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YOU WILL DIE IN 4 DAYS!

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I’m at the airport in Los Angeles, flying home to Denmark. I had 4 days to get a lot done between Christmas and New Years. Prior to the trip I figured it was gonna be a bit too much, but now, looking back at it, the last 4 days feels like a year of  happiness.

I can only recommend for my readers that you try to live your lives from time to time as if you only had 4 days left. It’s truly amazing and you get a lot done.

Here’s what I did the last 4 days: (if you try and read it real fast, I swear it will leave you breathless.)

December 26: Touchdown in LA, had In & Out burger and then drove to a studio in Santa Monica for a session, writing and recording a song with Shay, called “A stranger.” Then I slept with a friend in Santa Monica and next morning I met with “Quincy Jones Productions” in West Hollywood, took a walk down Melrose Avenue, where I had a haircut and a tattoo with the word “Freedom.” I also bought a t-shirt with a picture of “Michelle” from “Full House” saying her catchphrase; “You’re in big trouble mister.” Then I ubered all the way to Long Beach, where I met up with my good friend Steven who took me to a “Songwriters round” show. He was playing with his daughter Tessa Delee and one of my co-writer colleagues, Kevin Fisher. Four singer/songwriters take turns performing a self written song, one by one. Steven invited me on stage to perform my song “Novocaine.” After the show, we went to a small bar and got a drink. Morning after, I got picked up by Gwen Stefani and No Doubt’s former manager, Larry Tull, who is now the current manager of “The Offspring.” He took me to an amazing record store in Long Beach called “Finger Print.” It’s a famous record store where “Foo Fighters” performed and there’s a restaurant inside the store, so we had breakfast there and after, we checked out the store. It was pretty cool. I bought 3 books and Larry bought me a “Cassette Grab Bag.” A surprise bag with old casette tapes and I couldn’t wait to open it and see what I had gotten. Mainly bullshit, but then I dogged out an old “Garth Brooks” cassette. Not too bad. We then drove to The Offspring’s studio, where I saw Dexter, the leadsinger’s jet plane and Larry was kind enough to offer me a sample of Dexter’s new Hot Sauce. Yup, Dexter’s getting into the business of hot sauce. Reminded me of “Entourage” when “Turtle” kickstarts his tequila company. Larry also told me a secret that involves John Stamos from “Full House.” I promised not to tell anyone. And with a bag full of hot sauce, books, cassette tapes and a cool little secret, Larry drove me to my session with Gavyn Bailey in Huntington Beach. We wrote a really good song called “Freedom.” Of course. Larry had recommended a burger joint called “Fuji burger” right next to Gavyn’s apartment, so we went there and had the best burger of my life! Kid you not. It was the perfect mix of the nastiness of an American burger as we know it and then the European lean style. So good. By coincidence, Larry was there at the exact same time as us, so we had a chat and Gavyn had a chance to meet Larry and Vice Versa. Always feels good to connect good people to one another. Gavyn is special and writes some amazing songs. We wrote “Novocaine” together and a bunch of others you guys will be hearing later. Burger done, and Gavyn dropped me off at the train station, I ran as fast as I could to the ticket machine, train was arriving and I had a bridge to cross to get to the right trail. I made it and began my journey back to the city of LA. Arrived in Hollywood 2 hours later to get my Hollywood Boulevard fix. Walked around in my old neighborhood right by Sunset + Vine. It’s the place I’ve been staying the most when I normally live in LA. I went into the gigantic music store “Amoeba music store” known for its huge collection of LP’s and everything music. I bought a present for my assistant, “the schouexpert.” Then I met up with Adriane and we crossed off a big one on my list. A milkshake the size of my…… arm. HUGE. I’ve wanted to get it ever since the first time I came to LA. It’s 20 dollars and there’s a whole Twinkie in it + a lot of other calories. We shared it and walked to the car to drive up to Griffith park to get a quick view of the city from the Observatory. Was beautiful! We talked a bit about life and human relations, while watching the city, that looked like a blanket of stars shining and sparkling. We then drove back down to go and see the movie “LA LA LAND.” Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Then we drove to Santa Monica and Adriane had a Diet Coke at a drive in. Next morning I went down to the beach to stick my feet in the water. Weather was sunny and blue skies. Unbelievable. Went to have breakfast at “Back On The Beach Cafe” with Adriane. I had a mango smoothie. It tasted like summer and made me happy. Had a cute view to Palm trees and orange sun umbrellas, as I was slurping my smoothie. Then I ubered all the way to Sherman Oaks to meet Liseli, we call her “Super L.” She talks to God and she is crazy in the most divine way. Gotta love her. There’s a dog in her house by the name “Angel.” Go figure. Can’t get over that dog. She is so stinking cute and insanely calm. Dog spelled backwards is God btw. After a hug and a talk…. With Liseli, not the dog. Well the dog too actually, I Ubered my way to one of my oldest LA friends Brandon Sammons. Brandon was the first one I ever really bonded with in LA when I first came here 4 years ago. He is my “brother bear” and I love him. His girlfriend is cute and always ready with a hug and a smile. Kris, got the news that I had rolled by to say hi real quick, so he came over. Felt real good to see my friends even if it was only for 1 hour. It feels like you appreciate the time you have with your friends more. I had to leave quickly again, as I was attending a Christmas party with the Sierota Family. Jeffery David is an old friend as well and runs the family empire as manager for his children’s band that is the “Echosmith.” They, as well, showed me love one of the first times I came to town and they took me to church and they introduced me to “In & Out” burger and taught me what a good milkshake is.
At the party I randomly bumped into an old friend from the “Backstreet Boys & New Kids On The Block” tour back in 2012, Rafael Morreira, the guitarist on the tour. Besides beating AJ at ping pong, we later found out that we have a lot more in common and we keep running into each other the weirdest places we never expected. Gonna visit him in the new year at his house in LA. Play some ping pong and write some songs. 2017 already looks promising.
I woke up to the news that my flight from Los Angeles was delayed 4 hours, which meant that my connecting flight in Amsterdam got canceled. So I was crossing my fingers I would make it home to celebrate New Years with my loved ones. An hour later “the schouexpert” booked me the last ticket to the only flight home to Denmark just in time to make it before the Queens New Years speech on tv. So I’ll be arriving at my friend’s house at 5.30pm and jump in the shower, put on a suit, maybe shave a bit and then I’ll be standing with a glass of champagne in front of the tv at 6pm, surrounded by good friends. What more can a boy ask? Maybe Umami Burger would be the only thing that could top this right now… Oh wait a minute, it just so happens that there in fact is an umami restaurant here. Don’t mind if I do……

