26-year-old Bård Ericson is an undisputed force to be reckoned with. Originally beginning his music career learning the double bass, he progressed onto performing with the Swedish Royal Opera, the Swedish Radio Symphony, and Stockholm’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Impressive, right? But Ericson also transforms into an electronic star, performing under the name Boerd.
Signing with Anjunadeep earlier this year, Boerd dropped his latest record Static which sees him play around with musical elements to create an intelligent and captivating record. Eager to find out more about the maverick killing it in both symphonies and synths, we caught up with Boerd for a quick chat.
So firstly, going back to the beginning how did you first get involved with music? What was your first memory of it?
My first memory of doing it myself is probably from my daycare centre when I was a kid. There was a piano and I remember these children’s songs and finding the melodies, I thought that was fun. Then my mum put me in a music school that you go to after regular school and I started playing an instrument when I was eight or nine.
Were you still playing piano?
I wanted to play guitar or drums – like all the other kids! – but there was such a long line to get started with that because there was too many kids wanting to do that. So my mum ended up deciding that I should play the double bass, which is what I work with these days.
Amazing. So, what music did you grow up listening to?
The first band I got in to, when I was like six or something, was actually The Beatles. There was this guy, also at my daycare centre, who I looked up to a lot. He was three years older than me and he was always talking about The Beatles. It seems weird now – a four year old and a six year old talking about The Beatles. The Beach Boys also, 60s music. I’ve been into all different kinds of music since then, but that was the first band I really got into.
And do they influence the music you make now?
Not so much, I don’t listen to them these days really. Now I have other influences, I’d say. A lot of British electronic music. I’m really into trip-hop these days, like Massive Attack.
Amazing. And when did you start thinking that I want to do music as my job? Was it always a dream?
Yeah, a little bit. I kept playing double bass – I was classically trained – then I got into music college right after high school and just kept doing that. Now I’m working in symphony orchestras and stuff, but then I also started making electronic music when I was 15 or so. So that’s been two different, separate music projects. They haven’t really integrated with each other that much. Since I work with classical music, of course, I’m in some sense influenced by that in my electronic music, but it’s nothing I think about that much.
Is it difficult balancing the two?
Since I’ve freelanced with both, sometimes it gets extremely busy. This spring has been extremely busy because I released my album and had two different contracts, two different opera houses I think. It was a bit much! But now it’s going to be really chilled out for two months. So it’s up and down.
You just mentioned your album – Static – what’s it been like since it came out? What’s the response been like?
It’s been really great. It’s the first album that I’ve ever released on vinyl, and also my first release with Anjunadeep. I’ve never worked with that big of a label before. It’s been really nice to have people taking care of things that I’ve done myself and just not having to write to music blogs yourself and stuff, because I’ve been doing that a lot! So I’m just focusing on the music basically, that’s really nice.
Can you tell me a bit about how the album came into being?
It’s a pretty long time ago now, but I guess a new thing with this album is that I started recording real instruments more, a lot of acoustic piano and electric guitar. I made one song where I’m singing myself, and I’ve never done that so that’s new. But other than that, the process of making music is kind of organic to me. I don’t have a specific plan when I start so the album just sort of started growing and then I ended up with six songs that I picked out.
And what was the inspiration for the songs?
It’s a bit of all over the place, but there’s definitely some Massive Attack in there. And some classical influences, not like specific composers but some of the piano parts. I listen a lot to ambient music as well, so there’s some of that as well I think.
How was it releasing something with you singing on it for the first time?
I was a bit nervous! It was weird. I’m so not used to it that I don’t really think it’s myself when I listen to it, but I haven’t thought much about it actually. The first time I heard it it felt really weird, but then when you’re working on it I must have heard the song 500 times or something… I also edited and made the video myself, so then I had to listen to the song 1000 times again. So now I don’t feel anything about it, really!
And what are you working on now? What’s the next thing in the pipeline?
I have at least one more song that I’m singing on myself and I’ve started working with a new singer, a friend of mine, Stella. I want to work more doing some collaborations. Especially with singers, I like doing that.
Do you have any in mind who you’d like to collaborate with?
One of my favourite voices is Hope Sandoval. She’s a singer in Mazzy Star and she’s sung on a bunch of Massive Attack tunes. She’s has a very unique voice. Usually I’m more into the female voice when it comes to my kind of music but I don’t have one myself, so I’m not very good at that!
And what are the aims for this year?
I’m not sure, actually. I’ve been so busy this spring with preparing my concert and the album release, doing interviews and a lot of emails and stuff so I haven’t had time to make much music this spring. But now when I’m free this summer, I’ll go off to my family’s summer house where I have a little simple studio. I’m just really looking forward to making music again.