Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Erik Hassle

Erik Hassle
Photo by Lee Cherry | Courtesy RCA Records

In support of his newest soulful pop EP release Somebody’s Party, Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle will soon embark on a North American tour alongside sibling duo Broods. In our recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? gave Erik a call to discuss his excitement to be back out touring, how he cures his restlessness, the musical influence of having four siblings, and not limiting himself. Enjoy our conversation below:

Erik Hassle: Hey Alicia.

AMBY: Hi Erik! How are you doing?

Erik Hassle: I’m good. How are you?

AMBY: I’m great, thanks. Very happy we could make this interview happen today.

Erik Hassle: Of course.

AMBY: So you soon embark on North American tours alongside Broods and Twin Shadow. How excited are you to finally hit the road once again, especially with these two great acts?

Erik Hassle: I’m super excited, Alicia. Since the start of the year, I’ve been getting more and more into the studio and focusing on setting everything up for releases and getting out of my comfort zone. So now I’m really excited about going out again. It will be great. I love touring and I love playing live.

AMBY: When it comes to packing for an extensive tour like this one, what are some quintessential items you know you’re going to have to bring with you?

Erik Hassle: Well, some good clothes for sure. Then some sort of set-up where me and my friend, that I play with live, can record stuff while on the tour if we get inspired to do something. That way we can write and record anything.

AMBY: The other day I noticed that you Tweeted “Restless restless restless”. What are some things you like to do for fun while in a new city that keep you from being restless?

Erik Hassle: It happens to me every now and then that I get that restless feeling. It was yesterday! I went out running two times.

AMBY and Erik Hassle: [laughs]

Erik Hassle: It ended up with me writing a song, which is usually the solution for the restlessness. When I’m restless, it usually means that I have to get something out of my system.

AMBY: Well speaking of writing songs and getting them out there, you released your Somebody’s Party EP early last year. What are your thoughts on the release now that there’s been a year to reflect on it?

Erik Hassle: The EP has been amazing for me, especially being here in LA. It’s led to a lot of great opportunities and I’ve been getting to work with a lot of new great people. It was way over expectations. We released the EP pretty low-key as we didn’t push it back in Sweden. It led to far more opportunities than I expected. I feel it’s a good set up for what’s coming.

AMBY: You effortlessly blend hints of electronica and soul on the EP, and when I initially listened to it, I completely got some Prince vibes which I loved. When it came to recording the release, who or what did you look to for some inspiration?

Erik Hassle: I don’t really look too specifically for inspiration; I go with the flow a lot with everything that’s happening in my everyday life. I grew up with four older siblings that were teenagers when I was around five or six years old, and they had specific music tastes. It was a bit of a music trip being around them – you know how much teenagers love their music?

AMBY: Oh yea, absolutely.

Erik Hassle: So I would go into all of their different rooms and sit there and hang with them and listen to whatever was playing. They had everything from Whitney Houston to Dr. Dre to The Prodigy. There was so much different music. I think that made me very open [laughs] to pretty much anything when it comes to creating.

AMBY: You recently shared with fans that there’s “new music in the making comin up comin up”. Is this for a new EP you’re creating or have you been working on another record?

Erik Hassle: The plan right now is to release a new song in a couple of weeks, and then the plan is to… I have an album coming out. The album right now is set for the 28th of August, but it’s either going to be released at the end of August or in early 2016.

AMBY: How long has this album been on the works for?

Erik Hassle: Hmm. I’ve been writing for it for about two years almost. I’ve been trying to keep writing, getting on with other people and collaborating, and work on this new album. It hasn’t been a very focused two year period of just thinking about those twelve songs which will be on the album, it’s been more trying to get as much done up until “okay, now we’ve got to go!”

AMBY: Along with writing for yourself, as you mentioned, you have also collaborated and written songs for others. You had some successful singles like the “Can’t Remember to Forget You” song written for Shakira and Rihanna. Do you find it easier or more difficult to write music for yourself rather than another artist?

Erik Hassle: I haven’t been doing that much writing where it’s been… take the Shakira and Rihanna song for instance… we didn’t know we were writing for them when we wrote the song. It was just another song that ended up a year and a half later with them. That was kind of a normal process for me. I’ve tried sometimes to write for another artist with them in the room, and it’s a really interesting process, since we’re trying to nail down what that person wants to talk about. Even when I’m writing songs in general, I’m just sharing stuff that I think is interesting to share. I think it’s important to not get too introverted with your own music and just do a song – try to keep it open and see what it becomes.

AMBY: A more universal song.

Erik Hassle: Yes, so you don’t limit yourself since you’re working for yourself. It can happen, where you’re like, “can I really say this?”.

AMBY: Being that festival season is right around the corner, and the fact that you grew up with such a diverse taste of music, I wanted to ask: if you could curate your own festival, who would be in the line-up?

Erik Hassle: My dream festival line-up… Boy, that’s a good question.

AMBY: [laughs] Thank you.

Erik Hassle: I would definitely like TV on the Radio to be there, Jai Paul, Icona Pop, and Elephant. What else do we need? Maybe something a bit more in the urban direction… We should bring in someone like Drake and Kanye West.

AMBY: To wrap things up, what’s something about yourself that most fans don’t know yet?

Erik Hassle: That I’m a pretty good dancer [laughs].

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Thank you Erik Hassle, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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