I became a fan of Thomas Troelsen in 2007 when his group Private released one of my favourite pop albums, My Secret Lover (hear the singles here). I soon discovered that Thomas was not just the singer but songwriter and producer of the band, and he had been involved in many other brilliant pop songs as well, such as Hot Summer by Monrose and Baby by Melody Club. More recently, Aura Dione’s Geronimo was another favourite Europop discovery of mine which turned out to be Thomas’ work. And if you’re not into Europop, you may still know some of Thomas’ K-Pop productions, as he has worked with Girls Generation and Super Junior among others.
Private have been quiet for a few years, but are now back with a new single Everywhere, and a new album will follow. I spoke to Thomas about what we can expect from the new music, and about his experiences of writing and producing for other artists. Here’s what he had to say…
If you could produce the next single for any artist in the world, who would you choose?
Metallica! I’ve been a fan of the group since I was 8 years old. I have all their albums and EPs, and they got me listening to Misfits, which is also one of my favourite groups.
Which of the songs you’ve worked on do you think should have been more successful?
I was a bit disappointed with the way My Secret Lover turned out in the UK. The Spencer & Hill remix went #1 on Music Week, and both the Diplo and Egyptian Lover remixes were well-received, but the original version didn’t really have much impact. But overall, I never spend time being disappointed or wishing that things be different.
You’ve worked with many K-Pop acts – what is it like hearing your songs translated into a language you don’t understand?
I had my first cuts in Asia in 2008, and I must admit it took some time to adapt to the market as a writer and producer. At first, I felt that the translations turned my songs in a wrong direction, but now when I write and produce for the K-Pop market, I use it as a force to create new and futuristic sounds. I always try and imagine what pop music would sound like in the year 3075 and use the language that I don’t understand as another sci-fi element.
Your regular collaborator Remee was a judge on The X Factor in Denmark – would you ever consider judging a TV talent show yourself?
No, and they stopped asking me. I was merely helping out my friend Remee back in 2009, and I will never do it again. I really don’t like the Danish edition of the show. The lack of talent is insane and the show is not even about music if you ask me! However, I think that the US edition is extremely good — I’m really impressed with the show that they all put on.
What can we expect from the new album by your band, Private?
Some of the songs are more indie, some urban, and some funk sounding, but all with a more updated sound than my previous album.
Are you ever torn between keeping a song for yourself and giving it away to another artist?
No, I don’t really feel that personally connected to the songs I write for others, and it’s quite funny how the artists who sing my songs connect deeply with their emotion. However, I have a very strong connection with the songs that I have written for Private and Superheroes (below). Basically, I think that it’s all about singing. Even when I sing a Smokey Robinson song on my vacation I feel like it’s mine, you know?
You wrote the 2008 German Eurovison entry, but would you ever consider entering the contest as an artist?
I don’t think I ever will. I would consider doing it if I felt it was a straight competition, like competing on the charts, but usually songs that enter the competition are rarely any good and would seldom work in the “real world.” My song at Eurovision with No Angels did extremely well outside the competition but didn’t even come close to a nice entry at the show.
Can you recommend any up-and-coming pop artists you have been working with recently?
I did an amazing song with Fabio Lendrum called Head Out The Water coming out this month, and I have a great song coming out with Robert Koch early next year called Happy People.
Thanks for the very interesting answers, Thomas! Click here to find out more about Private and keep up to date with Thomas’ latest news.