Raske Penge is a Danish double platinum-selling dancehall/reggae artist (rapper, singer and songwriter). He is also known as DJ under the name Ras Money and has under his real name worked as a writer, radio host and journalist.
When and how did you start making music?
– I started as 13 years for fun. Up until I was about 18 years old I was rapping as a hobby. But then I lost my courage about it and stopped for many years. I didn’t dare to really try again before I was in my late 20s. But then I finally started all over and from 2011 I began to be pretty serious about it.
What is the meaning behind your name “Raske Penge” ?
– Not really a meaning, but an evolution of my old DJ name “Ras Money”. That was a nickname for Rasmus and it was popular in Hip Hop culture to call your self something with “money” and then it became “ras money”. Then sometimes people used a funny Danish translation of that name as a nickname for me, which was “Raske Penge” (Healthy Money). So when I started again with making music, I thought that I could just use the nickname for my nickname that I had already.
You were one of the pioneering artists of the “new” Danish dancehall scene – which artist inspired you to get involved in dancehall music?
– Natasja has inspired me a lot. Also people like Bikstok Røgsystem, Wafande and Kapten Röd from Sweden has been an inspiration. But Natasha has been my biggest idol.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
– I listen to music all the time and I get inspiration from the music i hear. I try to mix it up a bit, so I listen to both rock, reggae, punk, hiphop, soul etc. In relation to the topics, I get inspiration from topics that interest me. For example what I want to read books and articles about, which conversations I have with people or if I meet some exciting people, I try to put all that into songs.
How would you describe your music?
– It is reggae in Danish language with clear indications of dancehall and hip hop. There is much emphasis on lyrics in my music and that’s the core of my music.
Which of your songs is your favorite?
– It’s the song “Bor Her (Live Here)” because it was the first song that I finished and released. It started the whole adventure for me and means a lot to me. It was the song that finally got me to publish something. I am always uncertain whether people like what I’ve made and this song reminds me that I am able to make something worthwhile. I think it is one of the best songs I’ve made. “Intelligent” and “Ynglingsstof (Favorite Substance) also means a lot to me, since both those songs and videos came out the way I had dreamed. “Original Bang Ding” I am also proud of. Especially the video which took a lot of work.
Out of all your tracks which one never fails live?
– “Bor Her (Live Here)” is always cool to play live because it’s a fast song full of energy and people love to rock out to it. And I can put all my energy into it and not worry too much about how it sounds. It has kind of a punk vibe to me. I always need a minute to calm down after that song and catch my breath before I can play another song.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve worked with so far?
– Its hard to pick just one, because i’ve been very lucky. But Topgunn has meant a lot for me to work with because he helped me to open up myself and get started making something. I had been dreaming about making music and i needed the final push. Topgunn helped me start and he’s been very important for me to help me get started. He has also been a key partner for me.
Klumben has also been cool to work with and has been very important to me because i made my biggest hits with him. He is a pleasant guy to be around and we get along very well for a long period of time. It is important to get along when you touring together.
Any artists you’d like to work with in the future?
– It’s hard to choose because i like working with people. If i should make something internationally i would like to work with Kapten Röd (Captain Red) which is a Swedish reggae artist. It could also be cool to work with for example Rihanna or Diplo, because anything they touch become huge international hits. Who does not dream of getting a hit everyone will know such as “Gangnam Style” which is in Korean but everyone still sings along to it. I would also like to do a song with MØ. She’s cool.
How was it to play at Roskilde Festival’s biggest stage “Orange Stage” this summer?
– It was the wildest thing that has happened in my life actually. It was very nerve-wracking. I was nervous for months up to Roskilde Festival. I was very nervous about whether there would be enough people in the crowd. Because we also performs many other places in Denmark but fortunately there were many who came and saw us, it was increasing all the time while we performed. We also performed on a good time period of the day. From 11 pm – 2 am is the best time to perform normal so it can be difficult to play at 3 pm like us, but the people were in good spirits. Our music you can both chill to and party to, and that fit the ambience pretty well that day.
What is the worst thing about being an artist?
– The worst thing is you have to continually come up with new ideas for music. Every day i sit down in the studio and try to come up with new ideas, but it’s hard to find ideas on command. I’m slow to write songs and fear often that I don’t have enough inspiration for the future, because you can not control inspirations, but it’s the coolest job i’ve ever had.
If you only could listen to 3 artist on your ipod for the rest of your life who would it be ?
– It is difficult. I would probaly choose the one i’ve heard the most.
- A Danish jazz group called Bremer/McCoy
- African singer from Ethiopia Kuku Sebsebe
- Nina Simone
But I would die without reggae or hiphop. So I guess I would have to switch something for Devin the Dude, Wu-Tang Clan and Vybz Kartel.
What should your fans look forward to?
– They should look forward to a lot of new music. I just made a song with Højer Øye, which i think is super cool. It’s going to take some time before there’s a new album, but it will be really good, I promise