Words by Michelle Zhu
PEDER Losnegard, better known by his stage name LIDO, is a producer and songwriter from Norway who has worked with some of the biggest names in music right now. He has created beats for Chance the Rapper, A$AP Ferg, Banks and is continuing his ascension into the music scene with respect from his peers. He is joining the 2016 Splendour in the Grass line-up and is performing at the pre-Splendour party in Brisbane, and is gearing up to show listeners exactly who Peder/Lido is…
I wanted to get to know Peder and I was particularly intrigued with his remix of The Life of Pablo, which he aptly named The Life of Peder. Using his rich library of music and his ear for beautiful sounds, he condensed Kanye West’s latest album into an eight-minute opus full of movement, sonic space and interesting samples. I wanted to know his story.
MM: Where are you right now?
LIDO: I’m in LA at the moment. I’m not used to the weather in LA. I’m from Norway so I’m used to riding polar bears to school.
How did growing up in Norway influence the way you write and make music?
I think Norway influenced me in a lot of different ways, it’s a very aesthetically intelligent country. There’s a lot of very cool art coming out of Norway and there’s a very strong jazz scene, there’s a lot of painters and authors. In general it’s a very creative place, but I grew up specifically in a very small town up in the mountains and I think the main influence for me growing up there was the fact that there wasn’t a lot of influence.
I grew up very isolated and the only influence I had for music was from my parents. My dad was a gospel choir director so I grew up on gospel and soul music and that was something that the other kids couldn’t really relate to. They were listening to Britney Spears and Blink-182 and I wanted to listen to Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond. I think that isolation made me find my own style and my own way to be myself very quickly. There wasn’t really anyone to teach me how to do anything, so to be able to do anything I had to do myself.
It seems like you have a very eclectic library of what sounds you choose to use in your remixes and productions?
I’m very specific with the sounds I’m using and I can be inspired by anything. I can be recording my bowl of cereal in the morning and be turning that into drums. I love messing around with stuff from all sorts of genres all over the world, but I’m very self-driven and I like doing everything myself. Growing up in Norway forced me to find my own style and do my own thing.
You work with hip-hop a lot. What about hip-hop is attractive to you?
There’s a freedom in hip-hop, and I think at this point we can combine hip-hop with electronic music pretty smoothly. Both of those genres are such free genres because they don’t really have rules. Electronic music is just a way of doing music; it’s not a specific rule set of how to write songs, it’s just a way of writing songs. Hip-hop is the same way where originally it was just a series of samples being put together and a combination of cool things from other genres and giving it an attitude and style. That’s what appeals to me because I like so many different types of music and working with this genre I get to do all of those things whenever I want and be creative with it.
So you have complete creative freedom.
Absolutely. There’s no one that judges you or tells you to follow these chords or these drums. You can go anywhere and people are open to it and interested. So that’s what I love about hip-hop and electronic music.
Somebody who is always exploring his own creative freedom is Kanye West. How did the Life of Pablo impact you when you first heard it?
The Life of Pablo I heard on the plane ride across the Atlantic. It was incredible to me because it was such a pure snapshot of Kanye’s mind, I felt like Kanye took the ropes on this album and did a lot of the dirty work himself. It felt like a very raw insight into his mind and there were so many cool ideas and interesting things about it that I had no idea how to approach it. In this case, I had to do something with the entire album because there were so many cool ideas that I wanted to explore.
Chance and Kanye have come together now and it’s amazing to see these artists working together. I know you work a lot with Chance and I was wondering what changes do you think people like Chance the Rapper and Kanye are making in the music world and the world in general?
First of all, Chance the Rapper is probably my favourite artist in the world. I love working with Chance over working with anybody else in the music industry ever. The cool thing is that I think he was raised on similar music like gospel music and soul music and R&B music. I think that’s the main influence that I see right now that people are including as a positive and uplifting element in their music.
Chance is taking that to another level and is basically making gospel music right now, but he’s also been influencing Kanye to include a lot of gospel into his songs. I think bringing this kind of positivity and energy into the hip-hop scene and the whole world. That’s something I’m very excited about because I enjoy positive music as much as I enjoy dark and emotional music.
I think his positivity is helping people in ways that he probably never expected. For those feeling hardship they can listen to his music and feel uplifted.
I think it’s finally becoming cool to be positive again. We’re in such an interesting time right now where for the first time in a very long time it’s cool to be positive, it’s cool to be smart and read and be nice to people. A lot of things that were the geeky corner outsider things are now the cool things. For decades the bullies and punks have been the cool ones, and now all of a sudden it’s cool to be nice and spiritual and educated. It’s such an inspiring time to make music and to be a person in general.
You’re in the music industry right now in this exciting time and I wanted to know how these attitudes and energies are going to be in your upcoming album ‘Everything’?
Well my album has been completed for a while and the music that I’m making right now and for the future is very positive and uplifting, but for this album it was one that I needed to make for myself for personal reasons. It’s a very emotional and honest album in terms of content and is on the darker side, but I do think it has hope and progress.
The album is about my emotional process and me after a breakup. It’s exploring the nuances of emotions and going deeper, and the sadness in being happy after a breakup, or the pleasure of being angry after a breakup. It explores the weird combination of feelings you get.
Breakups are tough and there are a lot of feelings that you have to make sense of and turn into creative energy.
Absolutely. That’s what I wanted to do with this album; it’s not a breakup album it’s about the time after the breakup. It’s about all these weird things that happen to me and my self-image, my confidence, my growing up and learning. It’s not just about a girl but the world in general and about how I work. Breakups are interesting because you ask yourself what you can do and how you can be a better person for yourself and somebody else.
You’re coming to Australia to play your music, are you excited?
Australia is probably my favourite place to play music in the whole world. You guys have electronic shit on lock and I can’t wait to be there and play with other electronic artists from Australia. One of my dearest friends is Alison Wonderland and we lived together for a few months so I’m excited to hang out with her.
Splendour is like Australia’s version of Coachella, so I wanted to ask you how does it feel playing at these massive festivals and connecting with thousands of people at a time?
It’s incredible. It is such an honour and privilege so I always try to make something special out of it. When we played Coachella a few months back I decided to take the opportunity to play my entire album front to back, and it was an hour of completely unheard music. It was an incredibly emotional experience, and now I get to play on this legendary stage, I’m going to take this opportunity to play the music I’ve made with Australians like Waveracer and Alison Wonderland. Definitely trying to make something special, so it’s an honour.
LIDO is performing at Splendour in the Grass and will be performing at the Splendour Pre-Party: Brisbane alongside YEARS & YEARS, MOONBASE COMMANDER and TWINSY on Thursday the 21st July at The Triffid. Visit Secret Sound Touring for tickets and information.