancholic Nordic sounds and synthetic pop beats, the 22-year-old Asbjørn is starting to become noticed outside his home country. The Dane who grew up in Aarhus recently moved to Berlin, where he has his biggest fan base. When asked if he was bigger in Germany than in Denmark he replied: “Oh yes, definitely.”

Although he produced both of his records in Aarhus, moving to Berlin was a way to challenge himself and inspire future music. After releasing his first single The Criminal in 2012, he started touring Germany and was selling out gigs in the country very quickly.

“Berlin is great because I do not have a clue of how anything works” he said.

“I meet people and build music collaborations with who I click with. It’s important when you make music that you do it with people you like and love.”

First song written at the age of 11
Asbjørn wrote his first pop song at the age of 11. The first channel for his music production, both in terms of lyrics and melody, was what the artist described as “a way to get through stuff.” This song was written after his best friend in 5th grade “broke up with him” and had no intention of playing with him anymore, which is what Asbjørn recalls as his first big heart ache.

Not surprisingly, love plays a big part in music and so does his sexuality. His single “The Love I have in You” being his favourite track, took him only 15 minutes to write. He describes it as the first song where he puts gender on love.

“I specifically sing about every man I have ever loved.”

The artist, however, has no intention of relying on his sexuality to promote music. Being gay was never an issue for him, and he never encountered problems coming to terms or expressing it openly. Therefore, Asbjørn believes that there is no reason why his music should be targeted to specific audiences, because, as he says, love is universal regardless of sexuality.

“It’s the same as writing a song about a relationship between a man and a woman.”

Music as honest as possible
The singer does not specifically want to become a role model for gay men and women either, but focuses on making his music as honest as possible.

He told us how he received many positive reactions when his song “The Love I have in You” was released, together with the music video for it which features the singer and another man in a love story. He received messages from both gay young men and women who were encouraged to “come out of the closet,” and more surprisingly a message from a guy who had finally decided to ask a girl out on a date.

“A universal love song” says Asbjørn: “that is what I want to produce and what I want to write.”

Last week, the artist performed one of his gigs in Horsens. When on stage, the artist does not only sing but energetically dances to the heavy beats of his music. He explains how dancing plays a massive role in shaping and inspiring beats and song lyrics.

“There is nothing like being on the stage and having connection and self exposure with the audience,” he says.

His biggest aim while performing is to let go of himself and erase all boundaries with the audience. During the gig, he would constantly encourage the audience to “let go of their bodies.”

He emphasizes how the energy he gets when touring and performing strongly affects his music and production.

“A lot of what I did with the new album was influenced by visually working with the videos, meeting the audience and dancing to my music.”

While the first album Sunken Ships, released in 2012, was more melancholic and introvert, the new release Pseudo Visions (currently only available in Scandinavia) includes what the artist described as “more clubby and outgoing” tunes.

Asbjørn will be performing songs from both his albums Sunken Ships and Pseudo Visions at the SPOT Festival in Aarhus on Friday at Radar, an opportunity for him to share his music in his hometown once again.

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Gabriele Dellisanti is an Italian journalist currently based in Aarhus, and is a contributor at Jutland Station.


(Photo:  Gabriele Dellisanti)