We did this chit chat about 4 years ago, after listening to many music of Niels and his brother Chris. I just love their music and found a lot of Asian and Vietnamese elements inside. We have a short talk about music and something. That was fun
Me: Hi Niels, it’s a great pleasure for me to have a talk with you about music, culture and some things more about Vietnam. Here are some questions that I would like to hear your opinions:
How many times did you return to Vietnam?
Niels: I think about 7 or 8 times
Me: What did you feel when you come here?
Niels: It always feels great!
From the first time I came, it felt like being home – which I didn’t expect.
I could easily live there and I even considered it for a while. Because I travel so much, I can live anywhere. However I work mainly in Europe at the moment so it is not a viable possibility right now but in the future I would love to spend more time there and maybe have a part time home in Hanoi, my father’s home townJ
Me: You did cooperate with some Vietnamese artists like Quoc Trung, Thanh Lam, Duong Thu, how do you feel about them?
Niels: I think they are incredible musicians with lots of passion, urge, skill, taste and intelligence in their music and I felt deeply inspired working with them.
Me: Do you intend to have any future project with Vietnamese artists?
Nothing concretely planned at the moment, but definitely planning to do something even more ambitious with Vietnamese artists again in the future, hopefully near future.
Me: You and your brother – Chris, have some songs used some Vietnamese materials (Mot Thoang Tay Ho, Ru Con Mien Bac) ,do you often listen to Vietnamese music ?
Niels: Not very often in the past, but since my first visit to Vietnam in 1998 and my meeting with Quoc Trung and Thanh Lam I listen to Vietnames music from time to time. I am particurly fascinated by Quoc Trung’s The Road To Infinity CD which I think is some of the most compelling and unique music I have ever heard from any country in Asia.
Me: I’m curious about “Ru Con Mien Bac” – an amazing song, did you and your brother hear it in your childhood?
Niels: Not really, We grew up in Denmark , far from our Vietnamese relatives (closest ones living in France) and only discovered Vietnamese music later in life.
Me: Can you tell me about your new album– Human Behavior, why do you choose this name?
Niels: I wanted to do a jazz rendition of a Björk song, as I respect her a lot as an artist. So I chose her song Human Behavior to include on the album. I love the lyrics of the song, and I am also generally very passionate about philosophy and curious about life in general – so I thought that Human Beaviour would be a good album title.
Me: You transferred some songs into your style (Man In The Mirror, or recently – Yellow… ), they are both great in my opinion. Can you tell me how to make good covers like them?
Niels: Thank you! I think the first step is to make sure you pick songs that you really like so that you hae strong feelings about them. Then the next step is to simply follow your intuition and be as expressive as you can when stating the melody and use the musical vocabulary and tools at your disposal to make a vocal song come to life as an instrumental melody.
Me: Do you have any project with your brother in the future (like Doky Brothers in the past)?
Niels: Nothing planned at the moment, but we do get together once in a while (2008 and 2010 were the last times).
Me: Will you (you and Chris) have a plan to play together at a performance in Vietnam?
Niels: At the moment we don’t have any projects planned together anywhere in the world, but it is not impossible to imagine that we will do something together again in the future, in particularly in Vietnam could be very nice.
Thank you so much for giving me time replying those answers, and wish you have more great compositions in the future. Hope to see you soon.
Thank you so much and hope to see you in VN soon.