Snoh is a Swedish girl in LA, following the release of her debut EP ‘There Will Be Sunshine’, she’s paving her way in the City of Angels as a RnB vocalist to take note of.
The American Dream is something we’ve all been guilty of fantasising about isn’t it? Well Snoh’s living it. A Swedish singer living in Los Angeles, she’s gone from strength to strength, working with producer No I.D. (who’s been responsible for some tracks by Kanye and Rihanna, no less) and now having released her debut EP, she’s burst onto the scene in a haze of romantic lyricism and a surprising experience in her voice that would make the likes of Lana Del Rey squirm in her boots.
See it for yourself in Snoh’s latest video ‘Bad Things’ featuring Common where she struts and deservedly takes centre stage. Truthfully we’re a bit bored of the sickly sweet girls in RnB and Snoh is the antidote with a twang of attitude and raw emotion cutting through each track. Most notably on ‘Fire’s All Around You’, which sounds ready for the climax of a film soundtrack with a luscious orchestral backing.
So tell us, what is your first musical memory?
Disney movies and Michael Jackson. I remember watching MTV a lot, and the making of “Thriller” is something I remember very clearly, I even had it recorded on VCR. I would watch it over and over again. I was simply magical to me.
Were you ever taught how to sing or play an instrument or did your musical interest just develop over time?
I guess I taught myself how to sing, I would spend endless hours in my girl room back in Sweden playing a lot of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey on repeat and try to sing like them! I would take my Walkman cassette recorder and sit in our apartment building to get some nice reverb and record myself. I would get occasional complaints form neighbours, but that didn’t stop me! I also took piano and drum lessons as a kid which gave me a cool general foundation in what I do.
What was the first live music you ever saw?
I was on stage myself before I ever saw anyone else, doing talent shows and school shows etc. But I do remember seeing Robyn performing in her early days and me being super inspired.
What’s it like being a Swedish girl in LA? What would you say has influenced you more nature or nurture?
Coming to LA was quite a cultural transition. In Sweden, we have something called “jantelagen” it translates to “The law of equality” in English. It means everyone is equally as good at everything, if you happen to be extra blessed in some type of way, whether it’s talent, financial status or beauty for example, proper etiquette is to downplay it to max. In LA its kind of the opposite, you big yourself up as much as you can at all times, which to this day is really hard for me to do. I probably won’t ever get too vocal about my own abilities. I always felt like I dreamed too big in Sweden but in LA, it’s like nothing! I am a very competitive person, I’m just not as loud about it as my American friends… Yet.
Your songs have a 90s feel, why do you think there’s been such a resurgence of the decade as of late?
I can only speak for myself really, I grew up hearing some of the best music ever made and it’s hard to not be inspired by it. I’ve seen the 90s fashion come back as well over the past 3 years or so. It all goes in circles I guess…
Why did you decide to bring orchestral arrangements into your RnB style?
From a very early age, I was fascinated by the ability to paint with music. The movies I grew up watching often had huge orchestral arrangements in them and I remember really paying attention to the music as much as the actual visual story. Strings, pads and choirs makes me feel so much and so deep. Everyone I work with learn very quickly that I will pour out songs if they come with any of those elements in the early stages of creating.
Have you taken on any Kanye-like behaviour after working with his producer, No ID?
I’m obsessed with fashion? For the record he is MY producer not Kanye’s!
Have you taken on any influences in style from other musicians or does anyone in particular inspire you?
I constantly study my heroes and their heroes. James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince had the most amazing work ethic ever. That’s something that inspires me greatly. I watched the James Brown documentary at Tribeca film festival last winter and it completely blew my mind. He was a true leader and the way he commanded the stage was just out of this world. I’ve also been lucky enough to meet Prince and study him up-close when he’s been performing, that’s been one of those experiences I will never forget.
What kind of people would you expect to enjoy your music? How do you imagine your fans or how do they seem to you?
I don’t really have a clear profile on who my fans are or will be. So far all the fans I’ve met have been so different from one another. I have noticed one common denominator which is passion. They have all been super passionate, and I love that! Because so am I! I hope to touch each individual in different ways.
Is there anywhere you’d really love to play a show one day?
I dream big, Madison Square Garden is the one!
Snoh’s debut EP ‘There Will Be Sunshine’ is out now and available to listen free on Soundcloud
Words: Lily Walker