Dagny Writes Her First Love Song with ‘Love You Like That’
If anyone knows how to inject fun back into modern pop, it's Dagny. Whether through her infectious feel-good tune "Backbeat," or her cheeky "Wearing Nothing," the Norwegian artist brightens up any room she enters—and knows how to make even the most reserved wallflowers move to the beat.
It's safe to say that 2017 was a big year for Dagny, who received nods from Spotify and VEVO, as well as gained critical praise for her EP, Ultraviolet. And though she's played her own tours before, she's already toured with the likes of Elton John, Sting and, recently, supported LANY on their trek across the U.S.
While Dagny was in New York City, we caught up with the performer to chat about the best things about touring, her recent work with Target and why she finally wrote her first love song.
What's the best part about playing New York?
Based on the last few times, it was just a very welcoming crowd. I think I expected everyone to be reserved because a lot of big city audiences are. They surprised me so much. They were just so involved. They were just singing and moving, and...I remember leaving and saying, "This is probably my favorite show ever!"
What was touring with LANY like?
It was incredible. It was my favorite tour yet. It was like living in a bubble... and it was my first bus tour, my first tour that was longer than three weeks. It's weird because you live with these people you've never met. You get so close in such a short amount of time, and thank God. Then you go and play shows every day in a new city, and you get to meet some wild fans because they have wild fans. They have seriously committed fans, which is awesome.
That's pretty much living the dream for any musician, isn't it?
I would say there wasn't a single a place I would rather have been than on that tour.
How did you prepare for that?
It was actually a very interesting process because everything came together so last minute, like so many things in music do. But I worked really hard to get that tour happening, so I felt really proud of it. And I don't really get proud a lot; it's not something I think about a lot. But the moment I realized it was actually going to happen, I felt like, "F---, this is good!" It was a dream come true because, for me, touring is such a big motivation for why I love to do music. Playing gigs is what keeps me wanting to write and play more.
I didn't know what to expect. There wasn't really any way to prep for it. Obviously, we had to buy the jumpsuits we wore...and make the backdrop. We did it DIY style, which was fun, like painting all of the mic stands by ourselves. We had a fun time with that, but really, I didn't know what to prepare for because I didn't know what to expect. I think that made me more relaxed about it.
When I go on my headline tours, it's so much fun, but there's so much stress. You have so many expectations. There's a lot of pressure, but this was a support tour and I just enjoyed it even more.
What's "Love You Like That" about?
I would say it's my first proper love song. I've always been weary about putting phrases like "I love you" in songs because it's over the top, but it was a good experience. It's an honest song, and it felt like... I'm not really a romantic person. I'm not very emotional. I'm not the typical artist, I guess. I'm not necessarily great at telling people what I think or what I feel about them.
So it was kind of overdue, but it was good to write it and get it out there. When I wrote the song, we started that morning, and I had a flight to catch a 6 a.m. the next day. We worked until the very last minute and then I had to jump in the car, pick up my stuff and go straight to the airport. We were really pushing because we felt this was a special one. And it is a really special one.
Aside from that song, you also have a cover of Andrea True's 1976 track, "More More More." I hadn't realized you covered the song for a Target commericial. Did you record that cover before Target got involved, or was that exclusively created for them?
It was like a challenge from Target to put a soundtrack to their brand, so the song is very different from my own stuff. It was a fun challenge and an amazing experience because it was a different way to think about the music. It was more about how to work with their vision, not just my own.
The song really came out feeling like Target. When I first heard it, I loved it. And in the [original] video, she's like, in the '70s and super nonchalant and cool. I f---ing love it...I'm very happy with how ours came it. It feels like we captured the Target vibe, but it wasn't a song that was particularly close to my heart.
Are you currently working on new music?
Absolutely. I do all the time. My goal is to get out as much music as possible because we're going on another headline tour in February. I think that you want people to come to the shows and know the music. I just want it to be 90 minutes of people having a f---ing awesome time and singing the songs.
We have a few songs that we play live that are not recorded or released yet [that people are] asking for. So I'm really excited about that, particularly this song called "Bullet." This past year was less focused on releases and more focused on the live side of things. I think in 2018, I'm going to keep playing, but I'm going to be more focused on getting music out there.
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