It’s just a matter of weeks since Lukas Graham released their self-titled UK debut album, featuring the tracks 7 Years and Mama Said.
It’s an album filled with honesty stories drawn from Lukas’s own life with the focus centred largely on remembering his father, as Lukas turned to his writing as a means to cope with and understand the loss of such a pivotal figure in his life. The result is an album filled with emotion, powered by Lukas’ soulful vocals and pop melodies but with his engaging and heartfelt lyrics always at the core.
It was a relationship which featured heavily in the single 7 Years, in which he emotionally drew parallels between his own experiences at different times in his life and those of his father, discussing his life to date and hopes for the future.
“I couldn’t go any further than 60 because my father died at 61,” he explains. “I need to pass it to believe it. It’s a song about growing older. I’m also coming to a realisation that being a father is the most important thing. My biggest dream is not to be some negative old dude, but to have my kids’ friends say, ‘You’re going to visit your dad? Say hi! He’s awesome.’ I had a perfect father.”
Lukas Graham hails from Christiania, an autonomous, creatively-focused community in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. There are no cars, streetlights, or police. A personal toilet and running water were considered luxuries in the early nineties. Dogs roam the cobblestone streets without leashes, and plumes of smoke billow out of the windows. However, people are happy, and they help each other out. Christiania is why Graham makes the music that he does. It’s why he is who he is.
Raised on a soundtrack of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Gregory Isaacs, James Brown, Al Green and The Prodigy, and particularly inspired by Dr. Dre and Irish folk music from his father’s roots, Graham describes his music as “Folk music and classical mixed with soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and rap… We get down and dirty, and we talk about all the little things.”
After spending six months in Buenos Aires to clear his head and get away from the darker side of his hometown, Lukas brought that sound back to Christiania in 2010 where he joined forces with his writing team Future Animals. Writing lyrics first and telling stories, the style felt alive. It defined his 2012 self-titled first full-length album, which would go quadruple-platinum in Denmark and yield three smash hit singles Drunk In The Morning and Better Than Yourself (which both hit the number 1 spot) and Ordinary Things, which peaked at #2.
That translated to the rest of Europe, with success in Germany, Norway and Sweden soon following. Also known for a phenomenal live show, he’d go on to play countless sold out shows and earn festival main stage spots alongside his “boys” in the band – Mark “Lovestick” Falgren, Magnús “Magnúm” Larsson and Kasper Daugaard – becoming the most popular live act in Denmark.
Lukas Graham perform at Manchester’s Gorilla on 24 May. Support comes from Grace.