Music

Planningtorock share their take on Asbjørn’s “Be Human”

The remix comes ahead of the release of Asbjørn’s studio album BOYOLOGY later this month.

With the Planningtorock remix of his single “Be Human” released last Friday, Asbjørn is serving the final appetiser for his upcoming third studio album BOYOLOGY, which will be released on January 28th via Embassy of Music.

Buy/Stream “Be Human (Planningtorock Remix)”

“Be Human” is Asbjørn’s melancholic, but incredibly catchy answer to the feeling of not belonging. He asks the question: “Can I just be human?” The inspiration for the song came from the #MeToo movement, as the Danish singer says: “I was deeply fascinated by how #MeToo defined a new era in which a man’s archetypal idea would never be the same again.

Asbjørn’s strong message has now received the musical, genderqueer accolade it deserves through Planningtorock. Planningtorock wrap the strong words of the Danish pop singer in a hypnotising vintage garment and create a wonderful 90s dance anthem through skilful use of synthesisers. 

It shows Asbjørn’s political message works best on the dance floor. Because where, if not here, is individuality in the spotlight?

Planningtorock is one of my favourite artists right now and has made me dance at home during the lockdowns for the past two years. Planningtorock’s world is an open space, musically limitless, which challenges the individual to move and think in new ways. For me, Planningtorock embody what I wrote “Be Human” about and I feel very honoured that the message of the song has been musically reinterpreted by Planningtorock,” says the singer about the collaboration.

I was very happy to do this remix for Asbjørn. His voice is beautiful and sensual. It was fun to create this kind of relaxed 90s dance track around them,” says Jam Rahuoja Rostron aka Planningtorock about the remix.

Not a boy, not quite a man. 

Bonafide pop; but a maverick in the mainstream. Ever since his 2012 debut album Sunken Ships, Asbjørn has been a poster boy of the unconventional. His self-exposing lyrics offer radio-length sex education wrapped in adventurous yet highly infectious pop production, gaining him praise from his personal heroine Lykke Li and creating waves of critical acclaim beyond the shores of his native Denmark.

In 2014, while releasing his sophomore visual album Pseudo Visions, Asbjørn uprooted to Berlin to write the follow-up. Unrequited love kickstarted an entangled rite of passage in the busy metropolis, ultimately leaving him heartbroken and questioning his resilience. The forthcoming, long-awaited LP BOYOLOGY is “a study of the relation between vulnerability and masculinity”, Asbjørn reflects. “I always thought of myself as a natural-born gender bender, but suddenly I saw myself reacting to heartache by oppressing it in this super stereotypical way. The album confronts that within me as well as outside; I want to discuss those invisible expectations, in society and pop culture, of what a man should or should not be.”

His body moves with soft sensuality yet the force and energy of a lightweight boxer, but his words might even pack a harder punch. “I don’t wanna be a man if a man means power, to not empower others”, he sings on the album with his longing signature falsetto, only to burst into a powerful belt. And anyone who’s witnessed Asbjørn on a festival stage in Europe or on headliner tours from Denmark to China knows he bears it all. But after the extensive touring that followed his second album, Asbjørn needed to figure out his next move. “I want to hit this nerve where vulnerability sounds pop”, Asbjørn explains. “And to find that space I needed to reflect, as well as practice my craft in writing and producing.” 

BOYOLOGY is the fruit of that labour.

Asbjørn’s stunning visuals for Pseudo Visions accumulated millions of views on YouTube and solidified his status as one of Scandinavia’s most visionary upcoming artists. 

BOYOLOGY too is accompanied by a series of interconnected videos which, in Asbjørn’s own words, “feels like a queer coming-of-age short film”. The album and its videos are released by Embassy of Music and his own label Body of Work.