Meet the Swedish newcomer fusing Lil Uzi Vert inspired beats with soothing R&B vocals.
Making your debut as an artist can be a strenuous experience, especially during these difficult times. But for Swedish newcomer MTLDA, the time couldn’t be more perfect, as she drops her sizzling R&B laced single, “We Got History”. Sitting in between the likes of Kehlani and old school singer Teairra Mari, the singer broods over the trap-influenced beats, fusing nostalgic R&B melodies with hyper-textural productions. Written and record during lockdown with the help of her sixteen-year-old brother Jonathan, the duo brought the experience of a studio session to their own home, using melodic loops and a powerful drum beat.
Opening up about the inspiration behind the track, MTLDA explains; “It’s a self-reflection on how I get blinded by love and how hard it is for me to let go of someone, even when I know I should. Sentimental people like me, keep holding onto the memories they shared with that person. Our judgement is clouded, we can only see the positives, even when the relationship’s toxic and we know we keep rewinding the wrong version of the story.”
Influenced by the likes of Lil Uzi Vert and contemporary R&B stars SZA and Miguel, the Gothenburg native freely explores a range of genres for her sound, tapping into bouncy hip-hop beats for production, while channelling a soothing tone for the overlaying vocals. Having now made her debut, the singer is gearing up to release more music throughout the year, and she sat down with us giving us all the details.
Check out the song and interview below…
Hey MTLDA! How has this year been for you so far? What have you been up to?
So far 2021 has been a very exciting year. It’s a huge change from a very turbulent 2020! I’m excited about the release of my first single ‘We Got History’ this week. I’ve been working on new music and I’ve finally been able to go back to the studio.
You were born and raised in Gothenburg, how has growing up here impacted your sound?
There isn’t one specific music scene in Gothenburg, it’s very eclectic. The Swedish hip hop scene has been growing rapidly with rappers from various backgrounds but mostly coming from Stockholm, where there’s a very diverse rap and hip hop scene. Artists like Einár, 1.Cuz, Ant Wan, and Dree Low are some of the most known rappers in that scene. I am not part of any scene and the city itself hasn’t impacted my sound too much, but the people I know here have definitely inspired me, my lyrics draw inspiration from listening to my friends talking about their lives.
Both your parents were in a band, do you think their sound impacted yours in anyway? What is the best piece of advice that they have given you?
They’ve definitely influenced me from a very early age. They used to take me to their band practices and I would sit in the corner and listen. Sometimes I was able to sing with the band, which was a huge thing for little me ha! My mom is a singer, I remember listening to her singing and thinking that one day I wanted to be able to sing like her. She taught me vocal techniques very early on, which helped me to develop my voice. My dad spent a lot of time teaching me different instruments. He also provided me with my first studio gear when i was 15 years old and that helped me take my music and my singing to a whole new level. It has been a blessing to have such supportive parents who have always believed that one day I could make music for a living. The best advice they gave me growing up is to believe in myself and to not let other people bring me down.
You’ve just dropped your new single “We Got History” – Congratulations! Take us through the production process?
Thank you! This song was made at home during quarantine. I made a very simple production containing simple drums and a melody loop that I wrote the whole song to. I then sent it to my younger brother who made the final production which took the song to a whole new level. He’s extremely talented for his age, he’s only 16 but his productions draw influences from the likes of Lil Uzi Vert and Travis Scott.
What was the inspiration behind the track?
What sparked the idea of making this song was the lyrics that I found in my notes, that I had written down a couple weeks prior. I wanted to make a song about my inability to let go of some people. How when I have a history with someone my emotions blind me from seeing the person’s true colours. Sonically I was inspired by bouncy trap at the time I made the song. I wanted to combine a trap beat with R&B vocals.
You said it’s a self-reflection on how you can’t seem to let go of someone, what was it like tapping into something quite emotional?
It is a very cathartic experience to let your walls down and write about something that personal. It helped me understand myself so much better. It’s a very powerful thing to write down exactly how you are feeling and figure out why you are feeling that way. It’s something everyone should try I think, even if it’s not in a song form.
Your 16-year-old brother helped you create the single as well, do you guys collaborate a lot? And do you think you will do more in the future?
Before last year we never did that many collaborations together. It was really when the pandemic struck and when I couldn’t go into the studio anymore, that I was challenged to find another solution. That’s when we started collaborating continuously and I realised that we are a perfect musical match. We speak the exact same language when it comes to music. My brother was kind of the missing piece to finding my sound. I’m forever grateful to him for that. We will definitely keep making music together!
Your sound fluctuates between R&B and contemporary pop, who would you say inspires you?
I love artists like Kehlani, Rihanna, SZA, Victoria Monét and Miguel. These are the artists that helped me realise what kind of music I want to make.
Looking to the future, what are you most excited about in the coming months? Do you have a project on the way? What can we expect?
I’m working on new music and I have some in-store that I’m really excited to share with the world. I’m excited to make more music and to grow as an artist. Hopefully, once the world starts to get back to some sense of normality again, I will be able to perform on stage as well… That’s something I’m really looking forward to!