Lukestar alum Truls has finally managed to stow his six-stringer and concentrate on his vocal-centric side project, which is something he’s had brewing inside himself for a while.
Leaving indie and rock in the dust, he’s lunged headfirst into an R&B-tinged zone with ‘Out Of Yourself‘, a sublime cut brimming with electropop hooks and impressive, melodic falsetto. It’s certainly a departure from what we’ve heard from him before, be it in Lukestar or his other side project, Truls & The Trees. However, though it’s unlike what we would be expecting from him, it’s an utterly fantastic floorfiller that makes us salivate with anticipation at the prospects of what’s next.
He’s been tipped in his native Norway as ‘One To Watch In 2013′ by a number of outlets, and it’s easy to see why. Years of songwriting and performing as a lead singer in other genres has sharpened his musical arsenal, and he’s using all that prior knowledge to carve out a fresh persona. What Truls is offering bears resemblance to synth-pop and R&B – it’s wholly fascinating and is home to a hook you’ll never remove from your mind. His natural register is unbelievably high, and maybe it at first seems unreal or even surprising, but after a few listens of ‘Out Of Yourself’, you’ll be sold – it’s part of his charm. We catch up with the Oslo based singer ahead of his slot at the upcoming Ja Ja Ja showcase next week.
You had exposure for Lukestar and Truls & The Trees, but where did you begin with the solo project?
I started working on this when Lukestar decided to quit. I wanted to do something new and different.
What was your inspiration?
My love for R&B and rap music, and the forest that I live in.
The sounds so far have leant more towards R&B than the indie that we’re used to from you, was this tone shift a conscious change?
I just went to the studio with some producers and just had a lot of fun, all the music comes from there.
What music has influenced your work as Truls?
American and English urban music, from The Weeknd to Rick Ross.
How has the reaction been to the new stuff?
It’s been more than I could wish for, people really like my voice with the electronic music. I’m a happy boy nowadays.
‘Out Of Yourself’ is really great – what was the inspiration for the track? How did you write and record it?
One of my producers, Slipmats, showed me a lot of tracks and I fell in love with that one at once. He wrote the music and I did the top line and the lyrics.
Tell us about the video… it’s got some interesting elements!
The video was made by the Swedish crazy kid Mats Udd, we gave him freedom to do whatever he wanted and we ended up with that bizarre universe.
You’ve got a lot of attention for your voice. Is it difficult singing in that register or is it pretty natural?
It’s actually quite natural, that high pitch is something I was born with.
Who would you love to collaborate with and why?
One of my favourites nowadays is Ty Dolla $ign, I just love how he sings and I think we could do a great collab together.
It is difficult working alone compared to the set-ups you’re used to?
There are a lot of new things like what to do when I don’t have the guitar to hide behind on stage. And I don’t have my boys in Lukestar to talk about everything with, it’s more lonely.
Do you think it is better or worse?
It’s better ’cause I could do exactly what I want.
What’s it like performing as a solo artist now?
It’s great, so many new songs and I can focus more on the vocals.
How does a show normally go down?
I have a brilliant band mixed with tracks, my vocals and Lasers.
Are you looking forward to the Ja Ja Ja show?
Very much, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ja Ja Ja. I can’t wait to show London my new shit!
Are you planning anything special?
That’s a secret…
Have you played London before? How was it/what are you expecting?
I’ve played London a couple of times before, usually been great. I expect beautiful people with their party hats on.
Do you have anything in mind you want to achieve with the project?
World domination. I want everyone in the world to listen to the songs I’ve made for them.
What’s on the agenda for summer? Any festivals?
Truls will play the Ja Ja Ja Nordic music showcase at The Lexington on 25 April. Tickets for the show are £5 in advance and available via this link and to find out more about the event, head to the Ja Ja Ja Facebook event page.