Back to the early morning waking up with the news of the delay. There was no way I could squeeze anymore out of these 4 days of LA adventure. But because my flight was delayed, I had time to get breakfast with Nik Shaw, a videographer whom, besides shooting a bunch of videos for me in Denmark also shot my video for “Novocaine” in Los Angeles this year. He’s worked with Sean Kingston and other Hollywood big shots. The guy is 21 and talented as fuck. He gives me a ride after breakfast, which by the way was American Buttermilk Pancakes, and normally I don’t like American pancakes the same way that I love European thin pancakes, but these ones were good. Anyways, he gives me a ride and I randomly play him a few of my latest tunes. He hears my cover of a Coldplay song I did recently and he asks; “was that the cover you wanted to do a video for?” Yup, that was the one and he’s like; “I mean, I got my camera in the back, wanna just shoot it now?” And I go; “well, fuck it, let’s do it.” So as I’m on my way to the airport, we end up improvising a music video shoot on a basketball court in Santa Monica. We both breathe and live for the creativity, the spontaneity and the freedom to do what we love the most. So we’ll be dropping a video early in the new year for you guys.

And now I can’t wait to go home, cause it feels like I’ve been away for a year…… Even tho it’s only been 4 days.

Now. Go out. Get stuff done. Don’t sit around and wait for miracles to happen. You are the miracle and the world is waiting for you to happen.

 

FREEDOM IS….

