Liverpool-via-Norway newcomer Skia weaves together Scandipop and alt-pop for relatable, ridiculously catchy tunes that bring a lightness to heavy-weighted topics like anxiety and life troubles. Her latest effort, 'IDWTAI' - aka 'I Don't Wanna Talk About It' - arrives today via Heist or Hit, and it's a teaser of big things to come - including a debut EP, due this summer.
Hey Skia, how's it going? What've you been up to today?
Hello! I'm very well thank you, just played my debut show over the weekend and still waiting for the adrenaline to leave my body! I'm currently at the airport on my way to Spain for a week of writing (like a true rock star).
How did you get into music then, have you always wanted to be a musician?
I've always loved expressing myself through music and acting and felt very at home on stage. I've also always been very drawn to language, words and poetry. I love it when people can say so much with just a few words and especially when it's got rhythm and rhyme. As a kid, I sang in choirs and joined musicals and would find my own harmonies to whatever was playing in the car and sing them so loud that no one else was able to sing along. The big idols were obviously Britney Spears and Beyoncé, and I'll still hold a special place in my heart for them, visually and musically they'll always be the queens of my life.
Have the bands and artists you take influence from changed over the years?
They change every week! Although I often find myself influenced by female vocalists and songwriters. Most times, melody and lyrics are very important to me, but sometimes it's good enough if I can dance to it while doing my dishes. I feel like Beyoncé will always be a solid influence just cause I've been listening to her and watching her so much growing up, and trying to imitate her way of singing. I also just wanna be able to put on a show like she does. Other people I take inspiration from at the minute are NAO, Sigrid, Robyn, Veronica Maggio and Angèle. They all nail good melodies and write really relatable lyrics (I don't speak French, but you know, Google Translate). Love it.
Can you remember the very first song you wrote? Has your process developed much since then?
Oh yeah. It was a very soppy song called 'Broken', and I would never dream of playing it to anyone today, haha. I've written a lot of songs in the past that make me cringe, but the more you write, the more you develop, and I'm so glad I have those soppy songs in my luggage cause they were stepping stones to the songs I write and am proud of today. I don't think my process of writing changed too much, I often start with chords or a melody and go from there. I use Logic to get down the beat and instrumental parts and write to that.
We hear you had a session with Paul McCartney recently, how did that come about? Was he lovely?
Me and Silvan Rupp (my songwriter partner at uni) got the opportunity to present a couple of songs to Paul McCartney and get some input from him in our third year. It was a really cool opportunity that I'm happy and grateful to have been given.
Have you had writing sessions with any other fancy people?
Not yet! I think I should write a song with Angèle though.. first verse in French, second in Norwegian and then a chorus in English?
How did you find releasing your debut single 'Anyone'? It must've been super exciting. Did it feel to be a long time coming?
It felt soo good. I've been carrying that song around for a long time without releasing it, it feels like a good debut!! And I'm very happy and grateful that I'm doing it with the lovely guys at Heist or Hit feels good to have such a caring and lovely team! Me and my bassist/manager Nina Himmelreich also made a video for it which made it all the more exciting. We teamed up with filmmaker Corey Rid and made a really cool video with all of our friends dressed in wedding dresses biking around Liverpool.
Tell us about your second single 'IDWTAI', what's it about?
'IDWTAI' ('I Don't Wanna Talk About It') is a song about all the things and feelings I don't wanna talk about. You know when you get a flashback to something you've done that you're embarrassed about or you feel sad or awkward about? I was going through a time when I was getting those constantly and needed to write a song about it to deal with all the angst it was giving me, haha. It's basically a song about feeling some type of way about something and being able to either shake it off or conceal it and not talk about it at that moment. It's produced by my girl Emile Krogh at Cabin Studios who's actually produced the full EP. She's got an emotional Scandi-touch like none others and has really taken out all the potential in these songs. She's amazing.
Will it appear on your upcoming EP? How's that coming along?
It will indeed! The seven-track EP will be released in May, and it's already mixed and mastered, ready for the world! I personally like finishing writing and producing a whole EP before I start releasing singles to be sure it all fits. Having a solid plan for the releases also makes me feel safe and calm.
Is there anything else we should know?
We will be supporting Tina at YES basement, Manchester on 5th May. We're also coming to Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney on 7th May. Come, come!