Perhaps the most refreshing thing about Lukas Graham is their refusal to water down or modify their image in order to fit a certain stereotype. You may have come across our favourite frontman Forchhammer’s outspoken comments on Taylor Swift and Adele, in which he voices his disinterest to write customary love songs or cater to other people’s demands. In the same way, the band wouldn’t have been the four-piece we know and love today if it had not been for Forhhammer’s determination to remain loyal to his bandmates. He admits that ‘“Loyalty [has become] my biggest force and my biggest enemy since things took off for us.”’ (Officialcharts.com, 2016) The music industry is not an easy place to stay true to yourself and many longstanding artists admit to having sold their soul to the devil for the price of everlasting fame. From changing your image, to your sound, to ultimately your own identity — stars’ roots are often unrecognisable once they hit the “big time”; but Lukas Graham are adamant that they will remain true to themselves and to their fans.
For them, fame and money was never their driving force and despite their explosion onto the top of the charts in 8 different countries already this year, the band have not let success sully them. What you may not know is that Lukas Graham were together for five years before ‘7 Years’ took over the world, yet their newfound international acclaim was not achieved by veering from their authenticity. Undeterred by their initial failure in the UK, Lukas Graham continued making music that reflected their truth and personal experiences until their voices were heard.
Forchhammer’s reticence to conform to the industry mold leads back to the tight-knit, free-spirited way of living embedded in him by his hometown of Christiania. Growing up in a neighbourhood considered to be an autonomous “freetown” — somewhat of a social experiment, with its own currency and which even flies its own flag — has meant that he does not strive for artificial fame or the extravagant Hollywood lifestyle like most in the industry. Inspiration for Forchhamer’s lyrics — including, of course, the platinum hit ‘7
Years’ — stems predominantly from the dark side of his childhood and local community; so for him, being based in the Hollywood Hills and mingling with reality stars is not an option. His wish is to stay in Copenhagen, and remain ‘“close to where the magic happens”’ (PEOPLE.com, 2016), which we — needless to say — are very glad about.
Right down to refusing to be styled for photo-shoots in clothes other than his own, Forchhammer is more than content with the simple things in life: ‘“I grew up with nothing and I know that I don’t need anything to be happy. We were wearing second-hand clothing and eating leftovers and I was so happy. Five-star hotels and private pick-ups hasn’t changed that.”’ (Entertainment Weekly’s EW.com, 2016) Personally, we can’t think of a better role model than that and would happily share a cold pizza with the band any day! It takes a lot of inner strength to be a true artist in this day and age and in the words of our legendary lead-singer himself, ‘“Too many people don’t have big enough balls or ovaries to be themselves. I do.”’ (Billboard, 2016) Amen to that!