Lukas Forchhammer, frontman of the Danish pop band Lukas Graham, grew up in a neighborhood called Christiania in the capital city of Copenhagen. It's not your typical urban environment: It used to be an army base, but it was abandoned in 1970, and squatters turned it into an autonomous settlement in 1971. To this day, it operates very differently from the city that surrounds it.
Forchhammer says there aren't cars or streetlights there, and schooling happened outdoors. "It was more of a rural upbringing," he says, "even though it was in the center of our capital city."
When he looks back on his childhood, Forchhammer says, the more mundane, intimate moments are the ones that stand out — especially those with his late father. "I think about my father and my mother and the house my dad built," he says. "I would remember him in the kitchen ... and he'd be cooking roast chicken with potatoes in the oven, or coq au vin."
Forchhammer says when his daughter looks back on him one day, he doesn't want her most prominent memories to have anything to do with his music career. "When she's being interviewed in 20 years on national Danish radio ... I hope she says, 'He taught me how to ride a bike' or 'He was teaching us how to cook great things in the kitchen,'" he says. "I really hope that my children remember me for something normal."
Lukas Graham received three Grammy nominations for its latest album. Hear more from Forchhammer at the audio link.