The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Grand Alpaca
Photo: Michaela Klouda
After establishing himself with a string of vibrant offerings over the last few months, Norwegian singer and songwriter Grand Alpaca is back once again to share his latest uplifting stunner 'Feel So Good'.
Bringing back more of that rich and enticing sound he has cultivated for himself, 'Feel So Good' makes for a warm and inviting listen from start to finish. With its sweeping tones, shimmering production, and his own passionate vocals at the helm, it already feels like we'll be hearing a lot more from him in the months to come.
So with the new single doing the rounds, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
I was really fortunate that my mom and dad let me try out a lot of different instruments as a kid. I think the first instrument I tried was a piano, but reading music has never been my thing and wasn’t back then either I guess. I moved on to drums and accordion, and at some point I remember singing in a choir, but never really got into anything before my dad got me this electric guitar when I was around 13. Think I got hooked on the first chord and Ive been hooked ever since. Wish I didn’t give up on the piano though, because its such an amazing instrument - the chords you can build….! If there is such a thing as a next life Id probably go with being a vocalist because then you don’t need to haul around shitloads of gear when gigging.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Thats a really hard question indeed - because i really cant remember. What I DO remember is the first thing that did a real heavy hitting musical impact on me, and that was a mixtape made by my uncle with all these great blues artists like Eric Clapton, BB King, Freddie King and those guys. The blues is the roots, the rest is the fruits!
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
I was actually kicked out from language class trying to learn the german language back in junior high! My teacher told me it just wasn’t for me so I got to play in the school band instead. Probably a wise decision! We just played cover songs, jammed and had a lot of fun. I guess that was where the band stuff started, and it continued on to high-school where I studied music. We had a few different bands, mostly playing blues and 60s/70s rock. It was a really classical and jazz oriented school - playing blues wasn’t really appreciated by the teachers i think. But that was what I wanted to do back then, so…
Later on, back in 2013 I got to be in a band called Comet Kid and we did the folk rock thing for five years and played a lot of cool festivals and released four records. I learned a lot in that period and got to meet a lot of great people. When we decided to take break / split up / call it what you want I just felt I had to keep going, cus playing music is such an important part of my life. So I built a small recording space in my apartment and started writing and recording on my own as Grand Alpaca.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
Wow, so many great songs to choose from…but Elephant by Jason Isbell is probably the most heavy hitting song Ive ever heard. If that song doesn’t stir up your emotions, there is probably something seriously wrong with you.
What has been the most thrilling moment about creating your own music?
Escaping into my own little place with no other rules than my own and just experiment. What works and what don’t. There is no better feeling than making everything fall into place and hit that this is it moment. Its really a rush I cant explain. You know, making your ideas come alive. And its been a real pleasure working with some great musicians. It really blows my mind when someone takes my song song into this place I didn’t know existed.
And what about the most frustrating part?
Lag time in Pro Tools and Logic. Patch bays not working. Fuses blowing up. The iconic Mac wheel of death. Its an extremely efficient way to kill creativity.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
Eric Clapton for sure! As part of his Crossroads festival. Ive been a mega-fan ever since I heard him play the first time on that mixtape I told you about earlier. I don’t think anyone has inspired me more to play guitar than him. That stuff he did with Cream was insane. We could redo the 24 nights album. Ive probably watched that DVD like 250 times. Put John Mayer on stage left too, and Id die a happy man.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Not really sure. I don’t like planning too far ahead! Probably somewhere in between floating around on a pink flamingo at sea, while planning the tour to follow up my third album, and a basement studio with no windows shipping vinyls across the globe to make ends meet.
Grand Alpaca's new single 'Feel So Good' is available to stream now. Check it out below.