During Nicklas Sahl’s interview we address how he adjusts to the new way of living, what’s most important & the story behind his song “In The Window Frame”.
Nicklas Sahl is a steady momentum in the Danish music scene, his enthralling lyrics and captivating charm connecting with the listener in the best possible way.
The 22 year-old, singer, songwriter and heartthrob is fast at making waves across the media channels and human hearts, with more than 10 soundtracks released since his debut in 2018, with his debut album, “Planets“, releasing in January 2018 under the Warner Music, in Denmark, Record label.
Sahl’s music is a blend of a best of both worlds, something from the old mixing with the new. His work brings back memories from the golden oldies while still giving the youngsters a vibe to chime to with his electrifying pop acoustic inclusion.
“I’m trying to find a perfect balance,” he says. “To me, my biggest inspirations are artists that could really play and sing like they could in the old days. It’s about mixing that with what’s happening today.”
Nicklas Sahl: His Releases
His debut album, “Planets”, perfectly resonates just what he is all about. The five track album re-released to add in acoustic mixes as well as a whopping new track, “If I Killed Your Night“, is a one for the books, because of the wide scope of audience that could possibly relate and get with it.
His debut single, “Hero“, which landed him a record deal with Warner Music of Denmark was a magical twist, being played on the radio stations almost immediately, hitting top spots of the radio charts and finally getting Sahl an appearance on a morning TV show, a chance spread his music to the entire nation of Denmark.
Following his hit single, “Hero”, he backed it up with his second jam, “New Eyes“, which popped onto the charts just as its predecessor, with nearly 12 million Spotify live streams to date speaking about change and embracement.
“I was in my room in Copenhagen and I got this invitation from some of my old high school friends in my hometown and I just started thinking about how it would be to go back. I was interested in seeing how we’d see each other.”
Unlike the sort of sombre accords of the first two singles, the next song in the lineup, “If I Killed Your Night“, strays away from their genre into a naughtier, edgier, rougher ledge. “I felt like those first two singles were quite light, so I also wanted to show a bit of a darker, more melancholic side.” He said.
“It’s about moral hangovers. I have this tendency to have small blackouts when I’m partying, like it can be just an hour, and of course I’ll only find out what happened the next day. So it’s a song about waking up and having this almost panic attack of like ‘how did this happen? How did I wake up in this bed?”
The featuring track album, “Planets“, which was named after his move from his hometown, Hadsten, to Copenhagen in a scavenge for a better prospects and wider opportunity:
“I think when you come from a small town and you want to do something in the world,” he said, “like I’ve always had a drive for something bigger, you want to make some noise and that’s what music was to me. With my music I could reach out further than the city I came from.”
stating that his transition made him feel like he had arrived in another planet in Copenhagen, housed two further tracks, “Devil On Your Shoulder“, and “Cut Me Loose“, which was as animated and sparky as the three forerunners had been.
The album, “Planets”, bagged the 15th spot on the list of the most purchased albums in Denmark.
August 2019 saw the release of yet another enchanting hit single, “Four Walls“, while, “In The Window Frame“, and “There For You“, was presented to the public in 2020.
Nicklas Sahl: Recognitions & Awards
Nicklas Sahl is clearly an artist on the rising destined to make his mark worldwide. Under his belt of recognition on his journey so far, he has been awarded, “Danish Music Award for Danish Newcomer of the Year 2019“, and “Danish Music Award for Danish Radio Hit of the Year, in 2019“, for Platinum-certified hit single, “New Eyes“.
He also won the Carl Neilsen Award (Denmark’s equivalent for the Ivor Novello) for Best Pop Composition as well as Best Danish Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Nicklas Sahl’s Inspirations
Nicklas Sahl as reflected in his music has drawn his muse from his long time idols James Taylor, Paul Simon, Bon Iver and Francis And The Lights.
Sahl has forever nursed a passion for music, letting it take the center stage of his life and letting it direct the course of his way. “Music has always been my number one priority,” he states.
“There’s this drive in me – there’s something pulling me towards it.” We can most certainly witness his passion in his play where he calls out to the listener as if he and the listener were one.
Nicklas Sahl: His Future Plans
We absolutely cannot wait to dig what is in store for him and his music along the years. But as for his immediate future plans he states that there’s a whole lot of touring on his plate.
Starting off with a showcase in London, UK on the September 12th, moving on to a show in Oslo, Norway, on the October 5th, followed by a support show in Germany for Lea on November 5th, then going on to a headliner show in Denmark on December 10th and finishing off with a support show for Tina Dicko on February 13th.
He has also 25 summer festivals backed up on his schedule. “I’d love to travel with my music,” he said. “The energy I get from seeing other people being moved by music is what it’s all about. The more people I can move, the better”.
Whatever in his path, it is distinct that he is out for some serious collaborations and breathtaking music. We are on our toes, hopping on to sniff what next he’s got up his sleeve. It couldn’t be anything lesser than the best.
Nicklas Sahl Interview
Hello Nicklas, how are you? How are you adjusting to life during this crazy time of quarantine & social distancing?
Hi! Well, it’s a crazy time we can all agree, I suppose. A lot of canceled shows and plans but despite that I’m very good, thank you. Right now I’m sitting in sunny Copenhagen with a cup of coffee and life is pretty great.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I’m looking forward to asking you a few questions; will this be ok?
Thank you for having me! Of course.
Great! So, let’s jump on into it, shall we?
Let’s do it!
How are you adjusted to this new way of living with regards to social distancing has it affected your creativity, or artistic process at all?
I’m using this time to reflect, write new songs, and prepare the release of my album which comes out after summer. I try to see the positive in having been “granted” some extra time to make music and spend more time with my loved ones.
