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Danish pop star Christopher eyes Asian tour, collab with Philippine artists

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Danish pop star Christopher eyes Asian tour, collab with Philippine artists
‘My next goal is to get out there in the world, to get out to the Philippines, to go out to Asia, again, to play these sold-out shows,” said the singer-songwriter, baring other music goals. ‘Hopefully, to have some more hit songs, maybe do some collabs with some local artists… I would love to work with the local Filipino artists one day.’
STAR / File

Danish superstar Christopher was supposed to embark on a major Asian tour in 2020, covering China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“Two weeks ago, it got postponed for the fifth or the sixth time, and that was probably the hardest blow for me because the situation is better now in Denmark, everything is opening back up and getting back to normal. And I’ve been waiting for this for two years,” Christopher recently told The STAR in an exclusive chat.

“Being told that you can still not travel, you can still not play shows abroad, that just killed me. I was like, ‘Oh man, it’s not fun anymore.’ I just want to get back out there.”

Still, the 29-year-old singer-songwriter remains hopeful about restrictions easing up soon. “My next goal is to get out there in the world, to get out to the Philippines, to go out to Asia, again, to play these sold-out shows,” he said, baring other music goals. “Hopefully, to have some more hit songs, maybe do some collabs with some local artists. I have so many things that I want to achieve. But most of all, I just want to get back out on tour, performing in front of people. That’s what I’m looking forward to now.”

In the meantime, Christopher has a new single, If It Weren’t For You, that pays tribute to “people who get you through the crazy times” like the pandemic.

Frustrations over scrapped shows sent him seeking sanctuary in his studio, with the single sentence “I would have gone crazy, if it weren’t for you,” sparking inspiration for the feel-good, uptempo song.

“It was one of those rare moments where a word or a sentence creates the basis for the whole song’s DNA. I instantly felt that this track should be a tribute and an anthem to that special person with whom one has overcome this insane time,” he said.

He hinted that the single is simply a teaser of more to come, as he’s “writing like a maniac” and working on a new album.

Christopher is no stranger to Filipino music fans, having been here in 2016 and 2018. Debuting at the age of 19, he became a music superstar in Denmark in the 2010s, with all his singles having gold or platinum status. This November, Christopher will release a deluxe version of his latest album My Blood, which already produced hits such as Leap of Faith, Good to Goodbye, Fall So Hard and Ghost. The latter was named “most played song of the year” on Danish radio in 2020, a feat he also achieved in 2019.

Dubbed as the “Danish Justin Bieber” and “Prince of Music” in Denmark, he is also huge in China with his songs charting high in the country’s music streaming service QQ Music. According to his label Warner Music, he is fast-gaining ground in other parts of Asia and recently topped the international Korean chart with K-pop star Chung Ha for their collaboration, Bad Boy.

Christopher wants to grab more collab opportunities. “I would love to work with the local Filipino artists one day. So, if you have any recommendations, please let me know,” he said.

Here are more excerpts from the exclusive Zoom chat:

Is there a special story behind If It Weren’t For You?

“Yes, there is, in fact. I mean, If It Weren’t For You was written in the middle of this pandemic. These are very strange times for me because, as a musician, I’m used to touring, playing shows, being away for months, traveling the world and everything got canceled, obviously. There were so many places I was supposed to go and it just got cancelled at the last minute and it was very depressing and a very hard time for me.

“I wrote this song about being in lockdown and being with the people I love and slowly realizing that none of this matters without you and if it weren’t for you, this would have sucked so much harder. We all need people in our lives that can cheer you up and lift your spirit in times of crisis. I have a wife that I love to death, Cecilie, and she definitely helped me through this period. Hopefully, when people listen to this song, they can relate and they have that one special person, whether it’s a friend, a mom, a dad or a loved one, where they’re like, ‘I would have gone crazy if it weren’t for you.’”

You answered my next question because it feels like a love song, and now we know it was inspired by your wife?

“It is a love song, but it’s also a song about being in a very insecure place where you don’t know what the future will bring and trying to find the positive thing in a sh*t situation… So many people have been in this situation and thought to themselves: ‘When is this going to end? I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.’ And that’s probably the most frustrating part about this...

“To have someone just tell you, ‘At least, you get this time with me. At least, we have this time with each other that we’ll never get back,’ and in my situation, I have a little daughter. Cecilie was pregnant when this whole thing started, and my daughter is seven months now.

“I’m so happy looking back that I was not on tour, I was not missing out on all these times. So, (it’s) trying to find the positive in this situation and trying to be grateful instead of being frustrated and depressed. It’s definitely a song not only about love, but also trying to look at the bright side.”

How did the pandemic change how you view your music career now?

“I think, it’s a very good question. My passion and my hobby is music, but it’s also my work. I tend to work all the time, because when I’m not on tour, I’m writing songs and when I’m home, I’m sitting by the piano or with a guitar or I’m doing something on Instagram, which is also a big part of my career. I’m always working a little bit.

“But the moment everything shut down and I was not going on tour, I was just with my family, I realized that work is not everything and music is not everything. Even though it is in my head that family is the most important thing, and it sounds like the cheesiest, biggest cliche, but there’s a reason why it’s a cliche. It’s so goddamn true. We need the people that we love and we need to be there for them. We need relationships — important, meaningful relationships. And that’s what this very weird time has given me — even better relationships and a daughter.”

How about your songwriting, how has it changed?

“I think this whole pandemic forced me to look inside and really reflect on my life. I got signed 10 years ago. I’ve been doing this professionally for 10 years. So, really getting my priorities straight and… you have to look at yourself in the mirror when you become a dad, and sort of be like, ‘Okay, what’s the next step?’ And I was very naive and young, as I still believe I am, I thought that everything was going to be the same and I could just fall off, tour and travel.

“The thing is I probably could do that, but it would not be the same thing because there would be something back home that for the first time ever, I’m really missing, and something that I don’t want to miss out on. So, everything is definitely going to change from now on.

“I’m probably going to bring them on tour with me, I’m probably gonna write some songs that are not about meeting girls at the club, and a little bit more about deeper values in different scenarios...

“So, it’s definitely changed a lot, but it’s not only because of the pandemic. It’s because I’m growing as a man, you know.”

As you’ve mentioned, you’re now 10 years in the music business. Did you expect you’ll get this far?

“Oh no, never! I mean, when I got started 10 years ago, I just wanted to be able to live off making music. I remember someone paying me for the first job and it was just ship payment, but I was like, ‘Really? Am I being paid for making music, for doing what I love?’

“In every way, I exceeded my own expectations and my own dreams. I’ve been able to cross so many things off my bucket list, and I keep doing it. Every year, I tick another box off, and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved but I’m also very aware that it takes a village, you know. I was fortunate and lucky to have some people around me to push me, and there was a hole in the market for me at the right place at the right time. I put in the work, I work my a** off.

“It’s a combination between a lot of things but it’s definitely a team sport. I think most artists forget that it’s about the team, and it’s about not being afraid of being like, ‘Yo, I need help with this…’ And it’s about including people and not excluding people. That’s a message that I’ve wanted to spread for a long time. Include people and be generous with your credits. Include people in your success… instead of, ‘It was all me, I wrote 100 percent of the song, and it’s my win, my award, my whatever.’ It’s very much a team sport so I’m very grateful and very lucky.”

CHRISTOPHER
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