Sweden

Interview: Viktor Ahlgren

Viktor Ahlgren and I have been going back and forth for a couple of years now. He originally reached out to Music For Lunch for his duo collaboration, LACEI. Check out the interview we did here. Now, Vik is up to his ears in musical projects, just the way he likes it. Not only is he still writing music for LACEI, he’s also divulging in mixing, producing and engineering for his own solo work in addition to working with some prominent DJs and producers out there. We discuss all of this below!

 

MFL: Do you recall the moment in your life when you knew music would become a permanent part of it?

 

  • It’s hard to describe, but I’ve always felt a special calling to music. I’ve always felt that it has been a huge part of who I am. When I was younger, it was pretty obvious to my parents that music was extremely intriguing to me. For instance, at the age of four, I was dying to have a Beatles album. And at the age of nine, I cried so hard because my parents wouldn’t buy me a Britney Spears album haha!

 

MFL: You are from Sweden originally. Does culture influence your music today? If so, how?

 

  • I believe so. I listen to a lot of music from Sweden (both globally known Swedish artists as well as artists that are only famous in Sweden) and I’m definitely influenced by them. I also often find myself making dark, melancholic music. Maybe that’s because I’m from a place where its cold and dark for 8 months out of the year lol…

 

MFL: In addition to writing/recording music, I know you have gotten into producing and engineering. How is this kind of work different from just writing music if it is different at all?

 

  • It is a little bit different as it’s more focused on sound design, programming, mixing, etc. Instead of writing the song you are tweaking a song that’s already been finished (ie. changing sounds, mixing them, etc.). I have also engineered (recorded) other people’s sessions.

 

lexia Connor

PC: Alexia Connor

MFL: I know you have been working with some up and coming producers and DJs recently. Who are they and how did you connect with them?

 

  • I have been working with Grammy winning songwriter/producer DJ Dahi, Grammy nominated songwriter/producer Brian Alexander Morgan, and recently, I’ve been doing some music programming with the rapper King Mez.
  • I met Dahi in 2010. He was working at my school and my friend told me that he was a music producer. One day I decided to walk up to him during lunch and ask for some tips to get started with making music. At that time, he had not broken through the music business yet but I asked him to help me get started and he did. Ever since then, we have kept in contact. Once he started to gain success he asked me to work with him. He was the resident director at the school, so every time I got in trouble at the dorms I had to go and speak with him lol. I thought that was pretty funny.
  • I met Brian through Dahi. He was in a session with Dahi and saw the work I was doing. From there, he asked me to come and do the same work for him. His engineer had just moved away so the timing was perfect! I met King Mez through Brian. It’s crazy how one thing can lead to another… You never know who the person you meet will end up becoming.

 

 

MFL: What have you learned this far from these esteemed producers and how have you applied this knowledge to your current projects?

 

  • I learn so much every day, and I love it! Working with established artists and producers and watching how they work and think about music is so educating and inspiring. It can be all from how to program better drums, to how to build more interesting chords with unique voicings, etc. Everything I learn from the people I work with I try to incorporate into my own music making; lately I can see how it has improved me as a musician. Since the people I work for are songwriters and producers, they also work with a lot of well-known and talented artists. I get to meet some really cool people and gain inspiration from their work too.

 

MFL: I know you are also working on a solo project. Why did you decide to take on a project of your own and how do you plan to keep it unique from your collaboration, LACEI?

 

  • I think because I’m such a diverse music listener, I feel the urge to create different types of music. LACEI is my main focus which is more rock infused, but I also have other projects. Deeps is another project I’m working on with a friend of mine from Sweden which is more folk and soul infused. Vik Mikael is my solo project which showcases more of my songwriting and producing abilities, basically I’m gonna be making whatever music I feel like (no particular genre). Fourthly, I have also created music scores for tv and film as well as doing programming and sound designing for other people. All this music express facets of myself. They are all a part of me.

 

 

MFL: Do you have an opinion on music streaming and how it has changed the way people buy and listen to music?  

 

  • I believe that the idea of streaming music is great as it is more accessible and affordable for people to consume and discover. Playlists are great too. However, I do feel that the distribution of money to the artists are not yet fair, so they need to sort that out.

 

MFL: Finally, 2018 will be coming to a close before we know it, what are your major goals as a musician for 2019?

