Can you tell us about your background and how you first got started in music? How did you become interested in electronic music and what drew you to it as a medium for self-expression?

I was fascinated by music already from a very young age. I remember when I was 8 years old I started to collect CDs and asked my parents to bring me to the local CD shop to buy new music. At the age of about 11, I found Seek Bromance by Avicii on YouTube by accident. I was overwhelmed and since that day I have become more and more passionate about electronic dance music. Whenever I came home from school I listened to his music, searched for unreleased songs and all those IDs that were uploaded to YouTube. 

That same year my parents got me a DJ Controller for my birthday. I set up a room in the basement of my parent’s house and would invite my friends to come over and have a little party haha. When I was 13 years old DJing wasn’t enough for me anymore and I wanted to express my own feelings through my own songs. That’s when I bought Apple’s Logic Pro and started producing.

What drew me to it as a medium for self-expression was the love and passion for music. Whenever I came home from school I sat down behind my computer and tried to understand the program and how to produce a song. I really liked the idea of coming up with my own melodies and harmonies and building a completely new song. 

It was really just a hobby and I tried to get better and better at it and I’m very happy that it kind of worked out. I am not so good at talking about my feelings and personal stuff but through music I find it a lot easier to express myself and carry an emotion that I feel and picture it in a song. 

This year you’ve released a string of singles including ‘If You Ever Need A Friend’, ‘Why Does My Heart’ and ‘Fighting For’. How does it feel to share these with the world? 

It feels incredible to have these songs out. They are all very special to me. Especially because they are the first three songs of my upcoming debut album called “Forgot How You Dance” which will be out on September 1st. 

“If You Ever Need A Friend” is a song that really reflects my feelings like no other song I did before. It has this melancholic, yet euphoric feeling I was searching for a very long time in a record. It talks about the importance of a friendship and being there for someone, always lending a helping hand and standing by through good and bad times. Originally, the song was a demo for a retro rock project. But I fell in love with the vocals, which reminded me of one of my favorite songs „Stand By Me“ by Ben E. King, so I just had to give it a try and it worked out.

„Why Does My Heart“ really needs no introduction. It’s my homage to the legendary song „Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?“ by Moby. I have a lot of childhood memories associated with this song and I wanted to bring the nostalgic feeling of the late 90’s back and put my own touch on it, while keeping the main essence of the original. I had this song on my list for so long and with my album it all came together, and it felt right to put it out. I’ve been working on the song for almost a year now, re-recording the vocals and recreating all the samples of the original. Trying my best to honor the work of Moby. 

And „Fighting For“ is with my good friend Bad Actor, who I’ve been writing my songs with since the very beginning of my career. This song has a really personal meaning because it’s actually a song he wrote in 2015 and showed me in 2017 when we met for the first time. I never really forgot the song over the last couple years and found it back on his hard drive. It all came together and I’m super happy we finally released it this year. 

Who are some of your biggest musical influences, both within electronic music and outside of it? How have these influences shaped your sound and approach to creating music?

I started falling in love with electronic music because of Avicii. He was definitely the artist that inspired me the most growing up and still is to this day. I will always be fascinated by his musical genius and his approach to harmonies and his melodies. 

But also Paul Kalkbrenner inspired me a lot, growing up. Especially in the last year I was digging more and more into his stuff and the way he produces is so inspiring to me. I love his drum sounds and his rhythmic approach. It’s so special when you have a song and you instantly know who made it. This is definitely a goal to reach some day. 

And I really feel inspired by the sound aesthetic of Fred Again. I love what he does with all kinds of samples and how he breaks barriers every time. Manipulating sounds and bringing life and character into every drum sample or sound. 

These three are really my main influences that shaped my sound over the last years and especially last year working on my debut album.

Can you walk us through your creative process for writing and recording a new song? How do you typically begin a new track, and what are some of the key elements or techniques you focus on as you develop it?

It always varies from song to song. When I start an idea, I love to be alone in the studio and shut myself off for a while. This way I can let my thoughts run free and really just think about the music. 

Most of the records start with the vocal. I like to take a demo or even a finished song of a completely different genre and build a new song idea around it. That way you create something different, something that it wasn’t meant for or that no one thought of when writing the song. That’s when for me the magic happens. 

When I start working on a song, I always try to find the right chords and melody to underline the emotions of the lyrics and the feeling I have in mind. When the song starts to sit in the right emotional framework and it carries exactly the right feelings, I start to build the arrangement. This whole process should never take too long. That way, I make sure to catch the magic of the first idea and to get in a state of mind where I don’t think too much and just let my thoughts and emotions run free and capture the moment. 

When I start to build the song, I always make sure to use as few tracks as possible. If I achieve that, I have a strong base, which consists of only a few elements. And then afterwards, I expand it and embellish the song, to bring it to life and add all the little details that make it special. 

As soon as I have the first idea laid down, I like to put the song away and let it sit for a while and come back a little later. I don’t like to rush a song, since it’s a process.

I spend a lot of time thinking and making different versions of the song until it finally feels right. During this process I always come back to the very first bounce because most of the time it carries so much magic, without knowing it & I try to relive the moment I did it and recapture that feeling.

When I am working on a song, I always search for mistakes or irregularities in a sound or in a sample. Often I resample the whole song or only the drums and see if there is something magical in it, that comes through a mistake. That way I can give the song some character, and it does not sound too digital and clean. 

