Linnea Olsson

Category: INTERVIEWS 7 0

Acclaimed cellist has come a very long way since releasing her 2012 debut Ah! Having spent an extensive period touring with Peter Gabriel and collaborating with everyone from Ane Brun to Loreen, Linnea last released a studio album, the truly impressive Breaking and Shaking, in 2014, and has since spent time touring and working towards her new EP – For Show. We caught up with her to talk about her striking new single Weekend…

Hi Linnea – we are loving Weekend. Tell us about the song itself…

Thank you! The song is about escaping reality and your own self, to try and create this parallel universe where you are untouchable and great.

The video is DIY project. Did you manage to complete it within a weekend?

Absolutely not. It’s been a pretty time- consuming hobby project! Don’t know how many hours it took but it was plenty.

How did you arrive at the idea for the video?

I always liked the concept of stop- motion and of lyric- videos, and since I’ve always loved to draw and paint I thought I should have a go at trying to incorporate that interest in to my music.

The song arrives three years after your last studio album. What else do you have up your sleeve?

More songs of my own! I’m currently working as a musician for other artist as well, for example Frida Hyvönen, which is great fun. I’m going to do some shows with my own stuff later this spring.

We hear an EP is on the way. Tell us more…

It’s not just one EP, it’s two. I am releasing a bunch of songs, they are split in half because they came out so differently, to me it’s really two groups of songs. So I figured I should release them as two EP’s during this year. They still belong together though, so it’s kind of a part one and a part two. This first one, called FOR SHOW is coming out pretty soon, the 24th of February. It consists of 5 earthy tracks consisting almost solely of cello and my vocals. Next EP is due September.

Since your recording career started your sound has changed in many ways. How would you say your ambition now is different to at the outset?

When I write music I never really set out to have a certain goal in terms of sound or what kind of song I want to write, it’s like the music itself gives me the direction. For me the writing- process is very unstructured and searching. What happens, happens. But it’s not all just feeling. My first album was in total focus of my solo- performance, it was centered around me doing loops and having a one- woman show. What was significantly different on my second album was that I thought about what would be more fun to play live- with the result that I added drums to the music, and I wrote stuff that I knew would be difficult to perform on my own so that I would have to bring musicians on stage. For my forthcoming release the writing process has been weirder than before. It’s been…confused. Probably that is why I came out with 5 songs each that are in two different directions. With that said, I have been thinking after this latest period of writing, that I should put less feeling and more thought in to the music, as an experiment, to see where it would take me. So I guess, a little less feeling and a little more brain next time around.

You have also collaborated with many artists. Do you prefer to work alone or with other artists?

I like both as much I think. I dream about playing in a band though. That’s a life-goal.

What has been your favourite collaboration to date?

It’s impossible to choose, I’ve played with so many wonderful artists and musicians. But what I’ve noticed is that the collaborations feel more and more fun every time I do one – I think it has to do with a growing self- confidence , it comes with experience I guess. It makes me feel like I have something to contribute to what ever project it might be and that’s a great feeling.

Who do you dream of working with?

Well, I AM already working with a person but I do it too little, so it’s kind of a dream come true, we just need to get shit done. Look out!

You are approached by a label to create a supergroup with three other artists, who would you invite to record with you, and why..

Björk- because she’s one of the reasons why and how I do what I do today. And because she’s amazing, and never seize to sound like the future. PJ Harvey because I wish that some of her attitude in, well, basically everything she is as an artist and composer could spill over a little on me. Joni Mitchell because who doesn’t want to experience a master genius at work?

Lastly, what is one lesson you have learnt from your career that is worthwhile young artists noting?

Well, as cheesy as it sounds- stay true to yourself. Stay true to your art. Also, just keep going, don’t stop. And improvise, I mean play and sing musical improvisations, as much as you can. I find it makes you connect to music on another level. That was more than one lesson, but anyways.

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