Lido is one of the most talented musicians to grace the music industry. Growing up in the very isolated mountains of Norway, the producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist is best known for his eclectic style, creating his own lane somewhere in the midst of R&B, hip-hop, EDM, and pop.
Whether he’s making beats, playing keys, remixing projects, or creating his own records as a solo artist, real name Peder Losnegård loves music down to the core. His long catalog of placements include producing “Angels” and “Same Drugs” on Chance The Rapper’s standout 2016 album Coloring Book, to more recently co-writing and producing six songs on Halsey’s new project Maniac.
Growing up with a strange mix of influences, the now 27-year-old as a result makes genreless music. His ability to transcend sounds and styles come to life as he remakes two standout Kanye West projects: Life of Pablo and Kids See Ghosts with Kid Cudi. kidsloveghosts highlights his out-of-the-box mentality, which carries much weight in today’s oversaturated vessel of new music.
While collaborating with big names such as Jaden Smith, Banks, and Diplo are always nice, Lido is focused on his own artistry. At the end of last year, he released the visual for “How To Do Nothing,” proving his complex yet artsy style of storytelling. With his new single “Rise” on the horizon, Lido holds fans over until his highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Peder, arrives.
Flaunt caught up with Lido at Soho House in West Hollywood to discuss his upbringing in Norway, working with Chance and Halsey, and the story that inspired his new project PEDER.
Who were your “strange mix of influences”?
My dad was really into gospel music when I was a kid. Obviously in Norway there’s no gospel music, so it’s just me and my dad listening to it. Everyone else listened to regular pop music. At home, I’d only listen to gospel and soul music. Outside of home, there’d be regular pop music. It’s a strange mix of those things, which I don’t think a lot of people from where I’m from have.
Who else comes out of Norway?
There’s been really good electronic music from Norway. Cashmere Cat’s from Norway. Kygo’s from Norway. A lot of DJs, a bunch of really incredible musicians come out of Norway. It’s very cold. We’re very shy people, so we stay inside and get really good at whatever we like. Therefore, a lot of people are really good at making music.
What was it like growing up in Norway? Paint the scenery.
You know what a Fjord is? It’s a really dramatic landscape. It’s a super wide river with very steep mountains on each side. The mountains are covered in trees and the fjord ends up in the ocean. Basically when glaciers melt, it digs out these really steep, weird rivers. I grew up in those, it’s a typical Norweigen phenomenon. A lot of trees and a lot of snow, that was my life.
You were just home recently right?
Yes, this Christmas. My mom would kill me if I didn’t go home for Christmas, so I always go.
I think I read that Norway discovered sushi before Japan?
We discovered salmon sushi, because Norway has the best salmon in the world. Even the best restaurants in Japan import their salmon from Norway. We came up with the idea of salmon sushi.
You love salmon I’m guessing?
Yes, but I’m so picky about it. It has to be really good salmon. Because I grew up on the regular grocery store having the best salmon. Spoiled. [chuckles]
At what point did the music thing become real?
I don’t think I ever had a different idea, to be honest. I got my first drum kit when I was two years old. Immediately, I thought “I’m going to be a drummer.” My parents are strange, they put up with us. [chuckles] I wanted to be a drummer up until I was 11 when I started writing songs. People always thought my music was good. I did my first TV show when I was 6 years old playing drums, so I’m used to people being open to the idea of me doing music. I always thought that’s what I was supposed to do.
What are all the instruments you play?
I’m always nervous because I don’t want to get challenged on anything [chuckles], but I’m really good at drums and piano. Those are my main instruments, then I can fake it with everything else. I’ve made songs out of most instruments. You could put me on a stage and say “go!” I’ll figure it out if I have one of those two things. Those are two things I mastered.
What do you feel when you play the piano?
Freedom. It’s really nice, playing piano is one of the most relaxing things to me. I cracked the code a couple years ago, I got to the point where I don’t think about playing the piano anymore. It just happens. One of the first things I do when I get up in the morning is play the piano. It’s a part of me.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I used to be a singer. I had a pop career phase back in Norway, so I was already making music. I actually made a couple albums for myself. At some point, I decided to start putting my music on Soundcloud and that’s when people outside of Norway discovered it.
