smiling LIS – RITUALS (REMIX) [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Futuristic, soulful, soundscapes

Tell us a few things about this new remix on RITUALS. What is the main idea behind it?

It’s about breaking free from the past- I’m prophesying a new beginning, a call to “join the dance”. We know that society is stuck in structures and to change, we need new rituals. The old ways don’t work no more.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

A firm YES, it’s energizing when most of the time you’re alone in charge. I’m collaborating with musicians and producers from various places, we have the love and passion for this music in common. My main collaborator Salome Kappelin creates the visual world for smiling LIS- the videos, the fashion and set design for live performances. She puts my music to fabric and I do the same with her art- gives it a sound. It’s a deep process to create together like this. Unlike anything else.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

My foundation is in jazz and gospel, so I must say Herbie Hancock has influenced me from a young age. So has my mum’s style of singing and improvising. Later on I heard J Dilla and D’angelo- it changed my life. I’m also a huge fan of producer Georgia Anne Muldrow.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

How to combine my artistic vision with making a sustainable living, in a way that feels right for me. Integrity and longevity seems to go in the opposite direction of fast food social media. I can see it now though. But seeing the vision is one thing, then working towards it with persistence, without any tangible rewards can be daunting when there are bills to pay. It’s been a long and intentional process preparing for this moment – but now I am reaping the rewards of my choices. I think this will be a constant challenge for any artist who seeks to search for newness.

Favorite music related film?

Well, the soundtrack for The Woman King by Terence Blanchard was a “in-awe” experience. I’m very inspired and into documentaries about other artists, so “The Defiant Ones” about Dr Dre is a big one.

Future plans?

Releasing the mixtape album “PROPHECY” which comes out end of March, followed by a release performance in my hometown Stockholm on March 26. I’m creating visualisers with Salome that are going to be released with the songs- and ending in a physical art installation that’s revealed later in the year.

Thank you!

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