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Lykke Li

Lykke Li, Ungdomskulen, and Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Three of Scandinavia's best new artists interviewed earlier this year at the by:Larm festival.

Earlier this year I went to by:Larm in Oslo, Scandinavia's biggest music conference, where I talked to three of my favourite artists from the world's most peaceful peninsula. Registration for next year's conference opened this week.


Dazed Digital: How would you describe your sound?
Lykke Li: It's very raw, emotional and honest.

DD: Your debut Youth Novels is quite dark in places. What inspired this?
LL: Just life, I have a fragile side but I can be strong too - the album deals with both sides of my personality.

DD: Why did you choose to release the album yourself?
LL: I wanted complete control over the creative process. I didn't want any majors'' fingers in my pie.

DD: The album was produced by Bjorn Yttling and you've toured with The Shout Out Louds and Robyn. Is the Swedish music scene a close knit community?
LL: Not really, but it's a very small country so you kind of bump into the same people all the time.

DD: How would you describe your sound?
Ungdomskulen: I would describe it as a swordfight between friends.

DD: How are things going with the new record?
U: Very well, thank you. It's a slow but consistent spread all over the world, like a sneeze in a public library filmed in slow motion.

DD: And how''s life on the road?
U: We love touring and hope we can continue to do so for a long, long time. We've been uptown, downtown and round and round.

DD: What are your views on the Scandinavian music scene?
U: I think of it as a seed: it needs water to grow.

DD: Your gigs are incredibly expressive. How do you do it?
Wildbirds & Peacedrums: You just have to believe in the power of voice and drums.

DD: How important are improv elements?
W&P: Very important, but it's not easy - we both have to be tuned into what each other is thinking.

DD: Why did you drop out of music school?
W&P: We just got bored with the way music was made there, it was too structured and not creative at all.

DD: Do you feel a kinship with your fellow Scandinavian's?
W&P: Not really, we've never felt as if we belong to a particular scene.

DD: What's the key ingredient of a Wildbirds gig?
W&P: Honesty.