 

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I’m smiling from here and up to my ears, trying to hold back a happy laughter, cause I can’t believe I’m in LA for just 5 days. Made me think about how fortunate I am to have the freedom to do what makes me happy.

Freedom is….

…. A short trip to LA between Christmas and New Years, not knowing where you’re gonna sleep when you land and a special person let’s you sleep at her place.

Grabbing “in & out” burger and fries first thing when you land.

Having no suitcase to carry around, just you and your bag pack, cause you’re a bag packer that surfs couches and travels all over the world, writing and recording music.

Freedom is, a walk on Melrose Avenue with the sun shining so much that you sneeze when you look up.

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Freedom is, when you just had a casual meeting with “Quincy Jones Productions” and you got a few hours to kill before studio session, so you drop by “Floyd’s Barbershop” to get a haircut, just cause it’s about that time.

Freedom is, a jet-lag and coming home for New Years Eve, celebrating with some of your best friends in Copenhagen.

It’s walking to your favorite vintage clothing shop in LA, just to see if they got any new arrivals since the last time you were there.

Freedom is, stopping by “Bamboo Tattoo,” getting some new ink for the new year, that says; “FREEDOM,” and then straight on your way to Long Beach for a beer with a good buddy you haven’t seen for a long time.

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Freedom is sitting stuck in traffic with a smile on your face because it’s okay and you’ll get there when you get there.

That’s freedom to me. It’s not about money, it’s about having the freedom to do what makes you happy.

AS SACRED AS IT GETS.

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A boys/men’s choir and a girls choir. 250 people, 250 voices.

On December 22nd I’ll be singing with the official Cologne Cathedral choirs (Kölner Domchor & Mädchenchor am Kölner Dom) led by Herr Metternich & Herr Sperling. I’ll be featured as a special guest and will be the first pop artist to ever perform in the Kölner Dom.

I think my life just went to a whole new level and I’m already nervous. This is as sacred as it gets. 250 voices backing me and 1.000 people watching, feeling the same thing, most of them strangers. It doesn’t get any more spiritual than this and I can not wait.

Not only is this a great experience for me, the Christmas concert will also be raising money for a project for children in Ghana. The project is led by Sonja Liggett-Igelmund and her team of hardworking people. In March 2017, I’m going with them to meet the children and play a concert for them. The project is called “Meeting Bismarck” and we’re raising money to build a new school and a midwife’s home in Ghana.

I don’t have much to give, but I want to connect with these kids and give them an experience that will stick with them for time to come, take their minds off the cruel reality they live in every day, and if I’m lucky, I might inspire and give hope for a better future. That’s how I see my part in this. Sonja and the whole project are the real angels, providing food and money for building a school etc. I simply hope to inspire dreams and hope in these kids. So yes, I’m extremely excited and humbled to be a part of this and a big thank you to Sonja, the Kölner Dom, Herr Metternich, Herr Sperling and the choirs for this opportunity to help others. All we really have is giving.

WHAT IS A GOOD MANAGEMENT?

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When you dream about your management like I dreamed about mine last night, you know that your management is more than just your employees.

I dreamed I was lying like a child in the middle, between Manfred and Mette in their bed. Like when a kid sleeps with his/her mom and dad. Only difference was, that I was a full grown man. We were working all night on….. Well, my career. Manfred kept saying; “Okay, we really must to go to bed now, but we just kept on working and working and working and then Brian B Stanley, “LP’s” guitarist wrote me on Instagram and asked me to come to the states and be featured with him and a big Dj. David Letterman had called him and asked about Tim Schou and he invited Brian and I to do the song on his talk show. So we worked a bit more to make that happen.

I woke up and was like; WTF? Haha.

What is a good management? The answer is simple; “Iceberg Management.”

I wake up in Silkeborg, Denmark after a flight from Germany. My management had flown me home from tour, because they needed me at the office. They like to discuss important things face to face, instead of over the phone. I like that.

