Filip Killander Releases New Single “Forgive Yourself”
Live performances of both strings and brass, mixed for Dolby Atmos for Music in Sweden and mixed at Dolby Labs in London for the cinematic release of the music video. In the song “Forgive Yourself,” songwriter, producer, and artist Filip Killander showcases his exponential growth as a creator, musician and artist.
Somewhere between alternative and indie-pop, Filip Killander has carved out a space over the past few years where his unique sound has become increasingly prominent. The single “Forgive Yourself” feels in many ways like a culmination of the sound we’ve heard him explore and express in both his own and other artists’ music. The massive choirs, dreamy piano sounds, distorted drums, and pop-infused vocal productions are all elements that can be traced back to his previous work. Notably, last year’s single “Fireworks”.
It’s evident that Filip has spent a significant amount of time in the studio since his last release. Since then, he has been working on an upcoming album, which is yet to have a release date. Beyond his own album, Filip has contributed to over 50 productions, 70 mixes, and more than 130 mastering projects since last summer.
The song is being released in conjunction with KMR Studio’s major Dolby Atmos event at “Nordisk Film Bio” on August 31, 2023. The event, held in collaboration with Dolby, Avid, msonic, and Genelec, was so popular that it had to be moved to a larger theater, which also sold out quickly. The finalized Dolby Atmos mix of the song was optimized for cinema playback in Dolby Labs’ studio at Soho Square in London, UK, with help from the talented engineer Jake Fields.
“Forgive Yourself” is a song about forgiveness and about not giving up, even when convinced that the obstacle is insurmountable. The lyrics are written in the third person, providing an intriguing perspective. The music and the music video combined with the production, feel meticulously thought out and executed – which they are.
Tell us about when/how you started the song?
I went through a period where I began each day in the studio by creating a beat from scratch on my Maschine MK3. The foundation for “Forgive Yourself” was born on one of those mornings. Suddenly, the basic beat was there, and I couldn’t stop working on the song that day. The majority of the music came together on that day. It was February 22, 2022. At that point, there was a demo vocal, the beat, and the piano that sounds like an organ. Most of the vocals and lyrics were also crafted that same day. I barely remember how the lyrics came about; they just seemed to appear out of nowhere. The initial demo was very lo-fi beats-inspired, a characteristic that the final version retains traces of, although it’s no longer a defining feature. The demo sat in my folder of “almost finished songs” for over a year before I decided it would be my next single. Choosing “Forgive Yourself” was a combination of wanting it in my own playlists and the feedback I received when playing it for others.
What was it like recording the song, and how did it feel to finish it?
Completing the song was incredibly satisfying in many ways. Once I decided the song had to be finished, it became a race against time. The deadline was set four weeks before the big Dolby Atmos event where the song would be premiered – the same date it would be released on streaming platforms, August 31, 2023. So, there was no option to finish it later. I had a clear vision of how I wanted both the final production and the music video to turn out, so there was a lot that needed to be finalized simultaneously. Surprisingly, we actually filmed the music video before the song was fully complete – and it went remarkably well! Working with real strings and brass instruments was also fantastic. Maria Grig (responsible for the string section in the song) and I had worked together on previous musical projects, and she was as fantastic as always. Dimo Faustov and Lev Borovskiy from Ukraine (the brass section) were new collaborators for me, and they exceeded my expectations!
What do you like most about the song?
I think my favorite part is the second half of the chorus, where “Forgive Yourself” is repeated over and over again. There’s something so powerful in “forgive yourself.” It’s a topic I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about for many years – how crucial it is and how difficult it can be to forgive oneself, for both small and significant things. At least, that’s how I experience it.
What are you most looking forward to about releasing the song?
Premiering a song in a movie theater is new for me, and it feels really exciting. The cinema version of the song was mixed in Dolby’s mix stage in Soho, London – an experience in itself. I did that together with an incredibly skilled technician named Jake Fields.
Artist: Filip Killander
Text, Music & Arrangement: Filip Killander
Production: Filip Killander
Mixing: Filip Killander
Mastering: Filip Killander
Mastering for cinema: Jake Fields
Recording: KMR Studios
Mixing: KMR Studios
Mastering: KMR Studios
Year of Recording: 2023
Engineer: Filip Killander
Studio: KMR Studios
Mix stage: Dolby Labs, London UK
Filip Killander: Arrangement for vocals, strings and brass, piano, percussion, programming
Dima Faustov: Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Lev Borovskiy: Trumpet, Tuba
Maria Grig: Violin, Viola
Director: Filip Killander
Videoteam: David Killander, Vendela Lundgren
Post and Editing: Filip Killander
Artwork: Filip Killander
Label: KMR Studios, August 31, 2023