As a musician, what message do you hope to convey through your music? What themes or ideas do you find yourself returning to again and again in your work?

For me it’s important that feelings come across. It’s about evoking emotions. I love songs that sound warm and create a certain kind of longing in the people’s head. I am a huge fan of songs with great melodies and I hope to bring more soul into music. No matter what genre or direction. I love to use warm sounding drums, pianos and synthesizers & I am obsessed with soul vocals. And in general, voices that sound special and have a lot of character. I really feel inspired by the feeling of missing something and having a longing for whatever comes to mind. That’s what gets me in the zone and I hope people can feel that when they listen to my music. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Can you talk about a specific moment or accomplishment that stands out as particularly meaningful to you?

It’s hard to pick one but first I would say it was a really great feeling to release the first songs from my upcoming album. Some records started a few years ago and I was working non stop on them last year. To see them finally being released and getting amazing feedback and support from people is incredible. Also last month we hit the one million monthly listeners mark on Spotify for which I am super grateful. But what really feels special is when people reach out and tell me how important a certain song was to them and what memories they connect with a song of mine. That really rewards the work I put into my music and makes me spend even more time in the studio working on new songs. 

How do you see the music industry evolving in the next 5 years? What changes do you think we’ll see in terms of technology, distribution, and audience engagement?

Especially in the dance music scene, the music business is pretty unpredictable. I think it’s great how different genres of electronic music have found their way back into circulation. From a dance music scene perspective, there’s a lot of innovation in different genres and I love how free everybody produces. At the moment there are so many amazing songs and artists out there that push the boundaries everyday and I hope this will last for a long time.  Of course social media has a huge impact on all our lives and we can see how platforms like TikTok and Instagram can significantly advance an artist’s career. But I would wish that more good songs and great artists will come up through platforms like that and not a song that maybe has only a cool marketing strategy or a cool Tik Tok video. Right now, I think it’s definitely harder as an artist to get attention if you’re more of an introverted person. But in the end no one really knows what platforms or technologies will exist in the next five years. So I am really looking forward to all this. 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians trying to make it in the industry? Are there any particular tips or strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective in building a career as an electronic musician?

My tip would be to put as much time and effort into your music as possible and keep working on your craft to get better and better. At the end of the day it all comes down to the music in my opinion. I believe that great songs will find their way and people will start to notice you. Also, I would give the advice to try and build a lasting team around you. 

What’s next for LYOD?

I am very much looking forward to my debut album “Forgot How You Dance” to drop on September 1st. I have locked myself in for almost 10 months now and I’m very excited for people to finally hear the full album. And I hope to play gigs at festivals and my own shows in the near future. That would be a dream and my next goal. And of course I am always working on new music!!

LYOD delivers uplifting new single ‘Fighting For’ featuring Bad Actor. The track builds more anticipation around the German artist’s upcoming debut album.

‘Fighting For’ is the third single from LYOD’s upcoming debut album Forgot How You Dance. It follows ‘Why Does My Heart’, an exquisite new version of the iconic track ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’ by Moby, and the plaintive house anthem ‘If You Ever Need A Friend’, which have together hit almost a million Spotify streams.

‘Fighting For’ is a mesmerising fusion of dance and alternative rock, as LYOD’s infectious beats blend seamlessly with Bad Actor’s hauntingly captivating vocals, creating a sonic masterpiece that captures the essence of melancholic summer vibes. From the very first note, you’ll be transported to a world where emotions run deep, and melodies paint vivid images of sun-kissed horizons and bittersweet memories.

Whether you’re a fan of dance music, alternative rock, or simply crave a unique sonic experience, ‘Fighting For’ will leave an indelible mark on your soul, its raw authenticity delivering emotional resonance on new and deeper levels.

„It has always bothered me that in the past, in most dance songs, hardly any emotions are expressed and the warmth is missing”, LYOD says. “For me it’s important that feelings come across and it moves people. Since dance music has opened up so much, you can produce much more freely. Everything is possible and that’s what I pursue with my songs.“

And for 24-year-old LYOD, whose real name is Niklas Heidkamp and who hails from Cologne, a lot is possible: he was already crafting his first tracks at the age of ten, and last year alone he produced a good dozen songs. Despite his young age, he has already amassed over 35 million streams, released an official remix for Dutch star DJ Sam Feldt and provided the music for the German Google Pixel Campaign with ‘Never Fall’.

„I pay a lot of attention to little details that you often don’t hear that way, but that make it special for me,“ LYOD explains. Behind this, you can guess, is a lot of work – and it’s a testament to LYOD’s great talent that you can’t hear this in his music at any second. Quite the opposite: it sounds as effortless as a day at the beach.

During recent months, LYOD has locked himself in a small cabin by the sea and worked exclusively on new tracks. The result is 12 songs for his debut album Forgot How You Dance, which will be released on 1st September 2023.

LYOD’s collaborator on his latest single, Bad Actor is a Berlin-based singer, songwriter and producer whose emotive mix of pop, and raw band elements come together into his heart on sleeve style.

An electrifying collaboration, ‘Fighting For’ further builds the hype around LYOD’s upcoming album with an emotionally charged dance groove that cuts straight to the soul.