Yesterday I was gifted tickets to the documentary 7 Years of Lukas Graham. It was a surprising and inspiring film that I am so grateful to have seen. I now have enormous respect for Lukas, and I admire his absolute unwavering authenticity and raw talent. I thought I was going to see a ‘fame and the music industry destroyed me’ film, but instead what I saw was someone who refused to be moulded and didn’t succumb to the superficial elements of fame.
It was an observational documentary made over seven years, beginning before he and his band hit the charts in the US. It was an incredibly open and honest account of his journey to fame, revealing sides of himself he says he wasn't aware of and doesn’t like. He was simply Lukas Graham being unapologetically himself through all his highs and lows. He did not attempt to shape the documentary in any way, and in a hosted zoom chat with Lukas and director René Sascha Johannsen after the screening, Lukas revealed there were around 50 cringe moments for him in the film and he hadn’t realised he was such an ‘asshole under pressure’. It is easy to admire Lukas’ strong drive to be a good father and improve himself as a person, while balancing his demanding career and bringing his exceptional talent to the world.
His authenticity, and willingness to show his mistakes and flaws is an inspiration in an era of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, when so many of us - artists or not - feel the vulnerability of putting ourselves out there where brutal critics abound. I found it so refreshing to see such incredible talent and passion, such raw honest storytelling, without the usual contrivances that can come with money and fame.
It makes me so happy to see artists just being passionate and doing their thing. And it reminded me that there’s nothing to be gained by trying to please people. As artists we just need to know our values and what integrity is to us, keep it close - that’s our guide - then just be us, unashamedly 100% us. Just sharing our passion, making our mistakes and most importantly bringing our art to the world in the way that we want to - not how others want us to.
Lukas, you are an absolute inspiration.