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Danish newcomer Alex Holtti’s voice contains both power and vulnerability. On his brilliant debut single ‘Bad Guy’, Holtti touches upon complicated relationships where non-exclusivity becomes mixed emotions and one part ends up as the bad guy. The lyrics and delivery of the message conveys honesty accompanied by a grandiose beat and production.
Of Danish-Tunisian descent, Elias Boussnina has just released his debut EP ’Shameboy’, which features contributions from UnoTheActivist and COLORS alum Lil Halima. The destructive impact of infatuation and addiction, whether to something or someone, is a reoccurring theme throughout ’Shameboy’. Elias’ hip-hop infused, soulful vocals are dropped over dramatic electro-synth beats which result in an irresistible brand of R&B that draws us in from the offset.
From the thriving area of Copenhagen called Nørrebro, you find a young woman named Selma Judith. Having worked with the likes of MØ, Vera and Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, the singer/songwriter has already drawn plenty of attention at home and abroad with her previously released singles “Kind of Lonely” and “I’m A Mess”. Her latest single “Inner Thigh” – which is aptly tattooed on the singer’s inner thigh – follows the same sonic path with its minimal, lo-fi R&B sounds carrying Judith’s enticing vocal lead.
Lillebittebock is a unique Danish artist breaking the conventions of hip-hop. With a breakthrough song about the suicide of his father when he was just 12 years old, the dark themes in the lyrics are accompanied by hyper-melodic, endorphin-filled beats. “Fortabt” (meaning “lost” in Danish), the rapper’s newest track, is a melancholy, emotive effort with a prominent guitar riff, describing the feeling of being caught in-between phases.
Danish trio CHINAH’s experimental R&B sound is delivered with artistic minimalism on their debut LP. Fine Glindvad, Simon Kjær and Simon Andersson originally formed in 2014 as a folk outfit before branching out and making waves with a number of dark synth-pop hits, drawing inspiration from off-kilter duo Smerz. Throughout the creative process behind “ANYONE”, lead singer Glindvad took the unorthodox approach of both writing and recording her vocals whilst fully horizontal on a sofa, capturing the natural fluidity and reflective intimacy that provides the essence of the album.
Danish synth-pop duo GENTS are uniting the retro energy of the 80’s with a forward-thinking approach to create emotional, futuristic music. The band consists of Theis Vesterløkke’s productions and Niels Fejrskov Juhl’s warm, deep vocals, combining to create a distinctive rich sound; their latest release ‘Moments’ serves up a pair of airy, Bowie-esque songs with a consistent melancholic tone, building anticipation for their next moves in 2019.
Danish band Barselona make smooth DIY-pop for every walk of teenage life. Rud Aslak and Rasmus Theodor met each other at an ‘efterskole’, a unique type of independent boarding school for young people between the age of 14 to 18, and together have risen to be one of the most promising duos in Danish music. Barselona’s tracks are characterised by slow-paced summery warmth, retro synth elements and vividly descriptive romantic storytelling about adventures in the sun. Their sophomore EP ‘Sommerkys’ (meaning ‘summer kiss’) adds extra layers of depth to their dream-like universe, with big things to come for the duo.
After an extended break from releasing music, Danish singer-songwriter Coco O. has returned to embark on a new two-track project. Previously known for her work with electronic outfit Quadron, her new solo singles “Bled For You” and “A Minor Detail” are united under the project title “Dolceaqua”, and thematically revolve around heartbreak. Featuring mellow, acoustic guitar accompanied by rich, cinematic strings, the songs are carried by her strong and sincere vocals; her lyrics are introspective and poetic, delivered over rhythms infused with the laid-back softness of Bossa Nova, a departure from her previous collaborative work with producer Robin Hannibal.
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Yangze is a fairly new name on the electronic scene, however the man behind the project, Copenhagen-based producer Jakob Littauer, has been an influential figure within the Danish scene in various different roles prior. A part of Copenhagen’s Escho collective which has released music from artists like Smerz and Iceage, he has also performed live with the likes of Liss & Soleima. As Yangze, Littauer draws on his electronic roots, incorporating pitched up vocals and melodic synths, giving his music an avant-garde feel that keeps the optimal balance between challenging the listener whilst still maintaining a very listenable strand of electro-pop.
Jada arrived on to the Danish music scene in January with her debut-single ‘Keep Cool’, giving a taste of her her personal brand of of honest, emotional wisdom. Her strong, confident vocals drive the carefully layered, minimalistic production that mixes elements of 00’s r&b with electronic nuances. Her style is sincere, presenting a refreshing break from classic templates, and has caught the eye of fans both within her home country and abroad.
Artigeardit is one of the most exciting young hip-hop acts in Denmark right now, blending old-school hip-hop elements with fresh flows and contemporary narratives to build a distinctly 2018 flavour. He released his debut album ‘VILDEDAGE’ (which translates as ‘WILD DAYS’) in May this year. The project expresses both the melancholy and joy of youth; the heartbreaks, the parties and the hangovers. ‘Værformig’ is a standout track from the project, capturing the essence of the album, incorporating lyrical, poetic elements to a introspective mood.
“Rosa” is a stunning single from Danish duo WIINSTON. It unfolds with all the moody atmosphere of a classic movie, with a blurry, strangely nostalgic feel and a gorgeously sleepy groove. Made up of a pair of longtime friends, producer Alfred Thomas and singer/songwriter Daniel Richards, most of WIINSTON’s music is recorded in Thomas’s tiny apartment. “Rosa” embodies their sound perfectly; a cinematic and nostalgic take on electronic R&B that stirs up intense emotion and captivates the listener with its memorable melody.
- The Norwegian creative comet Lil Halima makes alternative pop evoking melancholic feelings. The 19 year old popstar writes, produces and makes her own cover-art. Lil Halima ́s short videos of herself playing and singing on Instagram have attracted a significant following and led to her signing with Def Jam Norway last year. Her new single Train blends crunchy, electronic elements with a smooth soulful groove, adding an airy, easygoing pop-song to her catalogue before her debut EP drops in October this year.
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East London-based, Danish-born singer/producer and Wu-Tang collaborator Mont Jake 5-track EP2 fuses a diverse range of music cultures to create a fresh and original sound. On standout track ‘Come Closer’ the artist (born Jacob Hammershøj) collaborates with saxophonist Leland Whitty of Badbadnotgood and rapper Gene Fisher, showcasing Jake’s innate ability to absorb a broad range of influences and bring them into his sultry and soulful world. A triple-threat, Jake writes, produces and records his own music which has led him from his home in Copenhagen to sign with Island Records in the UK.
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19-year-old Danish artist K-phax released his latest single ‘Punk’ last Friday. K-Phax does everything himself – writing, singing and production – and uses his music as a medium to explore themes of being an outsider, trying to fit in and promoting a message of self-acceptance and being the best version of yourself. In 2016, he won the Danish competition ‘KarriereKanonen’ – Danish national radio DR P3’s music competition for upcoming artists, and has built on this momentum to push the frontiers of hip-hop in Scandinavia; combining elements of hip-hop with alternative rock, he’s one of a new wave of artists bringing a new sound to Denmark.