Building Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade”: From Adele and Amy to Kurt and Snow Patrol

It’s taken months, but Duncan Laurence‘s “Arcade” has finally gone platinum in the U.S. and hit the top 10 at radio. It’s also racked up over 500 million streams. “Arcade” really doesn’t sound like any other song out there, and maybe that’s because Duncan’s got an interesting blend of musical influences.

“My all-time heroes when it comes to music is the band Snow Patrol. I’ve always been in love with their lyrics and the way they phrase things and the way the music…took it to a whole other cinematic level,” Duncan tells ABC Audio. “Coldplay Chris Martin has always been a hero.”

Ducan also cites Ryan Tedder, Sia, Sam Smith and Adele as heroes of his, as well as Amy Winehouse. In fact, she’s the reason “Arcade” isn’t called “Loving You Is a Losing Game:” Duncan says it would’ve been too close to Amy’s song “Love Is a Losing Game.

But Duncan’s also a big rock fan; he loves Kurt Cobain.

“I had this phase where I only listened to Nirvana and Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters,” he explains. “A lot of these writers…have such a raw, emotional type of songwriting. Even if it’s punk or even if it’s grunge, there’s still something very much like, ‘This is the story. And this is what I’m telling you and this is what it is."”

Duncan says he likes that attitude because he’s Dutch.

“We’re kind of direct,” he says of Dutch people. “And it’s always like, ‘Hey, this is me, take it or leave it.’ I kind of always feel very much drawn to songwriting…like that: You hear it, you understand it. You see the story, you see the visual, you see the line through the story. But yet, I always try to make it poetic.” 

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