As a former member of the hit duo The Loft, Jakob Weise has emerged as a solo artist, singer/songwriter & producer. Currently running No Records Copenhagen along with his partner and good friend Henrik Lund (Credits include Miles Davis, Van Morrison and even The Loft just to name a few), Jakob appears to be on top of the world! His love for the city that never sleeps, New York, comes alive in the new single “City of Dreams”. The video for “City of Dreams” currently has over 22,000 views on YouTube and you can SKOPE it right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKFd9HTGVa0! With a catchy Pop hook and soulful vocals, Jakob Weise is delivering as promised by “striking a balance between the crystal clear commercial sound and something that gets you thinking.” Jakob promotes a very “clean” lifestyle and to him that simply means eating right, thinking clearly and of course exercising. Weise is a die-hard vegan and for good reason because he states that “one of my main concerns is that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming and commercial fisheries, is environmentally unsustainable. I also believe that through a more plant-based diet, we can lower world starvation with a much more efficient use of earth resources.” So a very interesting point of view from Mr. Weise and in the words of Subway just remember to “eat fresh”!
Free Download: www.jakobweise.dk/free-download.html
J Rae: So I see that we have something in common right off the bat and that is that we both have Scandinavian roots. You are from Copenhagen, Denmark and my dad’s family was originally from Finland. So my question is are you currently living in Copenhagen and if so what is life like there vs. the United States?
Yes, I currently live in Copenhagen in an area called “Nordvest” – which is kind of a rough artistic area, with a lot of artists, music studios and photographers. The feel of it, I think, is a bit similar to Tribeca in NY.
I really like it here – it’s actually the most multicultural place in Copenhagen, which I think is nice. In a way similar to NY.
I think the main difference between living in Denmark/CPH and the United States is our welfare system. We have a good welfare model which makes us feel safe and secure.
Seen from a creative point of view, I think we Danes are often only moving within our comfort zone – we don’t have to fight as much for things. There is not that “all or nothing” mentality which can be a huge drive. For some, the safety net in Denmark can make them a little lazy. I think that is also why you have so many big, talented artists in the US; they really put all their effort into making it and making a difference – the “all or nothing” drive :)
J Rae: I’ve done research on many of the Scandinavian countries and they always come up with high marks when it comes to such areas as: economy and just a happier, healthier lifestyle to match longer life expectancies. So Jakob, being that you’re a fellow Dane do we, as Americans, believe the hype of the online stats that Scandinavians, on the whole, enjoy life more, live longer and are more health-conscious?
Yes, some of it is probably true and I think it again has to do with our welfare model and also the health insurance which everyone is covered by. I don’t know about the healthier lifestyle… I think a lot of people have way too much stress in their work life and are always striving for more, instead of enjoying what they already have. I also read somewhere that the amount of medication being prescribed has gone off the roof lately, which is not a good sign.
I believe if you want to stay healthy, you should try to eat clean, think clean, exercise and avoid going to the doctor too much, unless you are really sick. The more medication or antibiotics, the more sick you really get. Find the root to your problems, instead of treating only the symptoms. Some people end up taking drugs for the side effects of other drugs, it’s crazy.
My family and I have used a very skilled homeopath for many years who helps us when we get sick. I also believe that food can be your medicine. My family and I have been vegetarians for about 6 years now and I became a vegan two years ago. I believe that those conscious choices can make a difference in trying to have a healthier lifestyle. Im all about the informed choice, instead of blindly trusting what you are being told is the best thing for you. It’s important to ask questions and be skeptical, especially when so much money is involved in promoting what is good, for instance when it comes to Big Pharma or the food industry etc.
J Rae: Yet another thing we have in common is that we both have a love for New York City as my family and I are originally from Yonkers, NY. I’m curious to know what attracted you to NYC and were you traveling there for business or was it more of a vacation to see the city that never sleeps?
I’ve been to NY many times, and it has mostly been work-related. When I first started out with The Loft, our music was always mastered at the Hit-factory in NY by legendary Herb B. Powers Junior. I had the pleasure of meeting him and sitting in the room with him while he did his work; that was a great moment. He mastered the albums for artists like Justin Timberlake, N.E.R.D., Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend and many more. In general, I’m attracted by NY because of all the good music- for me NY is very colorful and alive – I always get inspired by the pulse of the city.
J Rae: I couldn’t help but notice that you have recently emerged as a solo artist but prior to this you were ½ of the hit duo The Loft. You were topping the Danish charts not too long ago with gold-selling albums & singles and so what made you want to end that successful run and embark on a solo career?
