When CLMD hit the EDM scene, the now-popular genre was still trying to find its space and audience. With singles like “Black Eyes and Blue”, the artist brought fresh air and worked to build character for the music that would soon become the base of some of the most successful tracks today.
He’s had chart-topping singles, 6 x platinum sales, #1 radio and streaming placements to his name, the producer has also been recognised for touring with Steve Angello, performed with Calvin Harris and Avicii, and seen praise from the International DJ scene.
In an interview with CelebMix, he talked about his new single “Trouble”. Check out the complete interview below:
In the year 2014, Music Norway released an article that talked about Winter Music Conference and the rise of Norwegian artists on EDM scene. The article featured you as well. From being seen as the raw talent that has a budding potential to being a well followed artist, how do you see your journey so far?
I am very grateful for the way I got to establish myself. When I started out, music wasn’t as digitalised as it is now, and that was such an important factor in allowing me to grow and discover myself as an artist, becoming comfortable in my skin as an artist and keeping my feet on the ground. I don’t envy the artists of today who upload a song to the internet and ten days later play a stadium tour with 30 people on payroll, I think that for sure would cut my career short.
For someone who is still discovering your songs, how would you define your style?
I’d like to think my style is on the more house-y side of EDM. I usually say I’m a pop inspired house artist, not a house inspired pop artist. I love catchiness combined with a fundamental club vibe, and I pride myself on finding the very best vocals for my tracks.
In last few years, Norway has definitely proved to be the place that has helped in the emergence of the quality music and the variety of content. How do you see the musical landscape of Norway and what accordingly to you might be the reason behind such a positive trend?
The musical landscape in Norway is so diverse, and there are many artists in different genres that are doing well. I think the general freedom you have in Norway is a massive reason for this. We have a lot of free time and are encouraged to spend it on what we enjoy. Also, it’s very dark and melancholic most of the year, which is good for making music.
Earlier, EDM tracks used to introduce new singers to the audiences. The collaboration was a method of discovery. With the rise of the genre, the tables have turned and now, people discover new EDM artists. How do you think has the genre developed, following its popularity in the mainstream industry?
I definitely think that EDM today is not the same as EDM was when I started out. In hindsight, I would call “Black Eyes and Blue” an EDM track, but I wouldn’t at the time it came out, because the genre wasn’t even really established. I miss the early EDM days, where tracks were energetic and groove-driven. The current EDM does not appeal to me, mainly because I find it slow and sometimes a little simple. I remember people I used to work with trying to slow my music down and throw in a tropical drop, but that’s not me at all. I’m in this industry to make the music I like to make, not mimic the top 40 on Spotify. Besides, you can’t really rave to 100 bpm.
Considering that you have toured at a lot of places, which place has the most interactive audience? Which destinations do you aim to play at, in the near future?
My best memories with an audience is definitely the US and Brazil, they were very open minded about new music. I loved testing different things in my set when I played there, because the reaction would be instant and genuine. As for places I’d like to go, I’ve played way too little in the UK, so I would love to come back to Ministry of Sound. I’m also learning French at the moment, so a few gigs in France to help the language along would be great!
Even today, if we go on YouTube, “Black Eyes and Blue” is a still a sought after single. The vibe of the song is uplifting but at the same time, it’s fresh. How did you find this musical style and throughout the years, how do you perceive your evolution as an artist?
I think I’ve been very true to myself and my own musical vision from the start, and if you’re looking to build something that’ll last, I think that is very important. “Black Eyes and Blue” sort of just came along in the studio together with Ingrid Helene Haavik, who sings and wrote the lyrics, who is just so interesting to work with. We found a unique sound, and luckily we also found someone willing to release it. It’s interesting that you say it’s uplifting, because the lyrics is really a sad story about a relationship that’s ruined by domestic violence. But I like that particular paradox of the track.
What aspect of the creative process is your favourite? We would like to know a bit about your song creation process.
I have a daily routine, and go to the studio every morning at 10am. I think I start about 5-10 ideas every day, and obviously most of them never turn out to be anything. I’ve taught myself to move quickly on from something that doesn’t work. With that being said, I also tend to revisit old ideas often, which is great help on days that I feel uninspired. I also research topliners a lot, and love new interesting vocals. Inviting them to the studio and just throwing ideas around is something I do as often as I can, and usually this is where my best tracks originate. Old idea meets new talent is my golden recipe.
Please tell our readers a bit about your new song “Trouble”.
“Trouble” is the easiest and hardest track I’ve done. Easy, because of the great vibe we had in the studio, and we knew exactly where we wanted to take this idea. Hard, because we made it, loved it straight away, and you think that it shouldn’t be that easy? Maybe I was fooling myself, and nobody else would hear what I hear? I had to go a few rounds with myself before I actually showed it to anyone, but thankfully, the team loved it as much as me. I think I’ve explored some new musical territory in “Trouble” as well, playing with vocals and the build of the production, which makes it even more vulnerable for me to expose.
The music video for the song will soon be released. What can fans expect from the video?
One intense party. I love a great party, so for once I wanted the video to really reflect me as a person. In the video you’ll see me behind the decks, just doing what I love – controlling the music at a house party.
Would you like to share with us your future projects or endeavours?
I’ll be back in the red chair as a mentor on the Norwegian The Voice talent show, from January. I will also be touring a lot in the coming months, which I’m really excited about, having had a pause from the constant touring the last year. Hopefully, I’ll release my next track early next year, but having spent most of the last year in the studio I have so much material I could release a new one tomorrow. But people say I have to take one step at the time, so that’s what I’m trying to do.
What do you think about the single? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.