By Galen Clark
Tor Vik embeds a mixture of sample-based textures, real instruments, and silky vocals sifting through intimate yet seemingly infinite spaces in their latest release. “Now You Know” pulls elements from genres such as chill wave, electronic, and trap and evokes an ethereal sheen reminiscent of artists like Phantogram, Massive Attack, Broox, and Billie Eilish.
“Now You Know” draws you in initially with a carefully selected, sparse soundscape of sensory-enveloping sub frequency bass, synthetic kick, and a tranquil and mysterious vocal line that was sampled from an artist, Fousheé via a Splice license that builds into a drop off into momentary silence. Already at 24 seconds in, the song develops into a clean electric guitar suspended in a pulsating reverberation around a dense meshing of bass, driving trap – influenced drum sounds, Synthesized pads, and organically embedded distant samples that linger in the noise floor. The peaks and troughs in energy are a contributing factor to how the arc of “Now You Know” breathes both dynamically and simultaneously provides the basis for seamless introductions, additions, and subtractions of a unique, thick, and varied palette of sounds.
The artist responsible is none other than NYC based producer and DJ, Viktor Kristensen, who is better known as Tor Vik – a versatile electronic music artist who has produced and remixed tracks in rap, pop, and R&B genres. Following the release of two singles, “Deep End” and “Pop The Flute”, Kristensen is eager for his latest single, “Now You Know” to make listeners tuned in and eager to come out to DJ sets when things are able to reopen in the city. Kristensen is also thrilled to be working with Montreal – based label, Blanket Fort as it has extended his reach beyond the U.S. into Mexico, Sweden, and more.
Kristensen stated that the song’s conception had humble beginnings – a laptop, a simple set of speakers with a sub, and in the comfort of his home’s environmental elements – a clean, creative space stripped of unnecessary distractions, with the exception of Frenchie (assumed to be a pet) and the music. Almost all of the creative flow for Tor Vik is structured around the vocal as well as the structured development and instrumentation. Living in Argentina, Taiwan, Denmark, China, and Northern California, along with his extensive travel experience have informed the music for Tor Vik in a deep understanding of the complexities of emotion. Kristensen is excited for the upcoming release of “Now You Know” and hopes to make new friends when shows are back to normal in New York.
Q: How was “Now You Know” created?
A: I created Now You Know on a laptop with a pair of speakers and a sub at home. I don’t believe in an overly complicated creation process for myself. I find that I work best with a red light on, my angel of music frenchie by my side, a clean and creative space, and nothing else besides myself and the music.
Q: What can people expect to see from you in 2021 onward after “Now You Know” is released?
A: I have several new singles planned for release after “Now You Know”, so I hope people stay tuned. I am also releasing “Now You Know” with a limited capsule of clothing. These can be found on my Instagram (@torvikviktor). They feature the song artwork with some new creative flares, and I am excited to share them with my listeners and friends. I hope to start DJing again in NYC and beyond when things seem a little more back-to-normal, so I hope to make some new friends at the shows.
Q: Who, if anyone, is featured on the song?
A: No one is featured on the song, however, the vocals are sung by the wonderfully talented Fousheé who in no way collaborated or participated with me in creating the song. Her lyrics were licensed to me through the sound-sharing platform, “Splice”.
Q: How is your relationship with your label, Blanket Fort? Has it shaped or changed your broader community or outreach to people with your music?
A: I have a great deal of respect for Blanket Fort and what they do. They have helped me engage a broader community of listeners and music-lovers, and have connected me to people in Mexico, Sweden, and more. You only have to do a quick google search to find out that they are simply the most amazing label in the universe.
Q: Did you perform all of the instruments and production on “Now You Know” or do you work with any producers/engineers/musicians? Feel free to dive into anything with your process for this tune specifically and how the inspiration was struck and manifested in this song.
A: Aside from the vocals, the song is entirely my own creation. I put the first verse’s words, “Draw me in, Take my hand” right before the first chorus (drop), and used a pulsating guitar and several reversed sounds to create the feeling of being led by the hand through a magical world at once struck by wonder but also safe in the knowing of that someone else. The rest of the song was simply adding the background vocals, the sprinkles and the magic to make the world feel alive and real.
Q: What are your biggest sources of inspiration or influences (this could be musical or hobbies/activities/people/experiences in your life etc…)
A: I love to create and refine things to create a feeling or something that makes sense to me, so besides music, I enjoy tattooing, drawing, cooking, and fashion. I feel that all of these hobbies support me in making better music, as they give me a unique take on the process of creation and help me keep a stronger vision for what I make. Besides that, I draw often upon memories from growing up. I lived in Argentina, Taiwan, Denmark, China, and Northern California, and was lucky to travel. Sometimes the going was tough, but sometimes it was beautiful. I think a complex understanding of emotions lends itself greatly to being creative