By Noah Michelson
The album almost feels like a concept album -- it stands up to repeated listenings, there are recurring melodies and themes, the tracks play off one another. What were you thinking about when you made it?
I'm glad you said that because that's exactly what it is -- it is a concept album about relationships. I made it about getting over all the stuff that happened between my girlfriend who lived in New York and me. It's coming from me being 20 years old to turning 30 and those years weren't so fun for me. It's only in the last couple of years that things started to go my way. For a lot of people, especially in England, [an album] is like a one-trick pony. This album is supposed to be like the before-party, the party, the after-party. You can listen to it in the background but if you listen to it closely there are recurring themes all the way through. I just like showing people there is a light at the end of the tunnel -- it just might be really far away.
How do you pick the vocalists that you work with?
It's pretty easy: The people I work with are the people that I like. I think it's nice to work with people who have a solid place on the Swedish music scene and not just go for the new singers. Lykke [Li] -- we did a song together two years ago before her album came out and she did really well. So now she's flying the flag for up-and-coming good Swedish pop singers. And then it's just people I've stumbled upon, either from being out or through friends. I'm happy they say yes and I think it gives the album some diversity. And then there are a few instrumental tracks too, because I didn't want it to become too much of a 'guest starring' record. When the singers are there, it's a 50-50 collaboration -- it's as much them as it is me. Funnily enough, Lykke wrote the lyrics for her song and even that song could be about me and my ex. So it was like everyone was on the same wavelength.
I heard a rumor that you wrote 'Thank You For Nothing' about Cyndi Lauper after she refused to let you use the track you produced for her on your album. Is that true?
No. That's absolutely not true. I get that question a lot. That track was made about my ex-girlfriend.
What's up next for you? Are you coming to the U.S. anytime soon?
I used to go to NYC all the time. I used to go out with a fake ID when I was like 17, but we're trying to solve all the visa issues, so, I don't know. We'll see how the record goes. I might try and finish another record pretty soon and see what happens after that. My friend has a really nice studio in Glastonbury where my girlfriend lives. We're actually going to buy an apartment today -- we've been bidding on it. So, I'll have apartment here and one in Stockholm and I'll have a studio here so I'm just trying to get it all ready because it's a really big studio with different rooms. I'm just trying not to stress and take it easy and wait for the baby but still work. Just trying to get people to the studio and having a good life and not stressing too much. I'm still reinventing my whole being. I love going out and playing but I can't really do it everyday. Every night I go out I need one day of recovery.
Kleerup is now available in stores and on iTunes. For more information on Kleerup, head to his website.