I would like to start asking about your current album Pick Me Up. It’s already been released in Spain and Sweden soon. When can Swedish fans expect a release date?
The plan is to release a new up-dated version of the existing album Pick Me Up in the fall 2009.
What was it like recording and writing this album?
It has been a long journey. I started to work on the album in March 2007! It is hard to beat the feeling of going into the studio, writing and recording until the early morning. Both my producer and I are at our best after midnight. Most of the album was recorded at the legendary Maratone studio where so many great pop songs have been written. That place has such a good vibe.
You and Arnthor truly explore some of those early Madonna/Janet Jackson sounds that make sure you get on the dance floor. Where those influences in the back of your mind when creating this album?
Of course we have been inspired by music we have listened to while growing up. Although we just did our thing and created something we wanted to listen and dance to.
How long did the album take to make?
Too long….But you have to kill your darlings and continue to write better and better songs.
Kill Your darlings? So you am I to understand that you’ve “done a Robyn” with this album? So you take a bigger chunk of control? You've recorded and written it through your own label?
I believe you have to be involved in your career these days, beyond being just an artist/songwriter.
My label Aristotracks is owned by Linus Andreen, my producer Arnthor Birgisson and myself. We are a dream team!
Why did you do that?
To be able to control and create my own product. I have a small team around me of people I really trust and Sweden is a great place to be creative. Then we have other partners to help us abroad, Vale Music/Universal in Spain and MGM in Australia.
This album has everything from hi-energy club songs to deeply personal love ballads. There were times I felt you were more comfortable when the beat picked up a pace. I am talking about Keep Your Man Happy here. It seems so natural for you. Can I ask why there aren’t more up-tempo dance tracks on this release? Especially when you seem to be so confident when the baselines contain big bad attitude electro synths?
I think I am as confident singing ballads as up-tempo tracks. But maybe you translate my vocals more confidently on Keep Your Man Happy because they are more playful and ”fun”? Now or Never, which is a mid-tempo/ballad was recorded in less than an hour, talk about confidence!! Ha, Ha!
I mean Keep Your Man Happy could easily be a massive/global number one for you. Its seriously potent! You have to release it!
Thanks! Yeah it really has a good vibe…I had a lot of fun recording it. The lyric is pretty kinky, all my male friends love it and all my feminist Swedish girlfriends think it’s a scandal I ever recorded it.
What is it like being based in both Sweden and Australia. When can Australian fans expect the album drop there? What was it like touring in good ole Oz?
Well, I don’t have a home in Australia….yet! I think the two countries are the perfect combos. When the darkness arrives in Sweden I jump on the plane and head for my surfing lesson at Bondi beach. Seriously, there is no better country in the world to tour! My Australian fans will be able to get the "new version” of Pick Me Up hopefully in the fall. I dream of Australia every day. I can’t wait to get back!
The utterly standout song for me is the amazing track Weightless.
It is a beautiful track that was written for me by Arnthor, Savan and Guy Chambers. I love it because it has a melancholic tone in the production, very typical for the Swedish folk music. The live strings are a great I.D on that song and I remember almost falling apart while recording it…
Falling apart? Wow! How do you perform it then?
Sometimes I do it in a very stripped-down acoustic version when I perform.
What frame of mind did you have to enter to sing that song? It is an epic song....
I remember not being in the right mood at first. It is one of those songs you almost want to nail in just one take. But after having a long dinner talking about life over a bottle of red wine we got back to the studio and there it was…one of my favourite songs I have ever recorded.
What I love about the song is that it’s a big ballad yet it’s still very subtle. What magic was used on the song?
The production is quite direct: strings, a beat, lots of bv´s and a quite naked lead vocal. Also I have always been a big fan of Frozen by Madonna, which is a magic song…I think we created our own ”Frozen-magic” in Weightless.
You’re an extremely talented songwriter. Would you consider writing on the Leona Lewis next album?
Ha ha. Of course, she is an amazing singer!! Who would not like to write for her?
Talking of which! Now Or Never! It had a bit of a previous life before appearing on your album. What’s the backstory behind that song? It was previously seen with a different title on Britney’s album and before then performed by two other female singers. I must say, your version is the best!
Wow, thank you! Well the story is the following. The song was originally written for Britney’s last album, with the title Out from Under, but she chose not to record it at the time. There was another, not yet recorded version with a different lyric, Now Or Never. When Arnthor played it to me I just knew I had to do it. A couple of months after I had recorded it Arnthor got the great news that Britney wanted it for her new album (Circus).
OK. The lyrics to I Can are pure poetry. I squealed when I heard the lines “Me without your touch/is a kiss without the rush/Me without your time/is a jump without the high”. To me, that level of prose proves that pop can be an incredible form of literature. Pop! It’s a true artform and that song proves it! Where did those lyrics come from?
Well AJ Junior is mostly responsible for those lines you mention above. He is a pure pop poet!
Emilia why pop?
I guess I have to blame Madonna.
Putting Madonna aside though for one sec, what makes you love it so?
I love lots of different styles and genres and I have been exploring different types of music for inspiration all my life. I started to study classical music at the age of 12 in the prestigious Adolf Fredrik’s Music School in Stockholm, performed at the Royal opera house in Stockholm, toured with a jazz band as a little girl, recorded two quite different albums before Pick Me Up But in the end I am a 100% pop girl!
