Tobias Rahim

A 6-foot-7 Kurdish Danish pop singer, strode around the vast stage of Copenhagen’s Royal Arena one recent Saturday night dressed in a tasseled gold cowboy outfit.

He was midway through “Stor Mand” (“Big Man”), a romantic duet sung with Andreas Odbjerg, another star in Denmark. But it seemed like Rahim barely needed to perform: He simply pointed his microphone at the 16,000-capacity crowd who manically sung every word for him.

Soon, the crowd — some wearing cowboy hats just like Rahim — made their adoration even clearer, when a group started chanting, “The girls want your body.” The quirky 33-year-old, who posed nude for a previous project, quickly moved onto the next hit.

Spanish-language acts like Bad Bunny have had hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and French-language singers have been appearing at major festivals in the United States.

Danish, an often staccato language spoken by only about six million people and whose alphabet includes the letters Æ, Ø and Å, is perhaps an unlikely choice for pop’s next lingua franca. But Rahim said in an interview the day after the show that there was no reason Danish-language pop couldn’t take off, too.

Shot for New York Times.

Words by Alex Marshall.

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