The EDM producer talks us through his creativity in lockdown and working with Bebe Rexha.
Topic makes emotive EDM that has deep meaning and high frequency. Not surprisingly, his songs have hit billions of streams categorised as “melancholic dance music” earning a Platinum certification in Germany as well as double Platinum in Australia. The star has attracted the likes of many collaborators, most recently Bebe Rexha with “Chain My Heart”. In 2020, Topic and Nico Santos revived their successful collaboration with their new track “Like I Love You,” and Topic has been nonstop since he started in 2008. We caught up with him just as countries are starting to open up and live shows are happening again.
Check out the interview below now…
Tell us about making your latest single “Chain My Heart” with Bebe Rexha? How did that collaboration happen? What did you learn while making it?
Thank you! A7S, who has been my writing partner for a couple of years now, Petter Tarland, and I started making the track last summer in Stockholm. We immediately thought the song would need a female voice and also thought it must be someone who’s got let’s say a little “swag” or attitude in her voice as the pre-chorus is kinda “rappy” and Bebe actually was the first name, which instantly popped up in our heads. So I’m very happy that she is on the record now!
What inspired the single?
Nowadays we’re always trying not to be too inspired by something when we’re going into a session. We basically just go with the flow. Sometimes something really great comes to mind and sometimes it doesn’t but that’s ok. You can´t force creativity.
What was it like shooting the official video for “Chain My Heart” with Bebe? Is there a story behind the video?
The shooting of the official video for “Chain My Heart” was the greatest shoot I’ve had so far. It was more like shooting a movie. It pays tribute to the industrial-chic music videos of the late 80s/early 90s as well as action films of that era.
You started your career at a young age, how did that happen? Who were your biggest inspirations and supporters?
I didn’t even know I had a passion for music at all until I was a teen and joined a project my former music teacher created. It was a project where we could use music programs on computers. And as I was young, of course I was drawn to media. He recognized that I had some talent and encouraged me a lot. I started making music in 2008 and during that time Timbaland and Dr. Dre were my biggest influences! But also Avicii and Swedish House Mafia, just to name a few, drew me to EDM.
What if anything do you wish you knew when you started that you know now?
That everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time and there are no secrets or recipes of making hits. Plus: consistency is key!
How has the pandemic impacted your music-making? What did you learn from this time the world was staying home?
During the pandemic, I’ve had much more time in the studio to create music than usual. Of course, I’ve lost important live gigs like all musicians during the pandemic but luckily as a producer, it didn’t hit me as hard as the artists who rely on live gigs. It gave me a lot more studio time to develop my sound and work together with other artists. I’ve learned that I don´t like to work remotely though. I like to be in the studio with the artists and writers I work with to be the most creative and effective.
This last year has been challenging for everyone for so many reasons, so you think that we are embarking on a roaring 20’s type era or what do you foresee?
I hope everything will be back to normal very soon and we can all enjoy events and festivals again. But I do think people will go out even more because they now have learned to appreciate it all a little more again. It’s like a reset button has been pushed and the mindset is a different one now.
Where do you find new music?
I love discovering music all over the place. Whether it’s a store, on the radio, at an event or whatsoever, and then Shazam it.
What musicians are you listening to most right now? Known and unknown?
What I am listening to is very song-based at the moment, not any specific musicians. I also like to listen to old songs that I love, which are not limited to any genres. Could be anything from Eminem, old dance classics and also Lana Del Rey or Nelly Furtado.
Who has given you the best advice? What was it?
The best advice was given to me by my music teacher. He was the one who brought me into producing in the first place and told me that I should focus on making music!
What is your advice for new artists?
You will have setbacks from time to time, but just keep going. Persistence and consistency are vital ingredients to success.
Talk to us about social media? How do you find it useful? How do you balance with not using it too much?
Social media was really useful in the beginning, as I didn’t have any radio stations playing my music or got any playlist adds because no one knew my name. But I did have a little fan base already and with them I could share my music though social media, they shared it and kept the ball rolling so it went viral and others started noticing me and my music. I’ve always mostly used social media as an instrument to get my music out and that’s what I continue to do today, but I don’t spend ages on social media.
How do you feel about fashion? What brands or designers do you gravitate to?
I’m starting to like fashion more and more. It’s interesting to see that there are some similarities to music even. I like to discover new designers and styles everywhere I go. But my go-to brands or designers are Heron Preston, Balenciaga, Off-White, and Palm Angels.
What is something you want people to know about you that you haven’t shared in an interview before?
Wow, that´s a tricky one. To be honest, I don´t know. Looking back on the interviews the past 2 years it seems I shared quite a lot.
Define your own version of Wonderland?
Sleep as long as I want and eat whatever I want and not gain weight!