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December 2018 / January 2019
Feature

Skott: "I'm usually in a fantasy world"

Singer-songwriter Skott has moved from rural Sweden to the crazy world of pop.
Published: 10:05 am, October 24, 2017
Skott: "I'm usually in a fantasy world"
It's barely been eighteen months since Skott released her triumphant first single ‘Porcelain', but now several faultless tracks down the line, it looks as though a debut album is in the works.

Ahead of her gig at The Pickle Factory in London, the Swedish singer reflects on how the past three years living in Stockholm, combined with her upbringing within a rural forest community, has impacted her music and outlook.

"I love Stockholm," she explains, "I have a hard time seeing myself move anywhere else to do music because it's such a tight community. It's a quite small city, but it's so songwriter-producer oriented, the industry's very big there.

"I think [the city] has prepared me a little bit more for the lifestyle I've been living since I released 'Porcelain'. It's a lot more high-tempo. I came from a very calm, peaceful place, and I feel like when I was younger, I'd been kind of slower, I liked working slow. Moving to the bigger city at least might have prepared me a little bit more for the crazy world of pop music. I do appreciate where I come from more and more, and my childhood, because I can see that they gave me a lot of things I find useful today."

Although Stockholm's music industry has provided Skott with the opportunity to make a name for herself, she has discovered that producing music for commercial distribution can sometimes run the risk of stifling the creative process.

"All of a sudden it's your job, and there's an element that comes in that's not about passion - but it starts with passion. I mean, the writing, the music and everything is just a passion I have, then politics comes in and all of a sudden it's like, I'm a company basically.

"I think that's - for many artists - the biggest challenge, to find a balance, and not to let it take over or take away too much. Because you do have to spend time on that side of it too."

The mystical artwork adorning Skott's single covers and merchandise draws heavily on tales from folklore and nature, influences from her upbringing. Natural phenomena and the spiritual world are entities which she feels are very closely aligned with music.

"To me, music has always been something which I feel is a little bit divine. It feels like it's some kind of clue, or some kind of proof, that there must be, you know, something more. Something like a soul. Like, why do we feed on music? It's almost… over-natural?"

Supernatural?

"Yeah! Supernatural, in a way. I guess that affects my ‘respect' for music, and I feel like the songs and melodies and messages are already there, in the universe, and you just have to find them. It's not me creating them, it's me on a… treasure hunt, for these pieces that can actually touch people." She laughs, "That sounded really pretentious, but sometimes I like to think like that."



"pull" text="I want to be a little bit unexpected.


Electro-pop is the most accurate classification for her sound, but Skott's musical philosophy and imagery remain characteristically ‘folk'. This winning combination didn't come to the singer instantly, however.

"I think it just happened, and when it happened I felt, ‘Yes, I feel this more'. I feel this more than say, classic pop songs, which I used to write when I'd pitch for other artists. I wrote songs like that with other artists, but I didn't feel them as strongly.

"With folk music, I grew up on it, and I feel that a lot, but I didn't feel it was 100% ‘me'. When it was combined, I don't know; the songs are a bit different - a little bit disco, mixed with some classical sounds, or folk combined with something that sounds more like deep house. It can be different kinds, but it's not really about that. It's about the feeling that I have when it comes together, and I think now, I feel it - the message is stronger."

Success has come swiftly to Skott: on Spotify, her ‘monthly listeners' have now shot past the one-million mark. The singer contemplates how her music has changed since her first release: "I'm a little bit more open maybe. In a way, I've always been curious to not be too set with one genre. Like, I wanted to be a little bit unexpected.

"Like any person with a personality, there are so many sides. Often I have these darker, heavier messages, but sometimes I just want to feel good and dance. You'll see probably, this Autumn I have a little bit more happy songs coming, even towards the cheesy side, because I like that too! And then I might go back to the darker stuff; it's just like the mood of a person."

One of her more recent tracks, 'Remain', deals with the pain of growing apart in a relationship. Relationships and love are possibly the most traversed themes across all musical genres but are subjects which Skott initially rebuffed for her own music.

"I had a period when I was younger where I was like, ‘I'm never gonna write a love song'. I thought everybody does that, that it's cheesy. But then you kind of sit, and you want to write from your heart, and then you realise there's actually not much else - other than different kinds of relationships - that really affects you.

"The relationship between you, and your parents, or a close friend, or someone you're in love with, or the relationship between humans and Earth - basically all relationships, they go deep. It's about the depths of the heart."

Skott writes her music before she works out the lyrics, a system she holds partly accountable for why her songs tend to portray the difficulties of relationships, rather than the higher points.

"Since I was a kid I've liked the beautiful, melancholic, sad folk songs. I've always had something with that because it touches me so much. And it's still there inside. When you have those sad chords and those melodies, it brings out the struggles. I think that's why, for me, it's easier to write about those sides.

"This sounds depressing, but even in happy times in love there's always this feeling that, ‘Yeah we have this now, but we don't know how things will look tomorrow.' There's always this bittersweet feeling, that we won't live forever, and should appreciate what we have right now. That brings in that sadness again; I can't get away from it."

The singer will be exploring uncharted territory in her debut album, which she hopes will be released by March 2018.

"I'm usually in a fantasy world a little bit, the spiritual world, the forest or something, but I'm gonna take my new songs more to the modern life, into the living room or dancefloor. But that doesn't mean that I will abandon my ‘bubble' of fairytales, that'll always be something to go back to."

As her parting gift, Skott recommends a Swedish pop duo she'd love more people to listen to. "I Am Karate are really cool. They do everything themselves, so like loop pedals, computers, playing and singing - it's two girls. And then they produce a lot all by themselves, make the videos and edit them all by themselves. They're very cool."

Taken from the November issue of Dork, out now. Skott’s single ‘Remain’ is out now.


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