Hate it or love it, edm is not just a fad. It’s the genre that’s made its way back to mainstream and is here to stay for quite a while. Whether or not you’re a fan of it, it’s so easy to be caught in the thick of it when you least expect it. Especially when you just happen to be scanning through different radio stations in your car.
At first listen, Cimo Fränkel and his new single “Never Give Up” would have you bumping your head and such a feel good mood. Same could be said for his song with Armin van Buuren, “Strong Ones.” Yes, that is Cimo’s voice on that popular EDM track. We are currently obsessed and so excited to hear his new solo venture. Check out our interview with the fella below and hop on board of the Cimo fandom train. Not a real thing but we’re making it up anyways.
TYF: The Young Folks: When did you decide that this is the career path you wanted to pursue and what were your first steps heading into this direction?
Cimo Fränkel: I have always wanted to be an artist of some kind, music has been my main passion since I was little. I used to capture songs from the radio and make cassette mixtapes with my brother who later introduced me to the music production software I still use now, FL Studio. I was around 14 years old at that time. It became my obsession but it wasn’t until 4 years later that I realized music was going to be my main thing.
TYF: How did the collab come about between you and artists such as Armin van Buuren to ZAEDEN? Having time to think back at your work, how would you describe your experience working with all these talented artists?
Fränkel: Me and artist colleague Andreas Moe wrote ‘Strong Ones’ and knew it would become an EDM crossover record. My publisher hesitated to send the record to Armin but I insisted. Less than a day later Armin would call me on the phone to tell me he’s in love with the song. Other collabs such as the ones with Zaeden followed mainly because of my work with Armin.
TYF: How do you divide your time between Amsterdam and Los Angeles? That must be exhausting BUT fun! What’s one thing Los Angeles has that you wish Amsterdam had? Vice versa?
Fränkel: It sure is fun yet exhausting. I try to stay in LA for at least a couple of weeks every time I head there. Amsterdam is still my home, it’s where I spent most of my time. Perhaps that will change in the near future.
I really love the weather in Los Angeles. It’s always sunny and there are multiple fun beaches to go to. Amsterdam has great cheese. I kind of miss that in Los Angeles that’s why always bring a pack.
TYF: Now you’re venturing off in your solo career and I am so excited. Listening to “Occasional Love” to “Never Give Up”, I can’t picture it NOT being people’s guilty pleasure song. Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting process for this song? How did you go about figuring out the lyrics to finding out how you wanted it to sound?
Fränkel: This is actually a very interesting question because I have had the melody and part of the lyrics for the chorus for over a year but I simply forgot. My producer friend Filous (who is also remixing the original) said: “My ambition is to make a song super minimalistic song, with little sounds”. I stole that idea the day after and started producing this, in Berlin, with my co-writer Rik Annema. Now the “over-a-year-old-melody” pops back in my head and I combine the two and we finish the record. Lyrically, I did not overthink it, it came naturally.
TYF: You’re literally a triple threat from producing to singing to songwriting, you do it all. Who do you go to as your sort of voice of reason or person(s) who you seek advice to when you have so many thoughts that you want to put out in a song?
Fränkel: I have my writing partner to spar with. And also my girlfriend. But my gut feeling is the most important. It’s my music so I have to do it my way I guess.
TYF: What’s the hardest part for you – lyrics, singing or producing? And why?
Fränkel: Either lyrics or producing. Melodies come naturally, that is where I find most beauty in. I think producing is a little bit more technical and I am mostly just creative. Sometimes the melodies tell a story on it’s own and it’s hard to add lyrics without disobeying the melodic story.
TYF: With “Occasional Love” and “Never Give Up” out in the public, what can our readers expect next? An EP (hopefully)? A mini-headlining tour?
Fränkel: Who knows, I like to be somewhat impulsive. But I cannot wait to show people the songs I have lined up and perform them with a band.
TYF: You’ve got to have downtime someway somehow! So for you, what do you do to take time and relax?
Fränkel: Vacay with my spouse. I love to look up all the good restaurants around and eat properly. I love food.