So here I am in beautiful Paris, in a lovely café, with up and coming artist – Lidwine
I have been listening to your record (Lidwine LW – you can buy it on swedish I-tunes, DO IT) over and over again, and I love it.
– Well thank you Mió ! This is always nice to know people like it and that, after all, I haven’t done it just for myself .
Do they love you in France even if your singing in english?
– For a long time French artists were kind of ”strongly encouraged” to sing in French and it’s still sometimes an issue here. But I guess we have finally got rid of this complex and guilt of not using our beautiful French language as, for example, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf or Leo Ferré did.
Why have you chosen to sing in english?
– I have always loved the English language, that’s why I studied English Litterature and Civilization at University. I still read books in English, listen to English radios…
I simply love the language and have English phrases coming to my mind when I think about lyrics.
And well, I am pretty lucky I did not choose German, because when it comes to singing, I guess everybody agrees that English is a very easy, if not the easiest language.
And here comes the icing on the cake (or as we say in French ”la cerise sur la gâteau”), English happens to be a language understood by a lot of people from different countries, even different continents. Isn’t this just wonderful !
What does LW stand for?
– It’s just a shortcut for Lidwine. I use it to sign at the bottom of my e-mails. I realised the two letters together looked graphically nice and decided to use them as a title and name (all in one) for my Ep.
Im thinking a little bit about Björk and Kate Havnevik when I´m listening to you. Who are your influences?
– Sorry, I really don’t know Kate Havnevik’s work…
I’ve listened a lot to Björk though when I was younger and she is definititely one of my influences, like Kate Bush.
Both are wonderful examples of what woman can offer when they have a vision and full artistic control, That’s how you obtain such rich, complex, sensual, and daring works. I respect their music, their ideas, and their courage.
Talking about artistic control… Prince is also very important to me and not just because he is the guy who aroused my libido when I was a young girl.
I admire his devotion to music, his producing, his freedom, his global aethetics. I must admit I am not too much into his latest works, but can’t blame him, because he’s done so much before !
Joanna Newsom is also a source of inspiration.
Are you playing all your instruments by yourself? What instruments do you handle?
– I wish I could play them all ! But I don’t…
So far, I play :
the lever harp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harp
the Indian harmonium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonium
And I use also :
the autoharp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoharp
the taishogoto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taish%C5%8Dgoto
Listening to your way of harmonizing your second tunes (vocal? what is this actually called on english) it struck me that you must have musical studies behind you. They are very delicately added and beautifully weird. Do you have a background in musicschool or are you a Mozart-child?
– You mean the backing vocals.
I don’t have a musical background. I only took a year of piano lessons when I was about 13 years old and a year of lyrical singing lessons when I was about 20 I think.
You are not the first one to point out this harmony thing. I don’t know where it comes from. It’s instinctive. And let me tell you a secret… it has happened that while checking the chords, arrangements and backing vocals of a song, I totally freaked out and thought ”what the hell am I doing ? Can I possibly do this or that ? etc…”. Then I talked about it with a friend who has a heavy classical musical background and he was able to reassure me by giving me the rational explanations for what I was doing (something with using 9nth and 10th chords). Sometimes, I wish I had such a background and some other times I don’t, because classically trained musicians finds it hard at times to get rid of what they’ve learned and be free.
Nobody’s perfect !
Building up a song, where do you begin? Lyrics or melody?
– There are no rules. But what is sure is that I need to find a sound, a note, a chord, something which makes me want to start singing and corresponds to the emotional state I am in at this given moment. Then either I already have lyrics that fit the emotion, or I babble words without meaning just to allow the melody to build up and I come back to the writing of the lyrics afterward.
Concerts? Tours? Sweden?
– I would like this very much. I hope I’ll come and play in Sweden one day !
Any new material / new record on its way?
– I am going to record a cover of Tanita Tikaram’s ”Twist in my Sobriety” for the adventurous Israeli record labelhttp://www.ent-t.com/
And then I will focuss on the recording of my album.
Your so petit. Are all french women like this? You make us swedes look like well-fed-farmers!
– I happen to be below the average size of French women. I don’t see myself as a ”petite chose” who needs to be protected but the thought of being surrounded by beautiful well-fed-farmers with sailor eyes is rather pleasing and reassuring.
And finally, what´s your connection to Sweden? You know so many swedish words.
– Years ago, I worked for a Swedish travel school company named STS. That’s how I made Swedish friends (and among them beaming Granat) and came to Göteborg three times. At this time, I had a serious crush on a Swedish guy and I started documenting myself on Scandinavia, I read books from writers such as Selma Lagerlöf, Herbjork Wassmo, Jorn Riel, Frans Gunnar Bengtsson, I read about scandinavian mythology too (what one wouldn’t do…) and I learnt a couple of words, but very few really, and should I be left alone with no translator in a remote Swedish village, I wouldn’t last 3 days believe me !
Anyway, I have very good memories of this time. Wonderful, funny people with great energy and some serious drinks !
Good luck now Lidwine and thank you for doing this interview for ”Mon ami Mió”. By the way – you have an extraordinary, beautiful and strange eyecolour. Like some kind of ocean…
– You are just wonderful Mió ! I love the ocean and often miss it and I had never realised I carried a bit of it with me ! Brilliant and soothing idea !
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