Swedish Singer Menke on Her New Single and Emerging as an International Artist

Stop what you’re doing, you guys! We recently had the chance to interview Swedish singer, Menke. Her first ever single “Moln” came out recently and there is a lot of buzz about it. The song, music video, and Menke herself, have an air of mystery surrounding them. Check out the song below and get to know more about one of Sweden’s most talented up-and-coming singers.

​​What was the song you heard when you were a kid that made you want to get into music?

Oh, that’s a tough one. I guess it was rather many songs than just one specific. But one song that had a strong impact on me was an instrumental song called “Synd” by the Swedish band Fleshquartet. I was training circus at the time and had my first performance to that song. I could listen to that song over and over again. It really made an imprint on me.

You’re known for being a multi-instrumentalist. How long does it take for you to figure out which combination of instruments to use for a song?

It’s actually very easy. Somehow I just go for the feeling that I have for the day and try to figure out what kind of mood I want to add to the song. I don’t really have a clear picture from the beginning, but I just start adding them one by one as the song evolves. But I’d rather not play piano while writing music since I’m too theoretically schooled. I just want to play and listen and feel without thinking too much about what I am actually doing. I don’t want the theory to get in the way of my creative process.

What made you want to learn how to play so many unique instruments like the banjo, vibraphone, lyre, and even wine glasses?

I started playing lyre in kindergarten and a couple years later I started taking piano lessons and then it took some time before I started exploring other instruments. Later in high school I really found the interest for all kinds of strange instruments. I had just learned to play guitar. I found a banjo in a store and fell in love with the sound. I started taking cello lessons. And then me and my friend started to play at anything that actually could make some kind of sound. We became some sort of audio explorers. This is when I started to play saw, wine glasses, harmonium, harmonica and later on vibraphone.

I think the music video is as beautiful as the song is. Where did the did the idea come from to make the concept for “Moln”?

Wow, thank you so much!​ ​The idea behind the video was actually Steve Angellos. The thought was to give a first inartificial and authentic introduction of who Menke is. This is my first single and it’s peoples first impression of me as an artist.

So we played around with different location suggestions and found this place a suitable environment for “Moln.” We went out in the woods really early one summer morning at 3 am to capture the first sun-rays and the mist of dawn. We made as many takes as the light was offering and then choose the best one. It’s one take and no editing!

Moln1.jpg

Thanks to “Moln,” you’re being viewed as an emerging international artist in the music scene and rightfully so. Do you feel any pressure or stress now that you know all eyes are on you?

I’m so grateful for the ​positive response to the song. That was nothing I really dared to hope for or have taken for granted. But I’ve actually had a long time to prepare myself before releasing “Moln.” So no, I don’t feel stressed at all. I have a lot of songs in stock and know exactly what I want to do so I’m just so super excited and eager to show you more.

“Moln” is being hailed as “poetry come to life” and was even picked by Spotify to be on the playlist, “The Most Beautiful Songs in the World.” Will your next few singles have similar sound or be completely different?

It is so wonderful they wanted to have “Moln” on their playlist, it is such an honor. Yes, I think “Moln” is a pretty good reference to my musical world and expression. The coming songs will also be interpretations of Karin Boye poems and the sound is similar even though the feeling might vary a bit from song to song.

Spotify has identified your music as “indie” but do you think that’s an accurate representation of your music? Do you feel like your music should be defined in any specific genre?

I think it’s really hard for me to define any kind of music and put it in different categories, I don’t like to do that. Music for me is sound, all kinds of sound, that generates feelings and moves me to some content. I am okay with “indie” in it’s original meaning of something being independent, I like to try to be as independent as possible and only do what I feel is right for me and the music. I have many great people believing in me and helping me to be able to do my thing and letting me continue to be independent in my creative process. And I am very grateful to them for that.

Your aesthetic on social media seems to be just black and white. Why is that?

I do a lot of analogue photographing. I also have my own dark room at home where I develop my film and photos. I like the process of developing and the feeling of analogue black and white photography. Most of my press photos are also shoot with black and white analogue film. So it felt kind of natural.

If you weren’t playing music, what do you think you would be doing instead?

If I wouldn’t be into music I would probably be doing more photo and film work. When I have some days of I can spend 14 hours a day in the dark room developing photos or editing film.

What can we expect from Menke in 2018?

During 2018 I will release some more music, hopefully do a smashing collaboration and I would love to do as many live shows as possible. The rest, we’ll se​e​.

Learn more about Menke and her music on her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Featured Image by: Richard Farman/Levi Di Marco
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Christian Le

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