 

  • Release music! I have been working on so many different projects lately that I cannot wait to put out. It’s gonna be LACEI stuff, Deeps Stuff, my own solo stuff, and other artists stuff that I will be credited on. Let’s hope it will be a good year =) and hit me up if you want to collab! I love working with new people!!

 

You can follow all of Vik’s projects on Instagram: Vik Mikael, Deeps, LACEI.

 

Featured Image PC: Guthrie Melchiade

 

EP Review: “EP One” by Swedish duo, Newtimers

Newtimers is the work of Swedish duo Andreas Britton Cavaco (vocals) and Tim Lundblad (drums, production). The two have honed in on a kind a musical genre they can call their own. They merge elements of R & B, 80s synth pop and I have to say it, Michael Jackson. There is a subtly seductive sound to their debut EP, EP One, which was released June of 2016 on Cosmos Music.

The EP was written at a time of heartbreak for both Andreas and Tim but the guys didn’t want heartbreak to the theme. Despite the melancholic material, the EP is laced with an uplifting sense of power and the human broken heart’s ability to move forward. The opening cut, “The Best of Me” instantly sucked me in. It’s sexy and catchy without the over-production that comes with some mainstream music from the same vein. Andreas’ smooth vocals hover above melodies that hark back to 80’s and 90’s pop R & B. “The Best of Me” is about as amplified as the EP gets. Check out the music video:

 

 

Following is, “Flower on the Moon”, another velvety gem, perfectly produced. The moment the track begins, you can sense the lights going down. It’s the epitome of that subtle seductive sound I mentioned. The closing track is the single, “Perfect Ten”, which received a great deal of attention upon release for obvious reasons. The EP also features two remixes of “Best of Me”, one by the acclaimed Monsierur Adi and another by Sailor & I.

Since the release of their debut EP, they’ve released the new spunky single, “She’s a Gun.” Check it out:

 

Exquisite music video from Swedish duo, Flora Cash: “For Someone”

Flora Cash is the artistic collaboration of husband and wife Cole Randall and Shpresa Lleshaj. The couple met back in 2012, their lives becoming intertwined through their music. Fast forward to 2016 and they’re working on their newest mini LP titled, Can Summer Love Last Forever? 

Earlier this year they released their first single off of this upcoming record and not long after, an accompanying music video. “For Someone” is the kind of song that tugs at your heart strings in a way few songs can. There is an audible ache you can hear in the lyrics, underlying Cole and Shpresa’s flawless voices. This is only magnified in the gorgeous music video with stunning views and pops of color against a wintery back drop.

 

Be sure to keep up with Flora Cash and don’t miss their upcoming mini LP, Can Summer Love Last Forever? Find out more about Flora Cash on their website.

 

Debut EP from Stockholm singer-songwriter, Erik Fhager NOW!

I discovered Erik Fhager while poking around on Soundcloud. I stumbled upon this track:

I was instantly attracted to the gentle power and driving, marching percussion that serves as the backdrop for Erik Fhager’s soft but pitch perfect voice in “Every Oscar in the World.”

Erik Fhager is a solo singer-songwriter/guitarist based out of Stockholm, Sweden who has been collaborating with some of Sweden’s finest including Agnes and LÈON. Today, Erik Fhager released his debut EP titled Premiere. You can find the new EP on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud! With a hint of blues and folk, Erik Fhager’s thoughtful songwriting is sure to capture a large audience. About his songwriting, Fhager says:

“It was first when I met the producer Zebastian Swartz that I found a clear vision of the retro sound that we captured in these songs. In the music we constantly sought contrast; a never-ending swing between the joy and resigned brokenness of life.”

Sizzling song for a hot weekend: “Our Love Falls Out Of” by The Black Sun’s Darling

The Black Sun’s Darling is a trio out of Stockholm and Åre, Sweden composed of Julia (vocals), Sebastian (bass, organs, vocals) and Andreas (drums). Their music video for “Our Love Falls Out Of” is simple and to the point. The three of them are silhouetted through the entire video, the drummer never even takes a seat and that guitar lick makes the guitar literally sound like it’s melting, especially around 0:54.

With three tracks out, this trio is on a roll. Each of their track are unique which bodes well for their sound. I’m crossing my fingers for an EP or a full length soon!