It can take time to step out on one’s own. For Janus Rasmussen, it took years as a member of Kiasmos and Bloodgroup before finding his legs to go solo. The Faroese-born musician and producer recently found the footing to emerge with his first album, ‘Vín.’
After building his dream studio in Reykjavík’s old harbour, Rasmus felt he owed it to himself to finally embark on a solo effort. “There were no more excuses to come up with,” he says. “It’s kind of scary because I’ve always been in bands or been in the background. I think it was just a matter of time and having the courage.”
Written over a year and a half, the album reflects the dream environment he created for himself with sweeping, evocative, naturalistic melodies and tones over crisp, soothing beats. “I’ve produced a lot of different kinds of music over time, everything from electronic to folk to rock, so I just wanted to bring everything into this project,” he says. “I just want to be really true to myself and I guess that’s easier when you’re doing it completely on your own, because it’s the only thing you can be.”
Finding the sonic queues was an exploratory process that went into the personal as it went forward, but Janus mainly allowed himself to follow the ideas as they went. “I don’t sit down and think I’m gonna write a song about the moon or anything like that,” he laughs. “But it becomes really personal. It becomes a big part of your life so you have a lot of doubts and ups and downs.”
He did not go through the process entirely alone, calling upon supportive people to act as sounding boards in the studio. “I would sometimes have a friend over and someone to work with in the studio just to push me along when I was stuck,” he says.
“I sometimes forget what I’m doing. I start a song and I kind of get bored of it before it even takes off. If someone’s in the room with me they will encourage me to keep going, when I probably would have stopped after ten minutes.”
This transition from being a band member and feeding off the back and forth to putting his own name on something was both scary and empowering. “It surprised me how much easier it got towards the end of the process,” he says. “I feel like the last few songs of the album are always the most fun. You’re just working quicker, using less, not overthinking things too much.” The songs on the album impart this seemingly effortless energy and ultimately feel transporting.
Sad because ideas
Janus is now touring the album through Europe, although having just put out his first album he is already itching to write a second. “At the end of an album you’re so inspired,” he says. “I’m kind of sad right now because I have so many ideas and I just want to write more music.” Now that he has found his own feet, there is sure to be more.
Janus Rasmussen’s debut album ‘Vín’ came out March 29th. He is currently on tour in Europe.
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