PHOTO CREDIT: @jonathanvivaaskise
I always love taking a trip outside of the United Kingdom…
so I can look at some great music from Norway. It might sound like a very specific location but the country, over the years, has provided me plenty of joy and inspiration. In this case, Skinny Days’ Dag Holtan-Hartwig and Halvor Folstad chat about their coming-together and the story behind the new song, The One That Got Away. The boys give me the skinny (sorry!) behind the Electro.-Pop anthem and what it was like conspiring with guest vocalist Emilie Adams. I ask them about Spotify and what success there means – they have clocked up over seven-hundred-thousand plays so far – and the idea behind The One That Got Away’s video – which features two ‘oddball’ lovers.
The duo has, in fact, throughout their career, amassed over eleven-million Spotify streams and must count among the most popular and consistent acts to feature on the site. I wonder how the guys’ future plans are looking and whether there are any albums that have been particularly important to them. They chat about the approaching summer and whether they will get a chance to chill; whether we can expect an E.P. soon and why we should never trust a “tanned producer”.
Hi guys, how are you? How have your weeks been?
Oslo has been surprisingly hot and sunny over the last few days. Nobody trusts a tanned producer, though, so we’ve tried not to venture out of the studio too much.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re two Norwegian dudes who met while studying in Liverpool.
For the last three years, we’ve been in Oslo; writing and producing songs for all sorts of artists and ourselves (Skinny Days). We’re signed to Sony ATV Scandinavia and Warner Music Norway.
The One That Got Away is your new single. What can you tell me about it?
It’s a Pop song where we try to capture what summer feels like to us.
It’s that lazy and happy but kinda melancholic-summer-nostalgia vibe – something like that, anyway.
It is tropical-tinged and anthemic. Was it quite important projecting something summery and kick-back?
Yeah, that’s kinda what we wanted to do. Like we said, this is summer nostalgia to us.
The video looks at the plight of two ‘oddball’ lovers. Whose concept was it and how important are music videos to you?
The girl who made the lyric video had the idea and sent it to us and we instantly thought the ‘oddball’ lovers were amazing and basically said: “MORE OF THOSE, PLEASE!”
Videos can really make a song ten times better, and although we have no idea how to make great videos, we’re sometimes blown away by how much better our songs get when they’re accompanied by a great video.
Emilie Adams lends her vocals to the song. How did you meet her and will you be working together again?
We wrote a song called Our City for TRXD and Emilie was brought in to sing on it. As soon as we started tracking vocals we knew we wanted her on one of our tracks – that smooth, velvety voice made us both fall in love instantly. With her voice, that is!
PHOTO CREDIT: @jonathanvivaaskise
Is there an E.P. arriving later this year at all?
Maybe; who knows, hehe.
Your songs have amassed millions of streams on Spotify. What advice would you give any artist looking to hit those high figures and find success on Spotify?
The music industry is becoming such a weird and amazing arena right now, partly because of Spotify. It’s impossible to know what songs are gonna catch fire, but when they do, it’s as if gasoline is being poured all over it (hehe; sweet analogy).
Essentially, songs with a unique sound or identity tend to survive the Spotify-universe.
Can you reveal how songs come together for Skinny Days? Will one of you bring in lyrics or do you sit down and write together?
We have absolutely no particular strategy for writing song and there’s certainly no given order as to what comes first. Anything can happen.
Usually, there’s melody, lyrics and production in a perfect chaos.
How did you two meet in the first place? Have you always been friends or was it quite a chance meeting?
We studied Music in Liverpool.
At the very Scandinavian hang out: Clas Ohlson.
Are there any tour dates coming in the future?
We’re gonna do a lot of writing this fall but then we’ll get out on the road again!
Summer is approaching and the weather is getting warmer. Do you get the chance to take a break from music and, if so, any plans for you two this year?
As we mentioned earlier: NEVER TRUST A TANNED PRODUCER.
But, yeah, we’re gonna go to Greece and Italy and (probably) can’t avoid the sun this year!
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Future Duper – rising up in the Future/Bass/Pop landscape!
Also total crush on Tove Styrke.
If you had to select the three albums that have meant the most to you; which would they be and why?
Kanye West – Late Registration
The skit about having to eat cereal with a fork – to save milk – is one of this album’s highlights. Combine funny skits with roses, and hey mama, you have yourself a masterpiece fueled by raw talent.
Audioslave – Audioslave
When Hal thought he was gonna become a Rock guitarist this was the soundtrack to a room full of posters.
Brett Dennen – Hope for the Hopeless
Incredible lyrics and a wonderful voice/concept. Masterpiece.
(Runner-up that has to be named):
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Work hard every day and have fun while doing it! That should be the easy part. The hard part is finishing things, but it’s hella important!
That’s when we started making money: the moment we realised we had to finish stuff.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Gold by LIOHN
Say My Name – Tove Styrke
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