The Danish music scene boasts with new talents this year – Pastell is one of them. The three guys – Malthe, Oskar and Markus – live one and a half hour away from Copenhagen and have just launched their debut single “Perfect Girl”. The danceable track sweeps you off the sofa with the first beat and is the perfect soundtrack for a spring night out with friends.
We were lucky enough to talk to Pastell about their story, their new song and their upcoming plans for their fulminant start into the music business. Enjoy reading!
Good because Danish: First of all, congratulations on your debut – the Danish music scene is very vivid, so it is always lovely to see when a new talent makes it. How does this exciting time feel for you?
Pastell: Thank you so much! We’re first and foremost very excited about the fact that our very first single is out everywhere! We are anxiously following the ‘stream counts’ on Spotify and YouTube every day. It has been an amazing process leading up to the release of “Perfect Girl”, but also a very nerve-racking time. We’ve spent a lot of time waiting for the right moment to release the song and a lot of other practical stuff. But it has been a lot of fun! Recording the song in a professional studio for the first time in our lives, spending a lot of time in Copenhagen with our record company, and a lot of other things we’ve been dreaming about since we were able to dream about stuff. In conclusion, these times and these days, are what we’ve been waiting for for a long time, and we are very excited, maybe even a bit anxious, to see where our music takes us, and most of all what people think of it.
You’ve known each other for a long time – how did your music change over all those years?
Yes, we’ve known each other for about 13 years, but we have not always been playing music together. We were in a school band for a couple of years in middle school, but apart from that, we have not been in a real band together before we formed Pastell in 2016. Markus and Malthe discovered music production on their laptops in their early teens, so they started making all sorts of tunes in their spare time, both together and individually. After that, we spent some years where we weren’t making music together. We played different kinds of music until we formed Pastell. Markus was very influenced by a lot of underground electronic sub-genres, as he made beats alone in his room for a long time. Malthe played and wrote both alone and with a lot of different people, but his love for 80’s music shined through in all of his projects. Oskar has played in a couple of bands, but later on, started a very singer/songwriter influenced projects alone with his guitar. We think that these 3 very different musical approaches that we’ve been practising individually have made the sound that Pastell has. It is the product of individual different skills combined.
Was there one special moment when you knew that you want to form a band?
In the early summer of 2016 Malthe and Oskar decided that they wanted to make pop music. All of the bands in our Neighborhood were writing and performing with either rock music or silent singer/songwriter music, so we kinda felt like our area needed some pop music, when we were asked if we wanted to support our friends’ concert, we decided to bring Markus in and form Pastell as it is today. We found that what he could, was what we needed without knowing we needed it. So Pastell was actually formed because we had agreed to play a 30-minute gig in front of our friends. We wrote some songs together, so we were able to play 30 minutes. After the concert, we got amazing feedback so we decided to keep on writing music together. And yeah, now we’re here.
How did you come up with the name Pastell?
We spent a day trying to figure out what we should call ourselves before we even had started writing any music. Our vision for the project was to make pop music, and so we figured that if pop music was a colour it would definitely be a pastel colour. So that is basically how we came up with it. The second “L” in Pastell was added because of two things. We found out that people pronounced our name in Danish ‘Pastel’ and that was not our intention, we wanted it in a more international way, so we decided to add the second “L”. And then we thought it looked kind of cool as well.
You say, that you want to make music that people can dance and sing along to. What is it that makes danceable music so special for you?
It’s not danceable music in itself, it is the state of mind you are in when you dance and sing along to songs, that we find amazing. Music that can make you happy, and music that makes you want to move. We want people to link our songs with being happy and dancing around. We are very focused on trying to emphasize emotions in the listener. With our debut single, this particular emotion is meant to be happiness, but we are probably going to write a more melancholic song at some point, where we will try to emphasize another kind of feeling.
Mentioning you like to dance and sing to good music, will you share some of your favourite places where to listen and dance to good music in Copenhagen?
We are actually not from Copenhagen so, we might not be the right ones to ask, but Copenhagen has some amazing venues for concerts where some of us have amazing memories, such as Vega, Falkoner Salen and Rust. If you are all about dancing and partying, we’ve been to this place called ‘Shade’ once and had a great time.
And, of course, we also want to know more about your just launched single “Perfect Girl” – what is the story behind the song?
Well, “Perfect Girl” is about an imaginary girl who is representing our generation on social media. Trying to convince everyone that she is the ‘perfect girl’. She lives the perfect life on Instagram, Facebook etc. posts all the right things and goes to all the right places. The song is about knowing that she probably is not as perfect as she seems, but even though realising that you can’t help feeling a little drawn to her anyway. We are all contributing to this way of displaying ourselves on social media, so maybe she is the perfect girl because we are just as ‘fake’ as her.
As this is only the start of your story – what are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you also plan to play outside of Denmark?
We are planning to see where our music takes us. “Perfect Girl” is the start of our story, but we have got a lot of other music that we are planning to release in 2018. We will go where the music takes us. Our goal is to make it as big as possible, so if it was entirely up to us, we would definitely play outside of Denmark as well.
It was lovely getting to know Pastell better! And now it is time to hop over to the video of “Perfect Girl” and move our feet.