So, Nicklas, if you were asked to describe Nicklas Sahl the artist, what words would come to mind? Or, if someone were to describe Nicklas Sahl the artist, how would you want him, or her to describe you as an artist and your sound? In a nutshell, who is Nicklas Sahl the artist?
Well, I’d say I’m a hybrid of being a classic singer & songwriter and a modern pop singer with an urge to try and challenge the contemporary pop scene.
What are the most important things for you as an artist? Recording music? Performing live? Meeting your fans for meet & greets? And why?
Playing live is the most important thing for me. I especially realized that during this quarantine where that exact part of my job has been temporarily taken away from me.
Writing songs is something I do mainly for myself. It’s my therapy and my way of understanding the world we all live in and, furthermore, how I organize my thoughts, worries, and life in general.
Whereas performing for an audience where I can feel and see people’s reactions to these songs is what gives it all meaning. That’s also why I appreciate my fans so much. If they weren’t there, making music just wouldn’t make much sense to me.
How do you like to perform usually? Do you prefer to perform live at large arenas & auditoriums? Or, are small intimate performance settings more your preference? Do you feel a difference in your performance and in the atmosphere when you perform at intimate settings vs. larger venues? If so, what are the differences in the performances & atmosphere?
The part of me that is the singer & songwriter who just wants to tell people my stories through my songs certainly needs the intimate settings now and then to fully thrive.
The other part of me is the pop singer who wants to play at every stadium in the world and has global hits. My answer is both… A great mix between intimate shows and Wembley stadium, haha!
Who are your musical inspirations? Why & how did these musicians inspire you?
To name a few: Paul Simon, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver, John Mayer.
These are all amazing musicians with perfectly practiced musical craftsmanship and insanely talented storytellers. Those are the kind of artists that moves me the most. There’s also a ton of new great artists I love like Alec Benjamin, LAUV, and Troye Sivan.
Your new song “In The Window Frame” is super beautiful! I love the slow chill groove of the song. What’s the story behind this song? Is it about anyone special?
Thank you so much! I wrote the song with my producer Birk Storm and songwriter Eric Turner in Stockholm in more or less 3 hours in a basement studio in Stockholm.
It came to us so playfully and fast! However, it took a year and a half to finish up the production. It’s not always easy to be this hybrid of a humble singer & songwriter and a pop singer who wants to take over the planet.
We reached out to Will Hicks (Producer of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran) who added a modern punch to the song, then we hired a badass bass player in Nashville and finally Bastian Langebæk (Jess Glynne, Jessie Ware, Jack Garratt, etc), which eventually led to the now released version. Let’s just say It’s been quite a journey with this one.
The music video for “In The Window Frame” is really simplistic as it pertains to the storyline, which I really liked! The video simply shows you deep in the mist of your creative process while singing your heart out. In the video you’re seen brainstorming & writing the actual song for the music video, which is pretty cool! In a playful way, we get to see you in your natural habitat making magic per se, haha. Who directed the music video? Who came up with the concept of the music video?
So happy you like it! It was directed by me and the amazing Finn Peper. Finn, my team, and I had several meetings talking about doing a video as honest to who I am as possible, and together we came up with the idea of portraying my creative process.
The vinyls, the pictures, gear, and guitars are all mine, so I kind of just moved my apartment into this studio to make it feel authentic and real. I believe it makes a difference.
I really felt like doing something that wasn’t too fancy at all. Back to basic with me, my guitar, and my song.
When you look at your body of work so far, what would you say is your signature song? Or what song personifies the signature Nicklas Sahl sound?
Right now I’d pick my song “Planets”. It’s a song that describes my journey so far. Coming from a small town in Denmark and moving to Copenhagen “where dreams grow in your flower bed”.
I truly believed that making this move would change my life and kick off my career and it didn’t disappoint me!
Now, I want to ask you a little bit about your personal style. Yes fashion questions, hahah! What is your signature style of fashion? Do you like to wear certain brands, or designers? Why are they your favorites?
At the moment I’m obsessed with the whole UK, Damon Albarn, Oasis, urban kind of look. I love vintage and I love it when my clothes have a twist of something special and artistic.
I’m still just really curious and try stuff out in terms of fashion and style, and see it as an important part of being an artist to work with your visual image to communicate your art.
What do you like to do during your free time, or when you have time off? Is there something particular you love to do? Or is there something you always look forward to doing when you have days off, or time to yourself?
I love to be social and to hang out with friends and visit my family, but I also love my alone-time where I get new ideas, go for a run, and just breathe a little. It’s a busy and demanding life sometimes being a touring musician.
Can we expect new music from you in the coming months? Can we also expect new music videos as well?
Yes, as mentioned earlier on I’m releasing an album. My debut album actually! The title is “Unsolvable” and consists of songs I’ve written within these past 3 years where my life has changed completely from being a graduate from high school, living in a small town and playing in the local shoe store to start a life on my own in Copenhagen, get a record deal at Warner Music, perform at large national TV shows and traveling all around the world with my music.
Do you have any performances, or appearances scheduled that we can anticipate? If so, when? Where? What new projects do you have on the horizon? Can we expect any cool song collaborations, or tour dates?
I go on my first headliner tour in Germany starting in Hamburg on November 22nd. The tour stops by Hannover, Leipzig, Essen, Frankfurt, München, Köln and Berlin. I can’t wait to get out there and play for the Germans!
Hope to see you there!
Photos & music videos provided by Warner Music
Written by Zoomaburst
Interview by Sophia Lenore
Editor: Phil Halfmann