As part of our series of features on Eurosonic Noorderslaag's 2015 outing last month, The 405 met up with some of the (many) breaking artists showcasing their respective talents at the festival, one such act being Danish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Asbjørn Toftdahl Terkelsen.

The Aarhus-born troubadour's gig was the first we caught during our stay in Groningen and his set left such a strong impression on us that we cornered him for a chat the following day, to hear more about his background and the music he's been making since childhood.

To be honest, we weren't quite sure what to expect from Asbjørn's show, although the consensus among those we chatted to, who had seen him perform at Ja Ja Ja in London last year, was that we would, in all likelihood, absolutely love it. They guessed correctly.

Arriving on stage wearing a kimono, with a mop of platinum blonde hair popping out of the hood, the somewhat imposing stage apparel was juxtaposed with and disarmed by a big grateful smile - a gesture that recurred after every audience ovation. The music itself was dominated by jutting beats, great melodies and a strong vocal. Alongside, rhythm-stricken choreography complemented the sonics so that every individual aspect presented live worked together with the others, in unison, to create a beguiling performance.

Last year was a bit of a hectic one for the 22-year-old, who decided to release eight singles from his forthcoming second album, Pseudo Visions, with a video each. Apart from writing, recording and filming the visuals for the songs he also toured Denmark, Germany and the UK. The hard graft was not without its rewards, however, as Youtube views of the series inflated to impressive counts and, perhaps more importantly to Asbjørn, one of his biggest idols, Lykke Li, named his track 'Brotherhood' as one of her current favourites.

'Brotherhood', written about childhood and friendship between boys, harks back to the very first song Asbjørn ever penned. "I wrote my first song in the fifth grade," he tells The 405. "I was about 10 years old and my best friend, Silas, sort of broke up with me. Every time I would call, his mum would be, like: 'no, Silas can't play today'. I was totally heart-broken." Was there a reason for this? "No, not really," he says. "But I think I might have been a little bit in love with him and maybe he could feel that. I mean, I didn't know, myself, but I was definitely heart-broken. So I wrote a really sad song about that. It sort of went like this [pauses to translate from Danish]: 'When the wind is blowing, when the waves are - [searches for the right word] - swishing? - I don't know what the word is - 'I think of you, because you are my best friend'."

As a child, Asbjørn started playing the piano quite early. "We had a piano at home because my mother played," he says. "She would play and I would stop her and say: no, it needs to be sadder or this one needs to be happier. I used to interrupt and dictate to her until I actually started playing the piano myself. Then when I was a little older I started producing and very intuitively picking up other instruments - whatever was around me. Like mandolins and xylophones and guitars. And I would play them to whatever extent I was capable of until I reached a point that there was nothing more I could do myself using my hands. Then I would start using sampling. And that's how the Asbjørn universe, if I can call it that, and the whole soundscape came about. A weird mix between something very human - you can hear that it is human-made - and, on the other side of it, this very poppy, electronic dimension, simply because I am not better at playing some things."

The songs' beats are an integral part of that Asbjørn universe but they seldom come at the inception of his songwriting process. "I primarily start with the lyrics," he says, "and then produce and write the melody at the same time, afterwards. Every now and again I would get up, put the music on the speakers and I would explore what is missing by using my body - you know, in terms of the beats and the production. I dance along to the track and suddenly realise that a certain beat is missing from a particular point in the song. It's a very natural part of my musicality to dance. I simply can't help it," he laughs.

The striking choreography he employs on stage to accompany the beats is an evolving work in progress. "I don't choreograph stuff in advance, as such, but I have performed those songs so many times by now that, of course, there is a body memory of moves that I have done, that fit the music. They become natural for me to do again and again when I perform particular songs. They are moves that have built up over the past four years as a result of me performing live quite a lot."

Of the Pseudo Visions songs not yet released, two tracks have particularly caught The 405's attention. They are the beautiful ballad, 'Body of Work' (also the name of the Dane's own record label), which is gentle and moving, and on the other hand of the musical scale, brand new single, 'Scandinavian Love', a catchy, poptastic attention grabber. The latter was inspired by Asbjørn's memories of being a teenager and having jitters about doing things for the first time. He wrote it in his living room in Berlin, a city he relocated to last Autumn and which he instantly felt at home in. The song came about because he wanted to write about overcoming those stomach-butterflies and doing things anyway, "even if you know you're not necessarily grown up enough to take responsibility for others." As an album-release announcer, it's a great single choice.