Iceberg Management is consisting of 3 key persons. Manfred, Mette & Torsten. And then there are 2 or 3 other important people working for the team, Alice being the one taking care of all the financials. She makes sure that one day, when I start making money, I’ll get my money on time. So basically she’s the most important one at Iceberg. Better get her a big Christmas present. And then there’s Sophie, who’s probably got the hardest job of them all these days as she’s registering and keeping track of my +300 songs catalogue. So sorry Sophie. Merry Christmas.

Iceberg is like a family. Literally. Sophie is Mette’s sister and Mette and Manfred are married. Manfred is the president, the head of Iceberg so to speak and mette is the CEO. (Vice President.) Torsten is the head of product management and for a long time I thought he was Mette and Manfred’s son, until I figured out, that that’s just how they treat any of their colleagues or music family, including myself.

Torsten is like that cool older brother that looks out for you. He could never replace my own big brother, no one could. (God, I can’t wait to see my brother again.) Torsten is around my age and he’s so driven and he has the longest red beard the world has ever seen, and when he comes up with great ideas it’s often right after he brushes his beard with his right hand. I wonder what’s in that beard. He always texts me in my most lonely hour, when I’m away somewhere in a strange city with no one but myself and in the need of a helping hand or a little cheer up. It’s like he just knows. Thank you Torsten.

 

The iceberg office is lying in the most outskirts of Denmark in Silkeborg, Jutland. Fields (….of gold if you will,) cows, forests and just a stunning view over the river. It’s the most beautiful drive to their almost secret headquarters, which is where they also live and spend most of their time dealing with labels, publishers and artists from all over the world.

When driving there from the airport at Christmas time, I feel like I’m going to visit Santa Clause, Mrs. Santa and all their happy helpers. I’m a huge believer in Christmas, so I don’t mind this little detour to Denmark during my German tour. This was actually the only taste of Danish Christmas I would get until December 24 when I go home to my family. So I was looking forward to visiting them and strangely enough, it really felt like I was visiting family. Now, I’ve tried many things in this business and working with many different people, labels and management’s, but nothing has felt so safe and familiar like “Iceberg.”

I was there for 2 days of meetings. In the evening when we were done with the first meeting, Mette had to leave, Torsten had a wife to get home to, so they left Manfred and I alone. Now, Manfred. A German Dane, one of the craziest characters I’ve ever, and I mean, EVER met. Manfred has a ponytail, smokes Cuban cigars and has a peculiar and sort of cute German Danish accent. We call him GP (GrandPapa) – he’s the closest you’ll come to a light version of the Godfather, except he doesn’t kill people. In fact, the cigar and the ponytail was 50% of the reason I ever signed with Iceberg in the first place. I thought; “That guy is gonna be my lucky charm, I can feel it, plus, nobody fucks with a cigar smoking German. This guy looks badass.” Haha. So in the beginning I knew Manfred was a tough motherfucker, and he’s a guy who doesn’t wanna hug too much, always gives me a firm handshake instead of a hug. I’m beginning to prefer the handshake now, but on rare occasions you get a hug, and that’s when you know he’s really happy and you did good.

 

Now that I’ve gotten to know him better, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never met a guy who doesn’t give hugs and doesn’t like to talk too much about emotions and feelings, and at the same time is actually so loving and caring, amazingly childlike and a lot of other words, that would make him blush and tell me to delete this blog post right away. Sorry buddy. I hope to God you’re not reading this. And also sorry to anybody who thought they knew Manfred, sorry for ruining your idea of him. 😉

Mette is the cook in the family. And my oh my can she cook! Whenever I come to their house and eat, it’s like stepping into a 4-star restaurant. I’m not gonna give her 5 stars, cause that wouldn’t make my story about Iceberg, as a whole, very plausible. (Mette, in my eyes you’re a 5 star restaurant!)

But since Mette was out for the evening, Manfred and I, the 2 men in the house, decided to pick up Thai food. Later, we told Mette that Manfred had been cooking a fabulous meal for me. Haha. When the cat’s out…. The mice they dance on the table. (Is that one of my stupid danish expressions? Or can you actually say that in English too?)

