Take a look – you may recognise this man. Lasse Lokøy can, of course, be found behind the bass guitar in Norwegian pop-punks Sløtface. Away from that band, however, he’s carved out a little space for himself as a producer with a polyglot musical taste, bouncing between styles and genres ranging from indie-rock to bright, bouncy pop music, but all infused with hyperactive levels of energy and loaded with vibrant life.
January 22 will see the release of his debut album as Lokoy, Badminton, and ahead of that we’re featuring his recent single Relay, a collaboration with Nils Bech (collaboration is a feature of Lokoy‘s work – his songs’ guest slots feature some of Norway’s best and brightest new talents). Relay is another new adventure for Lokoy’s sound. He sculpts a mix of airy, feathery beats and traditional African percussion and brings it all together as a delicate, subtle pop song, with a kind of shuffling, light-footed rhythm and nervous energy that matches the anxiety in the lyrics. There’s a delicate balance as a producer, in having an unique stylistic signature, a sound that sounds like you, while also keeping things fresh and not repeating yourself. Relay fulfils that for Lokoy – a well-crafted song that doesn’t sound like anything he’s made before, but still sounds like him. Listen and check out a quick Q’n’A with him below.
So first up, tell us a little about Relay in your own words.
Relay is a figurative/allegorical narrative/story about the sense of insecurity I feel sometimes toward my own appearance. It’s made together with Mikael Paskalev and Nils Bech, both are quite big idols of mine, and I listened to them quite a lot in my late teen years, so this song is a big deal for me!
You’ve explored a lot of different genres in your own songs. Is that something you enjoy about the Lokoy project, that you haven’t really locked it or limited it into any one genre style or sound?
Yes definitely. I grow tired of things easily so being able to work within a wide creative space is important to me. And when I set up sessions for a week I always make sure that it’s a big variation of styles. For instance, I made ceramics with Norwegian artist Ali Gallefoss here the other day! I also love doing videos, and I’m working on a pretty exciting project which is coming soon.
Is the fact that a lot of songs are collaborations with guest vocalists something that contributes to that genre fluidity? That they all bring something of themselves into the song? And is that something you enjoy, having that constant new input into your music?
The short answer is, yes. At the same time I do feel like there’s something every Lokoy song has in common. It’s just less obvious.
How generally have you ended up working with your collaborators on this project, and how did you get in touch with Nils and how did the process of working on this song look?
Instagram has helped my career more than anything when it comes to collaborators. My collaborations with Nils, Safario and Marie (girl in red) all happened because I reached out to them through Instagram.
A lot of the songs we’ve heard so far have been high-energy and high-tempo, is that the plan for the entire record, or are you looking for more of a balance of tone and tempo across the album?
Yee, I’m a sucker for high tempo songs. It’s probably environmental damage after my seven years playing bass in a punk band. I always think high tempos and high energy come more naturally to me. My new year resolution is to make more slow songs.
Finally, with this collection of sparky, eclectic songs, are you looking forward to playing it live when that becomes, y’know, possible? And have you thought about how you’re going to structure your live shows to bring out the best of the songs?
Yes I do! And I’m currently putting a band together for live. Fingers crossed it will be possible to play shows this year!
Interested in the best new music, handpicked by your favourite music blog? Awesome! Because every Monday we’re updating the 50-track-strong Listen AHEAD Playlist on Spotify, adding ten strong songs by sill relatively unknown artists at its beginning. This week’s new picks also include fresh songs from Dolphins, Mei River, NewDad, Rats On Rafts and experimental artist Ai fen who we also introduced in a separate feature last week. Follow the playlist right here on Spotify and give these new talents a chance.