Lukas Graham Talks His First VMAs and Why He Doesn’t Like Selfies

It’s been a whirlwind years for Danish band Lukas Graham after the 2015 release of their smash hit “7 Years.”

Proving they’re much more than a one-hit wonder, the band followed up “7 Years” with “Mama Said,” performed at the Billboard Awards and embarked on a sold-out American tour. Their hard work all seemed to culminate in a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, where the band performed during the pre-show just ahead of Rihanna’s opening act.

While they didn’t take home the award (that honor went to DNCE), they’re not letting the loss slow them down. Celebuzz sat down with the band’s frontman Lukas Forchhammer, to talk about what’s next for the band and why he hates selfies so much.

Celebuzz: On Sunday, you were nominated for an award and performed at the VMAs for the first time ever, what was that like?

Lukas Graham: “It’s really weird when you’re, you know, in the middle of this huge storm of success that “7 Years” brought us and now “Mama Said,” is really working well for us as well. And so having a follow up single is so amazing and it kind of all culminated yesterday (Sunday, Aug. 28, 2916). You know we performed at the Billboard Awards, we had a sold-out American tour, and then we get to perform at the VMAs and I only think it really dawned on us last Friday. When we were in Madison Square Garden, doing press interviews and we see our names a couple of rows behind Naomi Campbell and Kanye West, and those are our names! It’s hard to explain. Also because, I was like, playing it cool, I was like “Yea, it’s not a big deal,” and it’s so much a big deal.”

CB: What was your favorite moment from Sunday night’s VMAs?

LG: “Beyoncé’s performance was just epic. I loved Ariana Grande’s vocal performance as well. That was really, really good singing. We kind of walked into the middle of that, we didn’t get to see the whole thing, unfortunately.”

CB: How did you come up with the name Lukas Graham? Many people often assume it’s just one person when you are in fact a band.

LG: “Well you can say the name came about before the band did. Lukas is my first name, Graham is my father’s second name, and so Lukas Graham sounded a little more international than Lukas Forchhammer, which is my name. And because you kind of get a snapshot of my life and my stories when you listen to the record. But it is a band.”

CB: How did the band get together?

LG: “We all went to the same high school. It’s a lovely, romantic high school story. Even the producers and the other songwriters on the team, we all went to the same high school. So we’re like seven guys, who went to the same school, which is fun.”

CB: You’ve most recently teamed up with Pepsi Sound Drop, tell us how it’s different from other digital music platforms.

LG: “Well we get to blatantly talk about our music without any jaded angle, which was a very, very liberating experience. Just being interviewed about your music and how you create it and how you want to distribute it and Pepsi is a great platform to reach a bunch of people we haven’t had the chance to reach yet, with radio and streaming and stuff like that. And with the audiences fragmented attention span, that’s being pulled in all different directions by social media, it’s nice sometimes to have a big partner that can provide some focus, a platform where people can click on a link and watch a movie about us and not be disturbed for a moment.”

CB: For the people out there who have never heard of you before, what is the one thing you want them to know?

LG: “That we’re all about the music and not about the selfies. I just think that we’re getting off track with where celebrity-ism is and I think we need to get back to the music and the art. I mean, we’re admiring people that can’t do anything right now, instead of admiring people who read and write books about thought process and what’s going on in our society. I think it’s unfortunate that people just want a quick fling and a selfie.”

CB: What can fans expect from your band in the near future?

LG: “Music, music, and music. Hopefully, we’ll have another record ready by 2018. That would be a lovely time to release a new one since we have to write and record it ourselves, so it takes us a little longer to record than most pop artists since we are self-reliant, we can’t just set someone to work while we’re touring.”