Manfred insisted on picking up the Thai food, and told me he had recorded the Christmas Calendar series on tv (in Denmark we have this tradition watching a Danish tv series around 7pm every night until the 24th.) and since I hadn’t been able to watch it this year because of the tour, he thought I should watch a couple of episodes to get up to speed before tonight’s episode came on tv. I couldn’t agree more, so I snuck up on the couch beside the fireplace and made myself at home.

Many Danish people don’t watch this series once they grow up, but it’s always been very important to me to keep watching it. Just like I like watching cartoons. My parents still watch it, and to my surprise, Manfred, the same cigar smoking ponytail German, who I earlier referred to as the Godfather, yup he also watches it. Unbelievable. That’s when it became clear to me that the Godfather and I had more in common than I had ever thought we would.

Next morning, after feeding me delicious breakfast of course, Iceberg and I went through a 7 hour meeting and then Mette cooked a traditional Danish Christmas meal for us. Manfred and Mette’s daughter and her boyfriend came by too and we had dinner together. Was nice getting a little family feel of the Danish Christmas.

We worked until midnight and at the same time my German assistant (the “schouexpert”) was, sitting back in Germay, booking me a ticket for Los Angeles over the Christmas. Manfred asked; “is she working for you now, at this hour?” And I said yes she is, and so are you.” He smiled.

The Schouexpert, Uli Zarges is my most trusted partner in crime. And I’m gonna take a second to describe her as part of my team, because she probably is the most important of them all, to me.

The schouexpert is to me what “Felicity” is to Oliver Queen in the series “Arrow.”A secret assistant who helps out Oliver in his missions and quests as “Arrow” and guides him through everything. She knows everything about Oliver and is working undercover for him.

I simply wouldn’t be able to do this much traveling (250 days of the year) around the world etc. and still go on stage concentrating on my shows, if it hadn’t been for the Schouexpert. Besides that, we work on all creative designs together and creating ideas etc. everyday 24/7 – the Schouexpert is unstoppable and she’s got my back. Thank you Uli.

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It just hit me, I have people working with me and for me for so many hours until they drop. It’s so hard and rare to find people like that, I mean nobody’s getting paid at the moment. We’re all just a bunch of dreamers who believe in creating something together. They live and breathe it, they are so dedicated. It’s amazing to see something like this, because they genuinely care and want to see me succeed. So cheers for you guys for taking me in and showing me so much love and dedication and hard work. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had and the biggest reward is doing it with you.

Next morning I had to go to the airport to fly to Frankfurt, but before that, the Iceberg family had invited me along for the annual Christmas tree “chopping.” So we went to find the perfect tree for Christmas Eve. I was very honored to be invited to such a personal family tradition. After a good 15 minutes of scouting the Christmas tree farm, we found it. It was without a doubt the most beautiful of them all and I saw the Christmas spirit in Mette’s, Manfred’s and their daughter Natasha’s eyes come to live right there. Felt special to be a part of that.

Iceberg. You are indeed a loving and caring management and family. You are without a doubt a “1 in a million.” I can only wish for other artists that they have something similar to what I have, heck, just even 10% of what I got in my management and team. Cause this is what it should feel like, that gut feeling, when you know you hit home and made the right choices in your career. Well, any people you surround yourself with, whether you’re an artist or a normal mortal, (rockstar joke) that’s how it should feel, when choosing lifelong friends.

Thank you Iceberg and team, Merry Christmas.

Yours sincerely, Tim Schou, reporting from the “schoubox” somewhere in Germany.❤️

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EEEEWWWWW!!!! THAT’S JUST NASTY.

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Seriously. People who smell. Come on. I travel 200-250 days a year, sleeping on couches and studio floors, carrying no more than a bag of clothes, but I shower from time to time, especially before boarding planes when I know other people are gonna be in my presence out of pure decency to them. If you have money to buy a ticket for a flight, I’m sure you have money to shower or at least to buy a deodorant. Come oooon. Eeewwww. That’s just nasty.

Hugs me on my way to Frankfurt sitting next to a guy who smells like he didn’t shower for a month. Perfect, just perfect.

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