We each slowly moved in different directions artistically and after our second album ‘Little PAUL’s BLVD.’ in 2008, I became a father for the first time (I now have two girls, Sigrid and Ava), and after that it was a natural move. I guess it really changed my perspective on things and life in general. In 2009, I got the opportunity to write music for two very popular movies. After that, I felt ready to stand on my own two feet as both songwriter and producer as well as a solo-artist. I think I have become much more confident. I now have the courage to be myself both musically and visually, which also means that I fight for my own ideas. When I look back on The Loft, I think that I was searching because I was unsure of my identity.
J Rae: Much like a butterfly spreads its wings and flies away, the same can be said for you when it comes to finding your true self as an artist & musician. Not to say that The Loft was holding you back but it seems that you are enjoying the newfound freedom of being a singer/songwriter & producer in your own right. How does it feel to express yourself both musically and artistically in ways that weren’t possible before?
“City Of Dreams”
Buy ‘City of Dreams’ on iTunes: http://paltip.com/skopeing/!2pvo4
It feels so great to be able to express myself fully in all directions. For the same reason I also started a new label called No Records Copenhagen along with my good friend Henrk Lund whose earlier work included international artists like Miles Davis, Van Morrison, Mercyful Fate and Danish artists Electric Lady Lab, The Loft, Laid Back, Jonas Bjerre (Mew), Kasper Winding to name a few. We will mostly focus on our own material, but also a few other selected artists and bands.
J Rae: Your brand new single/video “City of Dreams” is a hot joint that has Billboard charts written all over it! With that said, the song definitely has a bouncy dance beat to go along with a catchy Pop hook and some soulful vocals thrown in. But what excited me the most here was actually your approach to making music where you mention that “ I want to strike a balance between the crystal clear commercial sound and something that gets you thinking”. I personally think that this is an excellent idea and one can definitely sense this on “City of Dreams”. My question to you then is how did this approach and idea come to be?
Many of my songs have some depth, you may call it. Why do we love, what is our purpose, what can we learn from our experiences. My emotional and sensitive sides are also often reflected in my music. That combined with a strong hook has just always been what I try to aim for when I write, I think.
J Rae: “City of Dreams” was inspired mainly by your strong love for New York City and so we all would like to know what it is about New York that made you want to sit down and write an original song about the Big Apple?
“City of Dreams” is about the vibe I sense when exploring NY, that is what I try to reflect in the song. It’s how I (the guy from Copenhagen) experience the Big Apple.
J Rae: Going off of that, were you ever worried or concerned that “City of Dreams” could come across as played out or even a bit clichÃ© just due to the simple fact that tons of artists over the years have used NY as their personal canvas & centerpiece?
No, I actually was not worried. I think there have been a lot of great songs recently, for instance Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, and NY will keep inspiring me and I can’t promise that I won’t make more songs about the city :)
J Rae: Some of your musical inspirations include: Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, The Script and One Republic just to name a few and Skope readers will hear distinct similarities to some of these artists and their styles on “City of Dreams”. What is it about these particular artists that get your musical juices flowing?
I think it’s the soulful vocalists combined with the good tunes and production that really gets me hooked. I love good pop music.
J Rae: And yet one more thing we have in common–Rick Rubin being one of our favorite producers. I’m a huge fan of Rubin as I have enjoyed much of his work over the years and I honestly feel the guy can do now wrong. If Rick Rubin’s on the track then it’s gonna be HOT is my motto! And so the Skope Universe would love to know what your favorite record is that Rick produced and why? Also, what is your favorite Rick Rubin collaboration—what act did he work best with where the chemistry was just off the charts?
‘Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love John Frusciante’s guitar playing, I think he is the best. Also a very good songwriter (has done some great solo albums). Anthony Kiedis is a great frontman who has a very unique style; his vocals & sound great.
One of my favourite songs on the album is “Under the Bridge” which was originally a poem by Anthony Kiedis. Rick Rubin read it by coincidence and then encouraged Anthony to make it into a song. I think that whole album still sounds great compared to anything today.
And of course I’m also a huge fan of the American Recordings with Johnny Cash. I myself come from a Rockabilly background and the first album I did was recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. The album featured Carl Perkins who, like Johnny Cash, also started out in Sun Studio in the fifties. Meeting Carl Perkins as a teenager was one of the most important moments for me as a musician.
J Rae: Your whole philosophy on life includes you believing in making the world a better place by clean-living, living a health-conscious lifestyle, and making great music that “gets you thinking.” That seems like the perfect solution but may I ask why then so many people of today are lost and can’t figure things out? I guess what I’m trying to say is why is the world such a mess then? And hey I might be onto something after all with that whole healthy & happy Scandinavian culture–it is for real!
I don’t have a clear answer for that – but I do have a feeling deep inside that we can make the world a better place. I’m a believer. On a daily basis, I try to live a conscious lifestyle. I’m a passionate vegan and one of my main concerns is that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming and commercial fisheries, is environmentally unsustainable. I also believe that through a more plant based diet, we can lower world starvation with a much more efficient use of earth resources.
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)