Q&A with Cham Léon: “It’s so important to surround yourself with people who see you for you”

Meet Norway’s rising new pop star Cham Léon!

Cham Léon by Emma Ishøy
Cham Léon by Emma Ishøy

Back in September, our music editor Nikoline and videographer/photographer Emma headed over to Oslo to participate in by:Larm Festival 2021. Besides from an excuse to visit the lovely capital of Norway and meeting new people, the festival also serves as a go-to spot for upcoming music. Each year, a bunch of new musical acts kick off their career at this festival that has previously presented artists such as Lykke Li, Robyn and Mø (to name a few…)
The Scandinavian music scene is blooming and by:Larm Festival is a proof of exactly that. 

During our stay, we took a deep dive into the line-up and got in touch with some of the artists we found particularly interesting. 

Last week, we presented to you the amazing Danish R&B, soul and pop artist Mekdes, and this week we’re thrilled to introduce you to one of the most exciting new Norwegian acts Cham Léon!

With one foot in the traditional powerful pop scene and the other in undiscovered, experimental genre-bending soil, Cham Léon is using their artistic expression to break down norms and make room for being and embracing who you are. The musical output is amazing and has made the Norwegian music scene buzz!

Check out Cham Léon’s debut album I (don’t feel like myself today) where you normally stream your favorite music and get to know Sondre Kittelsen, the creative soul behind, a little bit better in this Q&A!

Hi, I’m Cham Léon and I’ve been making music since… about 10 years ago. It’s weird cause I’ve actually been writing songs since I was about 11, but I started recording and playing them when I was 16. 

I started making music because… it really gave me an outlet for my inner feelings. It was a way for me to deal with my problems I think. I try to talk with different people and hear about their experiences and through our conversations, I try to write songs about the situations seen from an outer perspective. I want people to relate to the songs in their own ways instead of the story being told for them.

If I were to describe my music, I would say it sounds kind of like… a fusion between different genres like jazz, electronica and house put into a pop format. It’s also very theatrical and very based on the extremes of different feelings. I’m pushing it to the limits. 

Cham Léon by Emma Ishøy

I’m really proud of my friends and what they’ve accomplished. I’m really proud of so many people in my life and I’m taking a lot of inspiration from them and their experiences – Cham Léon

I’m really proud of… my friends and what they’ve accomplished. I’m really proud of so many people in my life and I’m taking a lot of inspiration from them and their experiences. That pushes me to be a better person as well and really inspires me.

The first time I heard “Voodoo Voodoo” by Skaar and Iris, I felt… shocked! It’s so conceptual and cool and it makes me feel everything. I recorded myself listening to the song for the first time and put it out on my Instagram story. I was just mind blown. They inspire me so much. 

I’ll never forget when… me and my producer for I (don’t feel like myself today), Henrik met for the first time, and we made “Sins” which is the last song on the album. That song is so dear to me! It’s the ending of the album and it’s also gonna be the ending of the concert today. It’s gonna be really emotional for me. 

I feel the most empowered when… people really see me for me and are willing to take in both my bad and sad, but also happy and good sides. Lately I’ve met a lot of people that I feel are really authentic and genuine and who really see me for me, and that really makes me very safe with who I am. It’s something to talk about, cause it’s so important to surround yourself with people who see you for you. 

When people listen to my music, I hope they… will feel what they experience even more. If they’re on a date and my song is playing in the background, I hope it’ll make the date even better. If something sad is happening in someone’s life, I hope my music will helt in some way and be something that they can relate their feelings to.

Cham Léon by Emma Ishøy
Cham Léon by Emma Ishøy
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