The Life List

Wisdom etched in the scars of life

Lukas Graham, whose real name is Lukas Forchhammer, filmed the music video for Scars in his living room.
Lukas Graham, whose real name is Lukas Forchhammer, filmed the music video for Scars in his living room.PHOTO: RASMUS WENG KARLSEN

Danish singer-songwriter Lukas Graham's latest single, Scars, is all about embracing life's troubles

Like most people in the world now, Danish singer-songwriter Lukas Graham is staying home to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay.

But that does not mean the singer behind Grammy-nominated global hit tune 7 Years (2015) has not been productive. On the contrary, the 31-year-old, whose real name is Lukas Forchhammer, has been busy with his music.

He tells The Straits Times over the telephone from his home in Copenhagen that he has been working on 24 new songs. He reckons the tracks will be released over two new albums that he hopes to put out early next year. His third and most recent album, 3, was released in 2018.

Here are five things to know about the singer, who recently released a single, Scars.


1 HIS NEW MUSIC VIDEO WAS FILMED AT HOME

His wife filmed the black-and-white video for his new single, Scars, in their living room.

The couple have a 3½-year-old daughter and are expecting their second child in the coming weeks.

"We just moved all my daughter's playthings, and then we used the white wall as a backdrop," says Forchhammer.

"We're all in quarantine, so how can I get a big film crew out and make a video? We just did it at home."


2 HIS NEW SONG SCARS IS ABOUT EMBRACING ONE'S TROUBLES

Forchhammer says: "For some people, the worst scar was when their puppy died. To others, that scar was losing a friend in a car crash, a grandfather to cancer or, now, the coronavirus.

"We should not be afraid of the scars left behind by all the negative things that happen in our lives... Don't be afraid of your scars because they create you. I mean, if I take away all the pain and all the scars of my life, I also take away all the wisdom."


3 HE GREW UP AMONG CRIMINALS

He was raised in Freetown Christiania, an anarchist community in Copenhagen, and he has never been ashamed of talking about his less-than-savoury past.

"I grew up in a pretty crazy place where a lot of my childhood friends are still criminals," he says. "On the contrary, I feel like it's a big shield and a sword. It's like everybody already knows everything about me. I wrote songs about my friends going to jail. I am not afraid of talking about the truth. I think it gives me power."


4 FATHERHOOD MADE HIM A MORE PRODUCTIVE SONGWRITER

When he found out he was going to become a father, he was initially worried it would mean less time for his music. But his fears were unfounded.

"I prioritise my time better now than when I was younger, when we would go to the studio and sometimes just have a party, drink all night and sometimes write a great song," he says.

"I treasure the more grown-up age where my time is being spent more productively. I prioritise seeing my family and going home to them."


5 THE PANDEMIC HAS BROUGHT HIM CLOSER TO HIS FAMILY

Being in quarantine means he has been spending more time with his daughter, who he says sings well and is learning to play the piano.

"It's the first time I've had this much time with my daughter and I'm really happy for it. It's like a blessing in this terrible disguise," he says.

"Because this is a terrible situation and people are dying. But at the same time, we are being forced to hang out with our families, which is a great thing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2020, with the headline 'Wisdom etched in the scars of life'. Print Edition | Subscribe