Interview: Lido

Interview: Lido

Lido is bringing some Christmas cheer to Australia this December.

Gun Norwegian producer Lido is making his way to Australia for the first time in 2014 (well, he may have already been here under a certain half-shelled moniker previously), and we're beyond excited to have him play our Pilerats X-Mas party (get a full run-down HERE), in addition to the Future Classic x BBE Christmas Weekender. Those shows will see him joined by some serious forward-thinking producers like Sophie, QT, Nadus and HWLS (read an interview with HWLS HERE), and we were fortunate to get some time with him before he lands down under in a couple of weeks.

You’re about to make your first trip to Australia, and while a lot of fans down here may only know you for recent work like the Love U EP (and various remix work), can you give us a brief rundown of what has taken you from hip hop/mixtape routes at a young age to starting the Lido project last year? 

Well, growing up my dad was a gospel musician, so gospel and R&B is where my heart is really at and these genres are still huge influences on my current music. I grew up in a very small town in Norway with pretty much no music community, so I had to figure things out on my own and never learned the "rules" of music, which I also think is pretty clear in the music I'm making now. I've had many projects over the years dabbling into hip hop and pop music, but the Lido project is the first one I've released internationally. It started out with a thought. What if I do exactly what I want? What if I take all the ingredients I love from all the different genres and combine them without compromise? That's what Lido is. The extreme version of me, haha. 

It's rumoured (somewhat well known) you work under a few different aliases, how do you decide which project you want to work on when you get up in the morning? 

I never know. I just get in the studio and start making whatever I feel like. If it's not right for Lido, it might be right for a different artist...

Having a strong background in songwriting to go with production, do you feel that gives you an edge over some producers who have the beat-making side of things really down-pat, but perhaps aren’t as strong giving songs a more rounded feel? 

I guess it at least makes my music a bit different than a lot of traditionally formatted electronic music. Mainly because I'm not from the club/dance scene, so my goal with my music is not to make people dance. It's rather to create a journey and surprise people. Broaden horizons maybe. 

More and more young artists are being called on by major labels to work on production for their big stars. Has this happened to Lido yet, or is it something you’re interested in pursuing?

I have been working a lot with talented singers and artists lately, though the music industry is a weird and unpredictable place so I can't comment on it much... I'm really excited though!

The Love U EP has been really popular in Australia, and while you’ve released albums under the LidoLido name do you have plans for doing the same as Lido – is the album format still a viable one for producers in 2014?

I think the renaissance of albums is very close. I think people are getting sick of singles and artists without depth or vision. I'm seeing so much engagement and hunger for music out there now, so I'm excited about the development in the next couple years. And yes, I love albums. I'm working on one now. 

It was also released with the team at Pelican Fly - how did that relationship come out?

I was introduced to DJ Slow a few years ago and he believed in this weird new music I was making before anyone else. He probably knew I should be making instrumental music before I even understood that was what I was doing myself, haha...

Your production chops are obviously top shelf, and Love U seems almost cinematic in scope, is scoring for movies something that interests you, is it something you'd like to do in the future? 

Absolutely. I draw a lot of inspiration from movies and a cinematic sound is definitely what I'm trying to achieve a lot of the time. What producer doesn't dream of scoring a film one day?

Your remix output is really prolific, and you seem happy to tackle a number of different genres – what does a track need to draw you in initially? 

Very hard to describe. I constantly listen to music searching for potential flips or angles. It could be a lyric I'd want to flip and change around to create new meaning, a melody I wish had different chords under it, a specific sound I like and want to make more central to the track or anything. Mostly when I hear something with potential that I myself as a listener would like it to be produced differently.

The remixes are also really varied – from bigger sounds to really delicate ones like your recent Flight Facilities remix, do you enjoy playing around with what people might expect from you with remixes, while still trying to give them that Lido feel?

My main thought when starting a remix is to "help the melody". Giving it space, changing little parts of it, adding different chords to underline it properly... I always go into remixes with the intention to re-write the song more than adapting it to the club scene. I think that's why all my remixes are so different, because I simply try to produce the song how I'd want to produce it if it was originally mine. So if that is making a club track a piano ballad or vice versa, doesn't matter to me as long as it feels right.

As mentioned this will be your first trip to Australia as Lido, but you have some pretty strong ties here already (working with Alison Wonderland, the Flight Facilities remix etc.) – what’s your take on the producer scene down here, and if you can – who are five producers (or artists) you’re really digging from Australia right now?

I think Australia is really on to something and has a very interesting scene right now. I might be a little bias as many of these are friends of mine, but I love Wave Racer, Cosmo's Midnight, Sable, Alison Wonderland, Maribelle, Basenji and so many more.

You’re also debuting a new live show – can you take us through how it’s going to work?

It's pretty different than most electronic live shows, where I feel like it's mostly about having tons of mysterious computers and midi-controllers and lights and buttons without necessarily adding much to the music. My show is based around a piano, some drum pads, a few CDJs for tracks and vocals. No computers doing anything but vocal processing. So it's not gonna be about constant builds and drops and weird sounds, but actually allowing some musicianship and improvisation to my catalogue.

The shows you’re playing are alongside some artists who are really gaining popularity in the realms of PC Music (especially in the UK) – and it’s a genre Australia is only just getting introduced to now, I was curious as to your take on it, and if it’s a sound that is gaining popularity where your from?

I think underground music at this point doesn't know boarders. Norwegian underground-music fans are excited about the same stuff Australian underground-music fans are excited about. I think PC Music is the next big thing and stylistically a fresh breath to the electronic music scene. I love it and am definitely inspired by it.

Following the trip to Australia what’s the plans with Lido for the New Year and into 2015? 

I'm wrapping up a few collaborative EPs right now that I'm really excited about and hopefully my album is gonna be done sometime next year. I'm also gonna be touring more with the Lido project in different parts of the world.


Wed 17 Dec: Pilrats x ICSSC Xmas Party @ Gilkisons, Perth w/ Sophie, Nadus, QT & Sable

Fri 19 Dec: XMAS Weekender @ 170 Russell, Melbourne w/ Lido, Sophie, Nadus, QT & UV Boi

Sat 20 Dec: XMAS Weekender @ Metro Theatre, Sydney w/ Lido, Sophie, Nadus, QT & UV Boi

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