Magazine

Grand Prix

Interview by Valkan Dechev
Photography by Sarah Michelle Riisager in Copenhagen, Denmark

Grand Prix, the Copenhagen-based artist Bastian Emil, might just be the modern hero we’ve been waiting for. Oscillating between victory and defeat, fear and bravery, Grand Prix’s synth-pop tunes and Olympic sports aesthetic possess a futuristic charisma with a touch of ancient Greece. With an upcoming singles-only album and enchanting visuals to accompany it, Grand Prix is the one-man show spreading grandeur and beauty infused with pain and a pinch of twisted love.

How was your weekend?

Busy! Yesterday I was providing live commentary on cycling race. I’m really into cycling and that was great fun.

Amazing! What else gets you excited? What got you out of bed this morning?

For a long time, I had a really hard time getting out of bed. Lately, I have been thinking about what Achilles or other Greek heroes would do if they felt like lying in bed. I think it’s good to keep yourself busy, especially if your life has so little structure.

Speaking of heroes and battling, is there something you fear at this moment?

I want to leave my mark and not be forgotten, so I think I am fearful of not being able to do that.

Can anyone be a hero? What does a contemporary hero look like to you?

I think about this a lot. I believe there is a huge lack of heroes today, and it is really hard to become a hero. Our time is simply less heroic.

Being on stage is the closest I get to feeling like a hero.

This is not a critique, but just how it is – the absent need to find something grand and beautiful. There is no total hero from whom everyone to draw inspiration. It seems like today it is more spread around and deeply specific. If you are into cycling, you can get one hero in the sport of cycling. Heroes will not just appear to you. You have to search for them.

Tell me a story about something heroic you have done.

[Exhales deeply] I think it is really heroic being on stage. I perform alone, and I want to keep doing it because it just takes a bit more; you have to deliver more. Being on stage is the closest I get to feeling like a hero.

Tell me a story about something heroic you have done.

[Exhales deeply] I think it is really heroic being on stage. I perform alone, and I want to keep doing it because it just takes a bit more; you have to deliver more. Being on stage is the closest I get to feeling like a hero.

If you could be part of a heroic duel, who would you battle against?

I would go back in time and battle on a horse, and I want to conquer Julius Caesar. That would make an exciting turn in history, if the Roman Empire never became an empire.

What was the last song you listened to before our chat?

La Fanette by Jacques Brel. He does a one-man performance in front of a huge grand orchestra. I think this is really where I want to end up at some point.

Grand Prix plays 10 August at De Nieuwe Anita. Show free for members. Grand Prix has self-released a series of singles, including ‘Persistence‘ and ‘Freedom from Fear‘ in April. Next up ‘Nightlife’ drops in June.