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Lido Explains How He Ended Up Contributing Beats to Chance the Rapper’s New Mixtape

The Norwegian artist discusses reinterpreting Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo,' playing his first Coachella, and more.

by Max Mertens
May 16 2016, 7:30pm

Photo courtesy of artist

The first taste of Chance the Rapper's highly-anticipated third mixtape, Coloring Book, came last fall with "Angels," a thrillingly kinetic anthem featuring the Chicago rapper's compatriot Saba. The man responsible for the track's bright, gospel-influenced production was none other than Lido (aka Peder Losnegård), the talented Norwegian multi-hypenate performer, who first met Chance when the latter guested on his 2015 collaboration with Towkio, "Heaven Only Knows."

Over the phone recently from Los Angeles, the producer and songwriter explained how he ended up going to Chicago for a few weeks, which resulted in two songs, "Angels" and the contemplative, melodic "Same Drugs." He also told us about his recent ambitious The Life of Pablo reinterpretation, discussed his recent Coachella performance, and provided a status update on his forthcoming solo album, Everything.

What was it like working with Chance and his band, the Social Experiment, on this mixtape?

Lido: The way that Chance works is really inspiring and generous. He's found this incredible way of collaborating with people and including a lot of creative minds in all his projects. The way we worked together it felt like a jam session, coming up with cool things and then organizing it later.

"Angels" and "Same Drugs" are very different songs.
Both of these songs have been all over the place and the original demos are very far from what you're hearing. It's a really fun process to have so many brilliant minds coming together and doing these songs, while keeping the playfulness that they have. As a musician, it's a fantastic dynamic to be in.

What's your favourite track on the mixtape that you didn't produce?
I think that would probably be "No Problem." I'm a gigantic Brasstracks fan and I've worked very closely with them, so I might be biased, but I think that's a fantastic song. Other than that, I love the outro, "Blessings." This is an album that appeals to me with all the gospel references and R&B references.

How did working with Chance compare to producing "Yammy Gang" for ASAP Ferg with Cashmere Cat?
Me and Magnus [Cashmere Cat] are close friends, and whenever we hang out, we make beats. For a minute we were talking about turing that one into an original collaboration between us, then Ferg heard it and jumped on it, and I got a version with all these incredible verses on it.

Tell me about how you ended up remixing Kanye West's The Life of Pablo into one eight-minute song.
I downloaded the album and had a long flight back to Los Angeles from Europe. My manager fell asleep next to me and I was super bored, so I listened and had so many ideas for remixes. Usually when I listen to an album, there's one song like 'This is the one I want to attack.' The Life of Pablo is such a collage of incredible ideas happening all over the place, in a very raw way.

I realized I couldn't remix the entire record, that would take six months, so I was basically throwing ideas into this pot and seeing what stuck. I thought it was a really interesting concept to condense an entire album into one short song, and capture the essence of an album.

Were you concerned at all about receiving takedown notices from his camp?
Always. With the setup we created, we haven't gotten anything, which is really, really surprising. I thought it would get taken down immediately.

You recently played your first Coachella, what was that experience like?
It was nerve-wracking because we decided to do the very ambitious thing, and play 90 per cent unreleased music at a music festival where people come to see the stuff that they know and love. It was scary, but it was an incredible platform to get for my album, truly to get a taste of how people feel and react to it.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
The thing about the music industry is that it's unpredictable, especially the way people release music right now. There's a lot of really cool stuff sitting on my hard drive and I have no idea when it's going to come out or how. My own personal focus is getting my album out, hopefully not too long.

Max Mertens is on Twitter.