Hailing from Denmark, renowned DJ Morten Breum–who goes by MORTEN–began his interest in music at the age of 14. By 19 he was climbing the national stage, rising to quickly become one of Scandinavia’s most popular performers. With a sound that was described by Billboard as “progressive house and dubstep,” he released his debut album in 2009, Drop!, which climbed the charts and went platinum in Denmark.
From there he released several hit singles that have gained international attention, and he’s continued to bring a unique sound to the scene. Now living in Los Angeles, MORTEN’s latest single in collaboration with Borgeous, titled “Hold Up,” is a cannabis-themed anthem.
Leafly: What brought you to LA and what would you say is the biggest difference between the music scene in Los Angeles and in Denmark?
MORTEN: I came to Los Angeles five years ago with the purpose of being able to focus on my music and build its presence in the international market. Being in LA also enabled me to become more involved as an artist and bettered my producing and artistry overall.
The biggest difference between being in the States and in Denmark is that Denmark focuses pretty much solely on the domestic music market, while LA offers the international market; the bigger picture.
Would you say that the cultural scene of Los Angeles helped influence your latest cannabis-inspired track, “Hold Up”?
MORTEN: Absolutely. The cultural scene here in LA is super inspired by West Coast urban music, and to this day samples the sounds of the 90s, making the musical influence here very prominent. It truly resonates with the culture and general vibe here.
How long has cannabis been a creative aid for your artistic process? Did cannabis inspire any changes to the sound of your music at all?
MORTEN: It’s always been a very big part of studio sessions and shows, and it’s always played a big role in my musical life as well as being a creative aid to the process.
What are the elements in your life that inspire the music you make?
MORTEN: There are plenty of things that inspire me in my life. Emotions, feelings, dreams, experiences…it all has an effect. I definitely am very inspired being in the music atmosphere and attending festivals. It really is something else to see people connect to the music so freely.
Why do you believe cannabis goes hand in hand with creativity for so many artists?
MORTEN: Cannabis allows you to focus in on one thing: opening up the availability to tune into those specific emotions and creative realms. Smoking truly helps open your mind and creates innovative ideas.
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Do you have a vision for the future of cannabis?
MORTEN: I think cannabis should be legal all over the world. Yes, it should be restricted around kids, but I think it should be legal everywhere to be able to blaze up. It’s completely natural.
Do you have any favorite strains or products?
MORTEN: My favorite strain when I used to smoke would have to be OG Kush. I also tended to smoke strains that were reminiscent of [tobacco] flavors since, being from Europe, everyone smokes and cigarettes are a huge part of European culture.