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"Good-guy" hip hop with LidoLido

20-year-old Peder Losnegård aka LidoLido from the west coast of Norway released his debut album Pretty Girls & Grey Sweaters on February 3, 2012, to standing ovations from the press, music industry and his many fans. Inspired by hip-hop references of the early millennium he released his first mixtape aged 13 in 2005 and continued to do so for several years. Losnegård appeared on the NRK music show Lydverket in 2006 which in turn landed him a record deal with Universal Music. Steinberg was curious to find out more about this musical whizzkid.

Tell us a little about your background and how you got into making music.
I came into music at a very early age. My dad is a gospel choir director, so I used to sleep on the back row in gospel concerts. I got my first drum kit for Christmas when I was two years old. Growing up, there was a lot of music in the family and my parents quickly realized my talent and supported it.

Both you and the acclaimed female artist, Susanne Sundfør, are from Haugesund. Do you think growing up in a small town made a difference to your music?
Absolutely. Growing up in a place with a limited musical community, you need to develop a lot of different skills to be able to create your music. With no help, you have to do everything yourself. That’s how I got into singing in the first place. There was nobody to sing over my beats, so I wrote the songs and sung them myself. I think this results in a lot of pride in one's music and a strong personal bond to it.

When did you get into music production software, and why did you choose Cubase as your DAW?
Really by coincidence. I stumbled across a band-in-a-box type program on my dad’s computer as a ten-year-old and he taught me the basics. When that computer crashed, we bought a new one and Cubase was recommended for music production. Since then, I’ve tried most DAWs, but have always returned to Cubase where I feel at home.

Your debut album Pretty Girls & Grey Sweaters received top reviews and lots of appraisal from fellow artists and musicians both in Norway and abroad. It also so happened that Norwegian super-producer duo Stargate handpicked you as "new talent" for their closed music business seminar in New York last year. What do you think makes your music find such a wide acceptance from such diverse group of people?
Well, I guess it’s the wide background of genres and genuine passion for music, growing up being exposed to gospel, west coast and soul from my dad and hip hop and pop music from my friends. I simply take all the coolest elements from different genres and mush it together into something I would love as a listener. I’m very passionate and feel like I owe the music to create it. So I keep working at a song until it reaches its full potential. The song is always the most important thing. Another factor is probably my "good guy" thing, with clean lyrics and positive attitude, so nobody is repelled by the content.

You got a lot of attention after the closing performance at the Norwegian music award show Spellemannsprisen early January this year. How many concerts have you done so far, and what concert’s been the most memorable this year? 
We've done about 60 out of 90 shows so far. The tour has been magnificent with an amazing live band and has been sold out in all the biggest cities in Norway, so it’s really hard to pick one. But the Oslo show, with my drummer rushing to the hospital to see his son being born between the soundcheck and the concert… one word: dedication.

How do you usually come up with new ideas and songs? Do you mainly work inside the computer using plug-ins and VST instruments, or do you have any favorite analog vintage gear and outboard?
I usually get the idea for a song in the form of a hook-melody, a cool metaphor or an interesting situation/theme. After marinating the idea on the piano, I usually make the entire beat in one session, more or less all "in the box" with VST instruments and plug-ins. I often add acoustic drums over the production and bring in real guitars, but everything else is VSTis.

Based on your own experience, what would be the one piece of advice you would want to give young artists and musicians?
Never waste your time doing anything you don’t love. And just become incredibly good at your craft, so you can get the ideas in your head out exactly like you pictured them. But preserve the fun, play around and never think of anything as "practice". Always perform and create at your best.

You recently worked on a new arrangement and piece based on your hit single "Turn up the Life" for the Stavanger Symphonic Orchestra. Care to tell us how this came about? And what other projects are you currently involved in? Can we expect a new album any time soon?
I try to be involved in as many different projects as possible, to keep things mixed up and always challenge myself. The SSO contacted me for the grand opening of a new concert house in Stavanger and I told them I wanted to write for the orchestra myself. I have a ton of alter egos doing music in different genres than LidoLido and several collaboration projects with other great musicians. I’m also working on my next solo album and hope to have it in stores by spring of next year.

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