I did a bunch of remixes very early on on SoundCloud. That got a bunch of attention and from there, I met a bunch of people. A lot of people I met were people who I remixed without their permission. They’d be like “wait a minute, this is actually really cool. Who are you?”
Who was the first artist?
Chance the Rapper was the first one of those. I flipped one of his songs, he’s like “wait a minute, who the fuck are you?” We spoke on the internet first, the first song we made together was over the internet as well. Once those things started to happen, I’m like “oh, maybe I should move to the US.”
When did you first meet Halsey?
Ashley’s one of the first people I worked with over here. She came to the studio here in LA very early on. She only had one song out when I met her. We had a session, wrote some songs that day. They were both terrible, but we stayed friends and found chemistry together. I was very involved in her first album, helping shape the whole idea of what her music’s supposed to sound like.
What made her just trust you like that?
I have no idea, you have to ask her. I guess she heard something that she likes. [chuckles]
How’s it feel to have six songs on her new project Maniac?
It’s cool. It’s very natural for me to make music with her, because I’ve made music with her for so long. I did five to six songs on the previous record too. On the first album, I did almost all of them.
Does producing take away from you as an artist?
It definitely splits my brain in half a little bit. Sometimes, I definitely feel like that. These last six months up until Christmas, I was doing a lot of executive production. I was handling the entire project of several artists, so that was really splitting my brain into multiple pieces.
But at the same time, very often there’s synergy in it to where I’ll make something with someone for their album or project, then it turns out it feels more like a song of mine. Then it turns into things that become my music, and vice versa. It can be frustrating but at the same time, there’s so much synergy in it. I thrive off doing a million things at once, that’s a part of how I do things.
What can we expect from your new album PEDER?
Peder is my real name. My birth name, it’s pronounced PE-ED-ER. This album is me trying to do a million things at once. There are a lot of different influences, a lot of experimental production ideas. The outline of it is a boy is born on a spaceship, and the spaceship doesn’t have any music. He gets caught in a storm one day and he’s trying to send out a mayday signal. By accident, he tunes into a pirate radio station and discovers music through this one channel.
I like making stories for my albums because they help me shape my decision-making. On this one, I thought “alright, if I was a kid who’s never heard music, found it, and didn’t know any of the rules. What would I do?” I tried making music that felt naive and kind of limitless. Because before you know the rules, you’re not trying to break them. Especially today, a lot of music is trying to break the rules purposely. They’re trying to be shocking and purposefully do weird stuff.
I thought “what would I do if I didn’t know any better?” If I didn’t know there were rules. That’s the experiment with this album, which became this mix of everything that I love treated in a very equal way. There’s jazz music there, electronic music, hip-hop music, gospel music. They’re all equal in a way. It’s not “this is hip-hop music! With a little bit of rock.” It’s very genreless music. There’s way more to the story about the boy, but I don’t want to bore you. [chuckles]
How’s it feel to have the co-sign from Jaden Smith?
It feels great. Jaden is one of my best friends. We have made a shit ton of music together. That’s my little brother at this point.
How did you meet Jaden initially?
Randomly. Same way as Chance, he heard something. I messed with one of his early songs and made an edit of it. He heard it and was like “whoa, what’s going on?” I did a bunch of songs on his last record, a bunch of songs on his new record. I’m actually flying to London next week to hang out with him for a little while. That’s my brother, we’ve been on tour together. He’s literally family.
What are some goals for yourself at this point of your career?
It depends. Obviously, I want to play this venue. I want to do this thing. I want this person and that person to hear this music. But most of all, I want to break down ideas in music of what you should be doing if you’re from a certain place. I want to break down ideas of what a song needs to be. The most important thing for me is to broaden people’s horizons.
I believe if you change the way that you think, that a pattern needs to be in one way, then it might change the way that you think about the world generally. If I can show you a song that has a format of something you could never even think a song can have, or using a sound in a song that you’d never imagine being in a song, then that might change your thinking on how the world needs to be. That’s a way of making a difference that’s close to my heart. I don’t want to break boundaries just to break boundaries. I want to hopefully have an influence on people’s open-mindedness generally. If I could do that with music, that’d be sick. I’m trying.