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All humans are fertile ground for the imagination to evolve, and if we allow ourselves, music is one such seed that will engage all of our senses. Whether she’s exploring the web for film clips and scenes or closing her eyes and waiting, Frida Sundemo always writes her music to pictures.

If Frida’s repertoire were a movie, her lyrics would be in place of the images, embellishing the narrative with every emotive, unassuming melody. Just as an iceberg floats motionless upon the surface, Frida’s newest release, ‘Gazelles,’ can be described both gentle and epic. It glistens on the surface yet toes vast mystery behind it, titillating the senses and consuming us with wonder and connectivity. The lush soundscapes speak to the spark in us that desires to go further despite the overwhelm of possibilities, perhaps fearing loneliness and uncertainty.

A scientist by day and producer by night, Frida lives a life of inspiring contrast. She began studying medicine roughly ten years ago but, as a product of a musical family, Frida has been writing music since she was a young girl. Growing up in Gothemburg, Sweden, both paths excelled quickly for Frida and she balances the two side by side as gracefully as her compositions.In 2015, Frida found herself in an acting role alongside Nicholas Hoult and Rosanna Arquette in the film adaptation of John Niven’s Kill Your Friends. It’s no surprise that her cinematic arrangements ended up landing in the feature film as well as in a variety of TV shows (Grey’s Anatomy and Teen Wolf to name just two).

This multifaceted, bonafide artist is releasing her next EP in the spring of 2020 and we can be sure it will be as stimulating as any other Sundemo track. Read our conversation below to find out what Frida saw when she wrote ‘Gazelles,’ and more about her journey with science and art:

Born into a musical family, have you been singing for a long time? What instrument did you pick up first?

I first started out with the piano, just playing by myself since I was very young. Then I started to play the french horn, then the guitar. I have been singing my whole life but I played instruments more, and I started to sing, like for real, when I was 19 or 20. So the instruments came first and then the vocals.

What did your songs sound like when you first started writing them?

They were more guitar based, I would say. Less cinematic and indie, a little cuter. More homemade, if you can say that. *giggles*

What do you think changed? Can you describe that switch to a more cinematic route?

I’ve been loving film music as long as I can remember. I think it was when I started to work with Joel Humlén, who I’ve been working with since the Indigo EP in 2013. We both realized that we loved that sound and that we could mix it with the pop sound. We just started to play with those soundscapes. Before I started to work with him I was kind of tired of my own sound. I’d been sitting in my home studio for years, just by myself, and I felt like I needed some other person to…how do you say…push me. Like if you work with someone else you can push each other. If you trust someone and you both really love something, then it’s probably even better than if just you love it. You make each other better.

When I was diving into your music, it felt so visual just listening to it!

Thank you! That’s one of my goals, to make people see pictures of things in their heads.

Do you see things when you’re writing?

Yeah, I do. It can go either way, sometimes I watch film clips of beautiful things and write to it. And sometimes I just write and close my eyes and I see stuff in my head. But pictures are always involved in some kind of way.

About Gazelle, which came out on Friday, what do you see when you listen to that song?

I’m…I’m on the subway, with a lot of people around and I feel lonely in some kind of way. I look out through the window and I see movement and I see people coming in and out. It’s both a feeling of lonely even though you’ve got a lot of people around you but also connected to these people in some way. We all feel lonely in some way, I guess. No one will ever get exactly how you’re feeling, but still we can help each other in so many ways. Love each other, and support each other. And thats a very beautiful thing. But, it’s scary too.

But I also see myself hovering over the sea. You’re in one of the most beautiful sceneries, you have all these possibilities. You can choose a lot of great things in your life and it’s amazing but it’s also scary cause you don’t know if you’re going to pick the right or the wrong path.

Does that come from your journey being in the studio and the hospital at the same time?

Yes, exactly haha.

What on earth is that like? How did that happen?

I was always very interested in both, science and music, since I was a kid. I’ve never been able to pick one path. I started studying medicine for about ten years, but I was producing and writing music during that time too. Then I took a break from med school and moved to Stockholm just to focus on the music; I’ve been doing that for some years and it’s been amazing. Then I felt like I was stuck in some kind of way. I wasn’t ready at all to quit music but I needed something, some other input to shake me up. So I decided ok, I’ll continue. I’ll go back to medicine. But of course, still writing music.

That was about a year ago and it’s been kind of a weird year but I think it’s been good for me and good for the music, too. I needed something else to get more inspiration, to be able to create new music. I actually love those contrasts, being at the hospital during the day then going to the studio. Sometimes you can get tired, stressed out, but most of the time it’s great actually.

Would you say that science is creative?

Yeah, I think so! In many ways. You have to think outside the box, you have to keep a lot of different thoughts in your head at the same time. When you’re trying to put a diagnosis on a patient you definitely have to be creative to think – what questions should I ask this person to get to the right answer, what tests should I do. It’s kind of a creative process. 

So what are you focusing on right now? Any current themes you’re writing about?

Yeah! I’m working on an EP that will be finished soon, and probably out in the spring. We haven’t set a release date yet but it’s about modern time subjects that many people can relate too. It’s not that specific or narrow. It’s more chill. Usually when you finish an EP or an album, too, you can see the whole picture. I think maybe it’s too early to know what that red thread is, but I’m excited about it!

Well thank you so much for talking with me, let us know if you come to LA! 

I will! And you have to let me know if you come to Stockholm. In the summer!



photos / Linnea Sundemo and Joel Humlén

story / Ariana Tibi

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