Coucheron is a Norwegian producer who is gearing up to drop his new album later this year. He's a compelling artist, with an uh-mazing sound and a super playful approach to his music. He spends a lot of his downtime hanging out with his roommates in LA and listening to gypsy jazz. We got to talk to him about what's up and also who's on his music radar.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Congratulations on your collaborations with Kehlani, Mayer Hawthorne, Charlie Puth, and Nick Jonas (amongst others). These seem to have been very fruitful projects. What have you enjoyed most about these collaborations? What are your dream collaborations?
[ Coucheron ]: Thank you! I like collaborating because people often bring very different references and influences to the table than you do yourself. Some of the above have happened over the internet as I was based in Oslo at the time, but I also love to be in the same room and see how people approach things differently than I do. Some people are just so fucking gifted and being wowed like that makes me really happy. I’d love to collaborate more with rock musicians. I think I could make some incredible stuff with Arctic Monkeys or Vampire Weekend. Skott and Karin Dreijer would be sick, too.
[ Vinylmnky ]: We read that Iron Maiden inspired you to pick up guitar and drums as a youth. How did you shift from playing aggressive rock music to being an electronic musician?
[ Coucheron ]: After playing in punk rock bands in my early days I wanted to become more involved in all the aspects of the sound, and not just do my guitar parts. I’ve always played the drums, piano, and guitar, so naturally, I wanted to have more hands-on control to how they were sounding.
When I first started making music on the computer, I didn’t think of it as electronic music, but I eventually got really into dance music, so that’s what I ended up trying to emulate. I just ripped off whatever songs I was into. Now, however, I’ve been bringing back a lot of what I loved with playing rock music. I find myself recording more and more instruments in my songs, and the writing process is more based around the piano or guitar rather than just the computer.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Billboard called your music “Large-scale electronic innovation with a taste of emotion.” That seems spot on and we also really like the high-energy of your sound. What are your inspirations for your unique sound?
[ Coucheron ]: Whenever I like something I’m working on, I get really hyper so the songs usually get more energetic along the way. If I’m doing a piano ballad, there’s a fair chance I’m gonna ruin it with too much energy lol.
Most of my writing influences come from emo bands like Taking Back Sunday, Mew, Paramore, The Get Up Kids and so on (Something To Write Home About is my go-to everything!!!!!!!). However, my production has always been influenced by french house acts like Daft Punk, Justice and SebastiAn. It makes for some cool combinations. I love throwing in tiny sample chops here and there in order to keep the listener on the edge of their seat. I’m also easily influenced by everything on the radio. I have no shame admitting that I try to be contemporary sometimes.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Has your musical inspiration changed since moving to Los Angeles?
[ Coucheron ]: It’s definitely changed, but more so by me just growing up. I love my everyday over here, and I love the people I surround myself with, but I still often go to Sandvika (hometown in Norway) to write/produce and find myself moving pretty seamlessly between the two cities, musically. If anything, I’ve grown more fond of Hip-Hop since moving here. Joey Bada$$’ new album is amazeballs.
[ Vinylmnky ]: Being from Austin, and new music curators, we are fanatical about SXSW. What was your SXSW experience like?
[ Coucheron ]: SXSW was sooooo much fun, and Austin as a city was amazing to see and experience. It was my first time playing the live show stateside, so it was incredibly satisfying to see new crowds react so positively. Met a lot of great people, ate a bunch of great food, and heard a lot of great music. I generally never manage to see the acts I plan to see at festivals, but I love stumbling across new bands and SXSW is great for just that.
[ Vinylmnky ]: What are your thoughts on the resurgence of vinyl as the best listening medium and how immersive, social, and artistic listening to music on vinyl is?
[ Coucheron ]: While I’m no snob in terms of audio quality, and don’t listen to vinyl myself, I think listening to vinyl as a discipline is great. I use Spotify a lot, but if I’m not intrigued by the first few seconds of a song, I’ll skip it very easily. I was an avid CD collector back in the days, and I would listen through all of them, even when I didn’t find the music to be good. And I’m really glad I did! I discovered so many killer tunes that I would’ve otherwise skipped in on-demand platforms like Spotify. In music, patience is often rewarded greatly!
[ Vinylmnky ]: You are gearing up to drop your debut album later this year. So 2017 is a very promising year for you, what are you most looking forward to?
[ Coucheron ]: I’ll release a few more singles throughout the year, leading up to the album, with a few remixes in between there too. Sharing new music is what I’m most stoked about for 2017. I’m very confident that my new music is my best work to date, so I really want people to hear it. I’m also working with some of my favorite artists as well. ARY is gonna drop some amazing music we’ve done together.
Coucheron is also on the new music discovery grind, and shared his top picks with us. Dig in.
Coucheron: One of many brilliant producer-artists to come out of Norway in recent years. His latest, One Step At A Time, is one of the better pop songs I’ve heard in recent past, and I suspect he’s sitting on stuff that’ll bring him to the public eye for real this year.
Coucheron: The most amazing singer-songwriter I’ve come across this past year. Painfully beautiful from A to Z. Released debut album, Sprained Ankle, last year. Funeral Pyre, one of her two singles in 2017 so far, might just be her best yet.
Coucheron: Randomly stumbled across this song today, and was intrigued enough to look through some more of his catalog. Incredibly refreshing sounds and feel. Excited to hear more.
Coucheron: Incredible Swedish singer. Wolf is a masterpiece all the way through and her other singles are great as well. Hoping for an album in 2017!
Coucheron: Perhaps my favorite collaborator on earth, I know she’s gonna have a huge 2017. Been very lucky to be involved in some of her upcoming songs, including Childhood Dreams.
Coucheron: You may recognize a lot of A.K. Paul’s soundscape from his brother, Jai Paul. A.K. was known to fairly involved in Jai Paul’s stuff, and I really do hope they both will release more stuff in 2017. This song is soooooo baller.