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Denmark's Lukas Graham makes US mark

Associated Press Associated Press 8/04/2016 Nicole Evatt

Lukas Graham Forchhammer has an American dream. The Danish singer-songwriter from the pop-soul band Lukas Graham has topped charts in Europe and Australia, but he always hoped to reach audiences in the United States.

"I've always wanted to release records in America. That's where I believe the music belongs and the style and the eclectic musical mix that we put together kind of belongs here," Forchhammer said.

His stateside breakthrough finally came in the form of the soulful 7 Years, which recently catapulted to No. 2 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Forchhammer said performing the emotional pop ballad during his nearly sold-out North American tour has been immensely satisfying.

"It was never really meant to be a huge success in Denmark because I didn't think people would get the lyrics quick enough."

In a recent show in LA, he said, "I could see how the lyrics resonated immediately. I was blown away."

The band's self-titled, worldwide debut album came out on April 1. (It was previously released in Europe.)

Forchhammer credits his upbringing in Copenhagen's diverse hippie enclave Christiania for his eclectic sound.

"Listening to all these different musical genres from all over the world and listening to my father's record collection, the Irish folk influences from home. Of course they're all in there somewhere hiding within the lyrics and melodies. But rap music was the biggest influence on my way of writing and my performing," he said.

Forchhammer is thrilled with his new-found US success, but has no interest in fame.

"If it was up to me it would be nice not ever to get stopped on the street because we just do music. I didn't do this become a celebrity," he said while acknowledging his world may soon change.

"We are No. 2 on Billboard. I don't think I can remain anonymous for that much longer. It was fun while it lasted. Very fun."

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