Earning a Grammy nomination is a huge deal for any up-and-coming band, but the excitement is multiplied for Lukas Graham. The Danish hit-makers scored the prestigious Song of the Year and Record of the Year double-whammy for their infectious “7 Years,” plus a further nod for Best Group Performance. Consider the fact that they’re the first of their countrymen to ever accomplish this remarkable feat, and it all adds up to a big reason to celebrate.
Unfortunately, the band has to keep their joyous hysteria contained for the next few hours.
“A Grammy nomination is a huge thing!” frontman Lukas Forchhammer tells PEOPLE. “I feel quite ecstatic. I’m a little annoyed, I’m in a tour bus in eastern Ohio on my way to Philadelphia so it’s not like I have that much room to vent my excitement.”
It’s a moment that most musicians fantasize about their entire lives, but if Forchhammer had visions of glitz and glamour, reality had something different in store when the nominations were announced. “I was changing my baby’s nappy [diaper] when I was told,” he says. The 28-year-old became a father to daughter Viola in September. “I came back in from a truck stop and I was changing a diaper while I was being nominated for a Grammy. So that was a little bit of a strange victory situation right there.”
Though the 10-week-old is a little young to fully grasp the cause of all the commotion, Forchhammer believes “she can feel there’s a good vibe in the bus. Everyone’s definitely very happy.”
Fatherhood played a fundamental role in Lukas Graham’s success. “7 Years” was written in honor of Forchhammer’s late father, Eugene, who died in 2012.
“It’s just amazing that I wrote a song about becoming a father and now we’re nominated for three Grammys for that song and [Viola’s] with me on tour and everything. My life is slowly but surely coming together, just like I was dreaming it would.”
Forchhammer’s mother, Eva, still lives in Denmark. She was his first call when he heard the thrilling news, but unfortunately he couldn’t get through. “I couldn’t get a hold of anybody. Everyone was on the phone talking to each other!” he says with a laugh.
However, he did manage to speak to long-time co-writer, Don Stefano. The pair’s friendship stretches back a decade to high school, when any Grammy talk seemed like an unattainable dream.
“We talked about it back then: ‘Yeah, we’re going to be Grammy nominated, we’re going to be the biggest ever from Denmark!’ But I don’t know if we really believed it or if we were just pumping up each other’s egos. As teenagers you need to believe a little more in yourself to make it, you know? I was just on the phone with him — he’s in L.A. He’s gonna go out and celebrate with the guys. I had to say, ‘Hey, Stefano man, you gotta save a little of that Grammy vibe for when we meet in a couple weeks!'”
Of course, there’s the all-important matter of choosing an outfit for the star-studded Grammy red carpet. When asked, Forchhammer says he’s opting for a low-fuss look. “If there’s not a dress code, I will be wearing something as casual as possible, the least.”
But that’s in the future. For now, his more immediate concern is figuring out the best way to celebrate with the band. “I think we need to get dropped off in Philadelphia and go to a big communal dinner and have a couple glasses of wine.”