By Kieran Webber
The indie-dream pop outfit Hajk from Norway have had a short but incredibly successful career. Since their debut release in 2017 they have garnered praise from a multitude of publications as well as support from actor and model Chloë Grace Moretz. It comes as no surprise, as their infectious, delicate melodies are undoubtedly beautiful. Not to mention their heartfelt, emotive songwriting that hits the listener at the core.
Recently they announced their forthcoming album ‘Drama’ that is set for release February 1st via Jansen Records. We even got a taste of their sickly sweet sounds with the single ‘Dancing Like This’ (video below). With new music on the way we were eager to chat to them about the new album, what influenced it and much more!
Listen to ‘Dancing Like This’ here:
CLUNK: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, it is greatly appreciated! How have you been and what have you been up to?
Hajk: We’re good, thanks! Since our first album, we’ve been playing shows in Norway, Denmark, UK, US, Japan, and it’s been great. We’ve also written a whole new album, which we are eager to share very soon.
CLUNK: What made you want to start making music?
Hajk: We all have our own story within the band on how we came to be musicians, but Hajk emerged out of us studying jazz at the same school. When we graduated, we wanted to do something that felt new and fresh to us. We thought that making good pop-songs had to be the ultimate challenge, so we used Hajk as a vehicle for figuring it out over time as a collective of songwriters.
“When we graduated, we wanted to do something that felt new and fresh to us”
CLUNK: What was life like growing up in Norway?
Hajk: We all grew up mostly in rural areas before moving to Oslo as young adults, so for the most part it was very calm and quiet. People always told me how lucky I was growing up in Norway, and now I see why they kept telling me that.
CLUNK: What is a common misconception of being from Norway?
Hajk: We don’t have polar bears as pets, although that would be pretty cool. Also, we’re not THAT into black metal.
CLUNK: Does your birthplace have any influence on your creativity?
Hajk: For me (Preben), my hometown made me want to do everything opposite of the norm, looking out in the world instead of around me. At the same time, it gave me a lot of time and space to practice and get better.
“People always told me how lucky I was growing up in Norway, and now I see why they kept telling me that”
CLUNK: What sort of music did you listen to growing up and how does it affect your music?
Hajk: I listened to Eminem and Metallica mostly, and I guess I ended up somewhere in between. I’ve never played any of those genres myself, but I guess I wouldn’t be where I am musically today if it weren’t for those albums.
CLUNK: In a short time you guys have received a lot of attention, how does that feel and was it something you ever expected?
Hajk: As mentioned, we started this band to try out musical ideas and have fun, so for us to suddenly reach out to a lot of people is both great and unexpected. All the kind words we’ve been given, is a great inspiration for us as we continue to write new music.
CLUNK: How did it feel when Chloe Grace Moretz declared her fanship of your music?
Hajk: It was surreal (I had just seen a movie of hers when I got the notification on Twitter), and it made us realize how fast and how far music travels these days.
CLUNK: What can we expect from your second album ‘Drama’?
Hajk: I guess you can expect different kinds of drama, in the lyrics, music and in the arrangements. There’s also some r’n’b and urban-elements that is more present this time, in comparison to the first album.
CLUNK: Is there anything you did differently whilst recording?
Hajk: The first day of recording was the day we came home from a US and Japan tour, and we were really tired. At the same time we had a different perspective, and it made us play in a different way I think. As for the rest of the process, we produced it ourselves like we did the last time, and that felt really good.
“We produced it ourselves like we did the last time, and that felt really good”
CLUNK: What was the driving influence behind the forthcoming release?
Hajk: Frank Ocean, Lykke Li, SZA are some of the artists we’ve been listening to a lot during the making of the album.
CLUNK: If you could collab with any other artist who would it be and why?
Hajk: Susanne Sundfør. She is awesome.
CLUNK: Lastly, we like to finish with a story, so can you tell us something weird or funny that has happened to you?
Hajk: Our very first show was at Norway’s biggest outdoor festival – Øyafestivalen, and at the time we got the booking we had only written two songs, and were two members short, but we still said “We’ll do it”. Those were a couple of stressful months putting together a set and a full band in just a few weeks!