“Innocence Lost” is the new studio album by Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle.
Recorded predominantly in Los Angeles, INNOCENCE LOST was co-written by Erik Hassle and executively produced by Daniel Ledinsky (Shakira, Rihanna, Tove Lo). Other special collaborators on the record include Eshraque “iSHi” Mughal (Tinie Tempah, Emeli Sandé) and TV on The Radio’s Dave Sitek, with additional production from SOHN (Banks, Lana Del Rey), Oskar “Sikow” Engstroem (Giorgio Moroder, Kate Boy), John Hill (AlunaGeorge, Elle King), Billboard (Britney Spears, Robyn), Gorgon City and Al Shux (Alicia Keys, Elliphant).
Thanks to Erik Hassle
Merci à Edouard C.
Big thanks to TEN
Photo : TEN / RCA
Interview : Renaud Velin
You succeed the difficult bet of composing an album with on one side deep and sensual sounds with a sexy groove and on the other side some really happy Pop songs. You offer us an album with some new exclusive songs and some others from previous EP or release. So now, I am really curious to know how you defined the skeleton of what the album would be and what were your intentions when you imagined creating « Innocence Lost »?
When I went to Los Angeles, about four years ago, I evolved a lot in my writing so I was really experiencing that development as I was writing for this album. And that has made it feels like it is a debut album for me in a way. I feel so attached to it. That can be also the reason for why it points in different directions but it has really a red thread, although I think. It is mostly the sad songs, even though sometimes the music can fool you but that’s more so that it won’t get depressing.
Whatever the genre of your music, you always payed attention to write thinkful lyrics strong and moving even when the tunes are more like a pop-up happy bubble like for example for your singles « Words » and « Smaller ». Is it a requirement for you as a writer to make thoughtful lyrics in the Pop music?
I think it is important for me to have story when I write the song that I can see from the start how it sounds and that it comes from something real. I really enjoy writing. I like putting together a song more in a mathematic way, so the theme or the plot where that emotion comes from is important to find something that you believe in and that moves you. So it has been kind of a requirement that is thoughtful because you always looks photos of feelings when I try to make music. It could be the inspiration from my own experiences and also inspiration from other people experiences. People inspires me, a lot. Daniel Ledinsky wrote most of the songs on the album and he kind opened up a new lyrical world from it. He was so incredible with words. In a way he made the first piece right when we started writing together. When I do more write for other people, more work with people that I might don’t know as well, I always try to find something to talk about or start a discussion almost like a therapy, type of thing in the room where you talk about inspiration to write something. I feel that when Dani and I started working, we are more open than just saying we had to say.
Many songs are co-written with Daniel Ledinsky including « Words » or « If your man only knew ». How did this artistic collaboration begin between you? What do you bring to each other?
I was enough lucky to meet Daniel through my best friend and manager, Adis who was already working in LA at the time and he put us together when I came to do a short two week riding trip in LA. Then we found something creatively, me and Daniel and that trip turned into 3 months. He had a huge impact on my life specially in the music because that is what we met first but I think we brought something to each other just by really liking each other and appreciating each other spirit that which made us very compatible and easing going in a creative process. We can easily work in any environment basically. That was an amazing journey we had together on this album.
You featured 3 artists on 3 of your songs in the album: Vic Mensa, Tinashe and Gorgon City. Can you tell us a word about each one? Why have you chosen them and what you retain from your collaborations?Tinashe and I came up in the same time, we were both signed by Sony RCA in the US and I wrote a song that I wanted record vocals with her and then we hooked up again in studio. I just wrote « Innocence Lost » and asked her if she wanted to feature it all and she did that. And I am very happy for!
Gorgon City was a meeting at a last-minute session. I remember receiving a call from my manager to know if I wanted to attend their session and discover their work. I seat and check it out and I really really like their stuff, so we spent the day together and turned it into « FTPA ».
And Vic Mensa that was just the blessing from the sky. That was not handle by me at all. There were already a couple of features on the songs on the EP to put in the album, I was sitting in the studio and got the Vic Mensa’s verses and the rest of his histories. It is the first time that I had somebody rap over one of my song. His performance was one of the best performance that I ever heard so that was super cool.
Is the stage a way for you to express yourself other than by your music? Is it a way to let go comparing to the disciplined writing process?
Yes definitely! I love the studio and the live scenario as much as each other but in different ways. If I had the possibility, I would like to do in the studio all that I can do playing live. I like to do everything live that is something unbeatable but I feel both happy in live or in studio.
For this end of year what can we wish you in addition to a great success for your album? Make some passes and dribbles with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the football player?
Well that would be a nice wish indeed but in addition to that, we can also wish that Zlatan becomes the top score in the Premier league, that Manchester United gets its place for the Champions League and Zlatan wins the Golden Boal at the age of 36 next year when he wins Champions League with Manchester United.