That’s the thing about freedom: Most of us want it, but we also want a safety net and a soft place to land. But that’s not how it works, if you want real freedom you have to accept the risks that come with it.
The Danish singer and songwriter Tim Schou was more than happy to take on the challenge. He has no fixed address and lives his life as a modern-day nomad. He made the decision out of his love for music.
It all started three years ago when “I ended the lease on my apartment in Copenhagen and packed my bag.” Tim Schou shows us a simple and surprisingly small backpack.
In Denmark he was already a pop star. His band, A Friend In London, competed in the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “New Tomorrow” and reached fifth place in the 2011 finals in Düsseldorf. Next came an arena tour with the Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block, after which the band broke up. Tim Schou started a solo-career, made trips to Los Angeles, soaked up the creative vibe of the city, wrote a bunch of songs and returned to Copenhagen. Living in Denmark’s capital doesn’t come cheap. “I took on roles in musicals, and always said ‘Yes’ whenever anyone offered me a singing job.”He pauses to think. “The jobs weren’t bad, I had a lot of fun, but I always asked myself: Where is this taking me? I suddenly had this vision of being a famous musician, not known for his songs, but because he’s always on television. No longer making music out of passion, but as a job. ”This vision had nothing to do with the feeling of freedom that Tim Schou was searching for.
In 2015 he risked it all: “I let go of everything that could endanger my freedom.” His apartment, his material possessions - and with them the urgency to make money. Tim Schou took only a guitar, his smartphone and the small backpack. “It’s enough once you learn to fold your clothes properly”, he laughs. Tim Schou slept under the stars and at his friends’ places, travelled through 25 countries, took part in a project in Ghana, spent more time in Los Angeles, and performed in the Cologne Cathedral alongside a choir. Step by step he built up a couchsurfing network, “you need to learn to ask”, he says, “it feels good and you learn to be more grateful”. He never felt poor, he was building up a collection worth more than money: Over 300 songs, a huge and high-quality repertoire. “I’m inspired by the people I meet”, he says, “I don’t have to make up stories for my songs, I hear them day in, day out.” He stopped thinking in music genres a long way back. “I see my music as limitless as my way of life: Singer-songwriter, folk, pop, r’n’b, electro - they all flow into one another.” He packs this variety together in such a unique way, fusing it all into the Schou-sound - a positive mood telling of love and freedom, but also about facing loneliness and doubt.
Now Tim Schou is ready to take the next step: Showing his songs to the world! His new deal with Iceberg/BMG Rights Management should help, the A&R team having discovered him when he supported the US-songwriter LP - known for her hit “Lost On You”. The scouts immediately recognised the potential of Tim Schou’s songs and his live performance.
He is now set on creating something special, not just throwing together an album or relying on quick fixes. As he says: “I know the value of my songs. If I’m going to share anything, I want to do it well.”
His first solo single “Novocaine”, produced together with the Berlin-based producer-team Hitimpulse (known for their work with Felix Jaehn, Alma, and Ellie Goulding) was released in2017. The song is an intimate acoustic ballad with a melody that doesn’t fade fast. The track won Tim Schou the renowned International Acoustic Music Award (IAMA), and his second song “Morrison” impressed with a mix of folk, pop, and gospel. “Altar” (once again
produced by Hitimpulse) was more rhythmic and seductive. His first single as part of his new deal with Iceberg/BMG Rights Management will be called “Nirvana”, a powerfully-written piece that puts his singer-songwriter roots on show.
Where will his journey take him? “I can’t tell you that, because if I knew, I would no longer be free.” Tim Schou tattooed the word freedom on his arm - he really means it. “My definition of freedom is to do what you love without obstacles or a bad conscience. And for me this is writing and singing my songs.” He still has a lot in front of him - and we’ll be there to experience his journey alongside him, because we’ll hear about it. Tim Schou’s songs are just too good not to make it happen for him.
Tim's music has the introvert, haunting soulfulness of Jeff Buckley, the positive playfulness of Ed Sheeran and the stories and high pitch of Lukas Graham. He's organic and honest in his music and the stories he tells, which he pulls from his life as a worldwide traveling recording artist.
Since April 2015, Tim’s been signed to Iceberg Publishing & SONY/ATV in Germany as a songwriter. Tim’s music is released by Iceberg Records in Scandinavia and in the rest of the world by BMG.