DNDR Interview: Going On Up
by kariann tan
it has been a while since we have seen a resurgence of edm fused with 80s synths. as that is so, dndr has most certainly filled up that niche - serving new calming bangers such as “still here” and “shine a little light on your own mind”. check out this interview that i was able to do with ola and ludwig, as we explore deeper into their passion and what makes their musical minds tick.
Hey guys! Thanks for being able to join us for this interview. Your debut is absolutely phenomenal with clean, crisp beats and feel good vibes coming from "Shine A Little Light On Your Own Mind". But before I get to that, I want to talk about the group as a whole. How was DNDR formed?
ola: First of all, thank you very much for the kind words!
We met in LA a few years ago in a music related class both of us were taking at UCLA, the class unfortunately was not much to hang in the christmas tree, as we say in Sweden, but we bonded pretty instantly. However, I decided to leave LA for a while and was gone for about two years. When I moved back this winter I had this epiphany that I needed to reach out to Ludwig and that we should start working together. So I did, and lucky for me he was on board immediately.
What inspired you guys to go down this sort of "indie-EDM" route that we definitely hear with your debut?
ola: The indie sound was never really a conscious move but more just who we are. We both come from backgrounds where we’ve been making and listening to more alternative music so when we started DNDR we kind of used our backgrounds and said “let’s do that but let’s add something people can dance to. Let’s make it a little more inclusive”.
What influenced you to create "Shine A Little Light On Your Own Mind"? Was it real life events or was it entirely fictional?
ludwig: It started with an acoustic idea from Ola, which I vibed with. Then we just sat down in my studio one day and created the whole song that day. It was totally inspired by the energy and positivity we felt from collaborating in the same room that day. In terms of the sound there’s definitely some 80s anthem inspiration (especially in the bridge) that came very organically. We both love a lot of music from that era so I think that will show in everything we do in one way or the other.
I noticed that you have a very nice looking aesthetic promoting your singles cover, and your band as a whole. Was this intentional?
ludwig: Yeah we had a very clear idea of what we wanted in terms of color and aesthetics so we reached out to one of Ola’s childhood friends @letterboy who’s an amazing artist and calligrapher. He actualized exactly what we wanted and more, and that’s how it came about.
What, in your opinion, is the hardest thing to overcome right now, as a growing artist?
Ludwig: The financial side of life has definitely taken a bit of a back seat, but that’s been a very conscious move. I think that everything will be worth it in the end and the feeling of making music and putting it out is just so much stronger than any other feeling that might try to startle us. Aside from that, it’s the obvious that self-doubt comes and goes but that’s something we all have in one way or the other so it’s pretty easy to shake off as the end goal is so clear. Luckily we have each other so a good phone call always helps us bring the mood up if we have one of those days.
What songs are making the rounds on your playlists right now?
Ludwig: I’ve been listening a lot to Rostam and Hammock at the moment. Justice’s new reinterpretation album is also amazing. As far as songs go I’d say “Wood” by Rostam, “Now and Not Yet” by Hammock, and Justice’s “Love S.O.S”.
ola: I’ve listened a lot to GOAT and Bad Brains lately, I also kind of rediscovered my love for the absolutely amazing Swedish 70s/80s punk band Ebba Grön.
What can we expect with your upcoming release?
ola: Euphoria. It’s a pretty upbeat song that makes us feel both happy, emotional and energized and we hope it’ll do the same for people that listen to it.