In conversation with: COUSIN – at UHØRT Festival

photo by And Poma

Summer is one of the most exciting seasons when it comes to musical events and festivals in Denmark. In Copenhagen on the last weekend of August, 24.-25. August 2018, UHØRT Festival presented Danish newest and most promising music and talents.

All musicians are welcome to apply. After a long reviewing period where two different committees assess the submitted material to decide on which artists get a chance to play in front of the UHØRT audience. The festival gives a platform and an opportunity for those artists that have the will, motivation, and desire to show their talent. In addition, coaches attend every performance to give individual feedback, guidance, and advice to further develop their career.

It is a good thing for bands and everyone else to interact with and discover your new favorite band. Of course, Good because Danish attended to spot the good music for you. One auspicious pop talent is the quartet Cousin from Aarhus. The four guys just released their new single “Intimacy”. We met Victor and Mikkel after their performance and coaching session to talk with them about their new single, experience at UHØRT, and future plans.

Read the interview below and listen to “Intimacy” on SoundCloud.

Good because Danish: Do you want to present yourself and the other band members, what makes them unique? What should we know about them?

Victor: Laurits plays the drums and has a very tough exterior, but he is softer than soft on the inside. He has a tattoo and is quite muscular but he is soft as a belly. Then there is Jakob and he plays the bass and does some singing as well.

Mikkel: One of the main things about Jakob is that even though he is primarily the bass player he is also playing the piano while singing. I can’t even imagine how much time he has been practising. It is quite impressive that he can manage all those roles at the same time.

Victor: He is the workhorse of the band. They are our better halves! Mikkel and I met at the continuation school. We stayed in the same room and now we study Cognitive Science together at Aarhus University. Since we live together, we play together. Sometimes it feels like we are a very old couple.

Mikkel: I think the most interesting thing about Victor is his psyche not so much his body. It is his work ethic, his general intelligence, and engagement with what he is doing.

Victor: Mikkel generally has a lower work ethic than me while still achieving better results. He is the genius in the group.

Good because Danish: How was the performance at UHØRT?

Mikkel: It was a shock. I went out on stage before the performance and watched the crowd. 30 people showed up. “That is nice”, I thought. But when we were presented you could hear the roar. I thought “that is not 30 people!” It was just completely packed. It required some adjustment mentally, but other than that it was a really really nice experience. I had the feeling that people really listened. I could not have asked for more.

Victor: I felt free on stage. We had a good dynamic and a good chemistry during the concert.

Good because Danish: How was this performance different from others?

Mikkel: You always play for the audience. They have expectations as to what you are delivering and you have expectations towards the audience. At some of our past concerts, the audience has been much more interested in dancing than listening, and I had the exact opposite feeling at UHØRT.

Victor: It can be quite difficult to get the best of both worlds. At other concerts, it was really cool to play some of the more upbeat songs. With more intimate pieces it can be difficult to get the crowd down again to pay attention.

Mikkel: I don’t think it is necessary to prefer one thing over the other, but it is almost always as if one part is kind of lacking. It is music that really dives into a lot of different atmospheres.

At UHØRT I looked across the room and the people’s faces faded. I don’t think I ever experienced that. The show was a huge experience because of the sheer focus on what you have been doing for the last three years. It is insane!

Good because Danish: Part of the UHØRT experience was a coaching with Andreas Krüger and Lucy Love after your performance.

Mikkel: It was really constructive. It is always really nice to have an expert give some kind of insight. Getting another perspective on what you are doing even though it will be opinion-based. We get caught up in trying to figure out how this song should be constructed and from an outside view, it is just a song.

Victor: More specifically, we were talking about how we write songs when we are at home. For instance, how we should think about making a catchy chorus. It was nice to get input on the process that is sort of technical, and not necessarily performance related.

Mikkel: Another topic concerned the time on stage in between songs. That is something I personally have struggled with because I have some inclination towards saying whatever comes into my brain, and that is not always a good thing. I learned that I need to speak properly.

Good because Danish: You had a big break between releasing songs. What did you do the past year?

Mikkel: It kind of made sense to take a bit of a break without taking a real break. We had a lot of sessions trying to experiment with some more electronic productions. We had some sessions in our apartment and we tried to work on extending the set. Basically just trying new stuff.

Victor: There was a cabin trip. Mikkel’s parents have a really beautiful one. We have been practising while looking at the ocean.

Mikkel: It is fascinating how much the surroundings influence the songs you write. When you write something you can get a bit caught up in some routines. When you are in a fresh space, it is just a completely different feeling. We are also always right in each other’s faces and we have to constantly try to get a product working, get music done as well as get along with each other.

Good because Danish: A lot of lyrics is connected to the experience you had. You just released “Intimacy”. What is the song about?

Mikkel: Intimacy is about an ex-girlfriend from a long time ago. I met her at an event years after. It just got super weird super quickly. I was really puzzled about what was going on? The song was inspired by that situation. There were some things in the air. Thankfully I just got a bit more drunk and I got a bit less charming and then everything got solved.

Good because Danish: What are your plans and expectations for the future?

Mikkel: We are entering a season with a lot of really nice concerts like Oppenheimer. Our expectations are to have a really really nice year. And we are getting ready to realize our dream of making a more cohesive EP.

Victor: It is not a promise but it is something we would like to do.

Mikkel: It is a dream we are working on.

Victor: We have a lot of material and four or five of the newer songs could fit together nicely. It would be a really nice thing to try. Also because there are some songs that never really get the spotlight when you work with singles. You always look for the most commercially fresh and ready song. There are some songs that deserve to get into the spotlight and would work better as a cohesive unit. It is something we want to work on after the summer concerts.

Read everything about UHØRT Festival HERE.

10/09/2018

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