Be in a Music Video – Tick
We don’t know about you but we’ve got a list of things to do before we die, and being in a music video is definitely one of them. So how’s this for a reason to visit our beautiful Copenhagen hostel, not that you need one. Danish rapper Cas recently shot his latest music video there. Nice eh? If we say so ourselves.
Here’s the music video for you to gander at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ueX-DKGEXo&feature=share&list=UUWebAxcbMosM1ezifBvSg6Q
To celebrate this we had his release party and pinned him down for a cheeky interview.
What’s your name, what do you do and where do you come from?
My name is Caspar, I am a musician, and I am from Copenhagen. I have lived the most of my life in the area of Copenhagen called Vesterbro. Until the late 90’s it was mostly known for its prostitutes, drugs and so on. It is located behind the Central station and has now become one of the gentrified areas with a lot of cafes and clubs. We also have the meatpacking District here and like New York this area is a place with bars and night-life.
My artist name ended up being Cas as short for my government name Caspar. Originally I was just Caspar on my first demos, but that the label $kandalø$ Records that signed me in for my first release, wanted me to find a name fast and Cas just came to mind. I also I use the alias Casflow on occasions First and foremost I am a rap musician. I have been doing this since I was 16 years old. I have 5 solo albums under my belt and a whole bunch of singles and features. I released my debut “Reflexion” as an 18 year old kid, and that one eventually was nominated for a Danish Music Award. It has been considered a classic in Danish rap music ever since. But on the real I am a multifaceted kind of dude. I have been working as an independent artist with my own label since 2004 and I also work as a manager. This is a thing I started a few years ago. I have my own company CFE. Also I work with troubled youth in the projects of some of the rough suburbs of Copenhagen. Ive been working with this for 4 years now. Teaching youngsters from these areas to rap and sing. Throwing concerts with big names and put these kids on for their live performances and stuff like that.
How long have you been making music?
Since I was 16 roughly. I started writing poetry. Just stuff from my life and made it rhyme. It eventually turned out as rap lyrics. I have listened to rap music since Run-DMC dropped “Christmas in Hollis”.
What’s the place in the world you would most like to visit before you die?
I’ve been some of the places already. My girlfriends family on the fathers side is from Ghana, so we went there this year. It was the bomb. Not too long before that, we were in New York and we are going to Thailand soon. I did not really have too much money growing up, so now I try to fulfil my dreams.
Describe yourself in three words
Disciplined, focused, hard-working
Complete this sentence: Life is…
What you make it
What inspired you most to pursue music?
My childhood and the way I grew up. I had a troubled childhood and my father was a heavy drinker and a musician. He never really reached his goals with the music, and seeing him going through that, just made me push it to the limit and I still do. Every day I grind because I know I am investing in my own future.
Who are your greatest artistic influences?
Growing up my father listened to all kinds of stuff. He grew up with The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Cream and was a part of that whole 60’s and 70’s movement. But he also loved groups such as Toto, Saga and many more. He was a guy who loved the good melody and the hook, so that rubbed off on me. As a little kid I listened to a lot of rock also but as I started to go into my teens my focus was very much on hip-hop and Rn B I’ve been influenced by everything from Gary Moore to Tupac Shakur. I love great music.
In your own words, how would you describe your style?
I started out relating a lot to east-coast rap acts such as Tribe Called Quest, 3rd Bass, Run-DMC, Public Enemy but along came the west coast and in the hiphop-goldage around 91-94 the westcoast scene blew up with tracks that contained melody and great hooklines. I was a sucker for that. My style is very much influenced by melody and the wish to tell a story that people can relate to. To me working with the words and fitting that into the perfect sound image is the art-form.
What is your preferred genre?
If you asked me 5-7 years ago I would have said west coast rap music but now that I’m older, I feel like every great tune that makes me relate or feel something is my kind of music. I’m not bound to rap music only. I do not have that fear of standing out and saying that I love Sade’s music for example.
What is your preferred mood and why?
Wow I cant really tell. I’m mostly inspired when I’m really passionate about something. So I guess I would have to say “the passionate mood”.
Is there an underlying message to your music? Are you attempting to communicate something?
Coming up I was very much into sending out my story about growing up with broken home and having a father who was a drinker. Also the whole thing about coming from nothing, wanting something and doing it with the power of your own self and to rely on one self. I guess that is what still defines me. The fighter.
Artistically, something you have never tried but always wanted to?
Do a song where I sing instead of rapping. No rapping at all. Also I want to go into producing, writing lyrics and songs for other artists. That’s next…
What do you hope to achieve with this Video Release?
To be honest I came to a place in my life, not too long ago, where I felt the fun thing about music had left me. I wondered why and came to the conclusion that I had been too focused on the success, and the way other people conceived my music instead of doing it for me. So this video and track is actually the first release in my new era, where I again do the music for myself foremost without wondering how people react to it. The ambition was to have fun and enjoy the journey. Of course I hope radio will play it and TV will show the video, but that comes around as number 2. Number 1 was me healing up myself and my way of doing what I love. Sometimes you gotta slow down and look in the mirror. I did that and this is what I found. I needed to go back to having fun with it.
How does Copenhagen inspire you?
The city used to inspire me a whole lot when I was younger. My music was very driven by the urban atmosphere and that grimey life. But no one stays the same and right now I’m trying to become a whole person who has a focus on life in general, so I guess you can say Copenhagen made me what I am as a rap artist, it moulded me. But right now I’m inspired by life in its essence.
What excites you about Generator as an performance space?
I was very surprised how cool the spot was and how loungy the atmosphere was. I was ready to just get it cracking once I experienced the facilities. Plus the location is excellent. Right in the middle of the city.
What motivated you to take on this project?
My desire to create and evolve as an artist and as a person. And to make good music. The beat which has a very old school-vib. I choose this beat only because I liked the sound with no consideration to contemporary sound and stuff like that.
Where are your favourite spots in the city, and why?
When I go out I mostly go the clubs where they play Hiphop and RnB. For smaller venues places such as RUST are great. Going out to eat I can really vouch for Sticks N’s Sushi at Tivoli Hotel. That’s on top of a tall building so you get that whole skyline thing going on. Just to chill I go to places like Dragør. I have a car so if you do not have one, maybe I would recommend one of the many parks in Copenhagen. Right around the corner from Generator is one of the best “Kongens Have”.