During his Eurosonic gig, Asbjørn showcased another new song, 'Don't Rain On My Parade', which had a fantastic reaction from the audience but has not made the final cut of the Pseudo Visions tracklist. Nevertheless, it is one which is close to Asbjørn's heart and sounded very powerful when performed live. "That song is about being comfortable with your sexuality," he says, "and knowing that people might see you differently but explaining to anyone with doubt that, actually, that love is the same kind of love."

So far, Asbjørn's sexuality has not been used as the focal marketing point by his team "but it's something that has become more natural for me to deal with in my lyrics, instead," he explains. "I have been able to get more and more personal when I write my songs. On my first record I was very mysterious in my language and my lyrics and I think I sugar-coated everything. There were a lot of metaphors. Now it's much more specific." A song which perhaps addresses this most directly is recent single, 'The Love You Have In You'. "It also has a very direct video," Asbjørn agrees. "But, for me, it's not like I think of myself as a gay artist, it's not necessarily about pushing that side of things. It's about making music that is honest. I think that's probably the mistake that most gay artists, who rely on their sexuality in the promotion of their music, make. That is not what I want to do. I'm just telling universal stories from my personal point of view, which just happens to be a gay one, but I don't think that makes it any less universal."

Has he ever felt that being out as a gay man impacted negatively on his career? "From an industry point of view there has only been one incident - there was this record label dude who said 'Ah, man, Asbjørn is so gay that he sweats sequins'. I thought that was a super-weird comment to make and also inappropriate, even if it was just meant as a joke. But, apart from that, not at all. Generally, I don't meet people with any agenda and I expect people to do the same."

The video for 'The Love You Have In You' is but one of several films made in support of the Pseudo Visions tracks. "My friends and I got the idea for the Pseudo Visions series while we were incredibly drunk," Asbjørn recalls, "and one of us was, like, hey let's make a shit-load of videos. So that's how it happened." One of The 405's favourite tracks from the series so far, 'Call Me By My Name', similarly boasts a captivating video, which perhaps aims at mystifying the audience a little more than the others. Directed by long-term Asbjørn-collaborators, Anders Morre and Thomas Dyrholm, it's confused some viewers. 'Is that an epileptic seizure halfway thru?', asks one Youtube commenter. Asbjørn would prefer for his audience to decide for themselves.

It's difficult to imagine a timid Asbjørn in front of an audience, so self-assured is his Groningen appearance for the Eurosonic crowd, but when he first started out, performing live was something of a daunting prospect. His first show was at the Royal Music Academy in Denmark, where he got his bachelors degree. "We had this concert and I was horribly nervous because it was the first time that I presented myself and my music with what I felt was some integrity and the guys playing with me were also nervous. I think we played the songs way too fast," he chuckles. "After that performance I was invited to play SPOT Festival in Denmark [where he will be playing again this April] and then I did some more industry festivals - it was like a crash course, in the sense that things got serious quite quickly from that point. It's a most intense situation to put yourself into, isn't it? When you know you have to be 100% present, to give the best version of you. I wouldn't be able to be that intense all the time. That said, I do dance for at least a couple of hours a day, putting on a playlist and going crazy so that may have helped me."

One place he is excited to come back to is London, where he loved playing live back in November. "Ja Ja Ja was amazing! It was my first show in London and I was really scared but the audience was great and I had an amazing time." In terms of breaking other markets with his music he remains hopeful yet realistic. "It's a very natural process and because I haven't worked with a major label it all depends on my own work, it's all DIY and super-natural. The thing that was amazing about the London show is that I found out that some people had travelled from all over the UK and also from France - because I haven't played there yet. People who come to the shows appear to be really into the music and I want to play in as many places as I possibly can, to play the music to more and more new people. It's all happening slowly, introducing it to new territories, but with the internet that is becoming easier and easier. Like, I would love to play in America, although I am aware how difficult that market is to reach. An artist I find really inspiring is Lykke Li, because what she has been doing has never been straight-forward pop but she managed to get into the American market through hard work, rather than the usual mainstream route. I don't think I have what the mainstream market wants. What I do is not mainstream but it has a lot of feeling and I'm sure there's a market for it somewhere, I just have to find it."

Scandinavian Love is out on 16 February. Pseudo Visions will be released in Scandinavia on 16 March on Body Of Work.