Lets talk about Heartbreaker? I can hear Pussycat Dolls, Kylie, Daft Punk and Kayne West. All in one song. Was that the intention?
We didn’t really have a reference at all when we wrote it…we just had this sick computer game sounding track with tons of attitude. Guess it is just one of those moments when you play around and have lots of fun!
Seriously though, Delirious has hit potential all over it! As your pretty central to the affairs of your record company how on earth do you pick which song should be the next single from an album that contains so many hits on it?
Wow that’s a huge compliment! Well I am not alone choosing…In Spain it is up to Vale Music and Universal and in Sweden we are a big team fighting about it…no seriously it has been pretty crystal-clear what to choose so far.
Now, Sing My Song. Is that some kind of statement to those who have put you down in the past?
That’s your interpretation but I’m not going to contradict it.
I only ask because, as you've mentioned above, this really should have been your 3rd album. Under the name of Lia Andreen you released a single “(Mistreat Me) You’ll Be Sorry” but no album afterwards? What happened? Why was it canceled?
Well, the album was completely finished when Edel Records was shut down in Scandinavia. I was one of many artists who lost my record deal. A pretty good wake-up call…I found out early in my career that this business is not a piece of cake.
The song is pretty good though! Would Edel ever consider releasing the album through Itunes or your website? I am sure your fanbase would love to hear songs like Back Where I Belong? And the rest of the album (which I think was dubbed “You Belong to Me”). You co-wrote it with the legendary songwriter Jorgen Elofsson.
I feel I have moved on…but who knows?
What happened to the songs?
Actually nothing but my friends sing them from time to time…maybe I really should re-release them after all!? Ha,ha!
Yes! Yes! Is it true that you worked with the now famous Redone? You, A*TEENS and Popsie were the first…long before Robyn, Akon and of course LadyGaGa got there…what was that like? It certainly fits well with the song Sing My Song. You got there first…before these all other singers.
RedOne is a huge talent and I am so happy for all the success he has right now, he really deserves it all! Working with him was amazing. I recorded two songs with him for my first album, ”Mistreat me, you’ll be sorry” and "Fire and Ice”. He always knew how to write a hit song…He is a natural born superstar producer!
Emilia De Poret: BeforeFashion!
To me I love to dress up every day, whether I am on stage or not…I guess I am a little bit over the top sometimes but I just love my high heels, vintage clothes and tons of funky jewellery. I’ve always been that way and it is just getting worse!
Now, to your second album “A Lifetime in a Moment” (which was your technically first),. Its all beautiful ballads. Completely miles away from your current album. What was going through your head when you recording that album?
I always wanted to do a 100% organic ballad album, with every note played and recorded live…and yes, it is very different from my first and my current album. But as an artist you go through different stages in your life which reflects on your music…I was getting married when I recorded my album "A Lifetime in a moment” so was the songwriter Jorgen Elofsson…I think it says it all.
In many ways, it’s a torch song album. It highlights the tenderness of your voice. Perhaps more than the current album. One is for chilling, the other is for dancing (other than of course Weightless). I really respect this album. I love the orchestra behind it. What was the aim/spirit of the cd?
We did it the classical way like in the good old days: one producer/arranger – Peter Nordahl, one songwriter- Jorgen Elofsson and one Performer- myself. It was a mighty experience recording with my band and a full string orchestra. It was an interesting meeting of three pretty different characters that turned out to be a beautiful result I am very proud of.
Maybe This Time (Elofsson/Hill) is chilling! What was the story behind that track? It’s shockingly heart breaking.
The songwriter Dan Hill wrote the lyrics about his relationship with his father, which is pretty heart breaking.
Which female Swedish singer has most influenced you?
As a kid I was a big fan of Marie Fredriksson from Roxette, still am, great singer! Today I listen a lot to Robyn.
Additionally, which recent Swedish song do you wish you’d written?
Without a doubt ” Every Heartbeat”.
Okay, with the likes of Rosanna, Velvet, Agnes Carlsson, Daniela, Gathania, September, MissMatch and of course the mighty Robyn establishing herself in Europe are you going to take Pick Me Up from Spain to the UK?
I would love to…who knows what will happen in the future?
Sweden has produced many pop musicians...Recently, I’ve asked this to a number of Swedish songwriters/performers and I was wondering why do you think Swedish musicians have such strong sense of melody and are so good at writing great pop songs? What be the De Poret theory!?
To me the explanation is simple. The tradition of great pop music in Sweden all started with ABBA. They have been a great inspiration for myself and many, many others.
Do you put up a wall with your song writing? Do you have dark days? Do they produce music which is worthwhile? Or do you think after writing it “no, no, that’s not gonna be on the album”.
I have a huge wall in my office with everything that inspires me. From fashion, art, lyrics, gadgets basically everything that comes my way that catches my ears and eye. Unlike many I am not so good creatively when I have my ”dark days”, well I think I am, until I get a good day and realize that what I have done is crap. Sometimes you know directly after a few hours of writing that this is not good enough and you start all over again. You just never have to give up. It can always get better! And then all of a sudden you just know when the song is there…
Posted by Robpop at Wednesday, July 08, 2009