Akiine is simply adorable. I’m serious – just look at her. On my ever expanding quest to find hidden musical gems on the internet, I struck diamonds, rupees and emeralds with this one. Not only did she seem really happy to do an interview, but she gave me a wealth of responses so huge it could maybe have it’s own Dewey decimal. Living in the countryside of Sweden, she is pretty removed from any sort of ‘scene,’ which really shows when you listen to her music. It’s cuteness is immediately appealing, but doesn’t seem disingenuous… she seems like she’s the kind of person who’s light-hearted personality leaves them pretty vulnerable to the cynics of the world.
“Some people are a bit chilly and it’s not so easy getting gigs around here
because a lot of people play it cool and only want to hang with cool people, and I’m not very cool to them so it’s hard for me to get gigs. But I do terrorize them and sometimes it works.”
Don’t worry Akiine – we think you’re cool! She’s so cool that when she was 10 years old, she and her friend used to write songs accapella, then call various record labels hoping to get signed. I’m honestly kind of surprised that they didn’t sign them for having the gumption to do that. Still, she persisted and kept making music. Beginning to buy equipment and write songs on piano about two years ago, she started recording herself ‘for real’ about one year ago, which was right after she finished high school.
To me she sounds a bit like a cross between Joanna Newsom, Kimya Dawson, Dandi Wind, a little bit of Laurie Anderson on some of her more experimental songs, and maybe even a dash of (dare I say it) Bjork. However, she has a wide variety of quirky influences including East Africa, Vampire Weekend’s East African influences, people using their voices to make sounds, colors, being outside, looking out the kitchen or car window, daydreaming, giraffes, telling bad jokes, clouds, autumn and dancing. Also check out her myspace top friends for a few more.
A few of the songs she’s written are almost what I would consider ‘audio art,’ in which any melody was secondary to the overall collage of lyrics and beats. I asked her about the song ‘talk talk talk’ (featured here), because I thought it was particularly interesting.
“I have a song called hm haha and when I sent it to my friend for her to listen
I told her it was kind of a song but still not, so I called it poetry slam. In the slam song I talk/sing and repeat the same sentences… like I’m repeating something to convince myself, and in the end I’m not convincing myself anymore because it’s true and I believe it. I think ill be doing more songs similar to talk because I like beats and its a good way to get through with a message if you repeat it to a beat… because it becomes interesting when you understand the song and it has a nice beat to it so you can dance a bit.”
From looking at her myspace profile and listening to her music, I got the impression that she was a very ‘happy’ person. Y’know, one of those spunky energetic people that don’t really exist in many places in America, and rarely get taken seriously as artists. I consider that notion a damn shame in the first place, but she also informed me that it isn’t so simple.
“When I do things that are fun like music and putting them up on myspace
I get excited, and so I always get hyper and I think that is what happens when I’m doing
my page. But I have also been online when I’m in a bad mood but then I write it off in the blog and often it turns into a weird thing… so I think it just comes naturally. I’m a very emotional person so the way I’m feeling is what shows… but I think most of the time i come across as happy because I am easily entertained. I don’t have to go far to have a laugh sometimes I even think of funny things inside my head and laugh at them when I’m really really all by myself.”
Okay, I’ll have to admit that she sounds a little but eccentric, but let’s face it – I love eccentricity. Eccentricity is the spark that keeps the gloomy artists from eating themselves alive. Eccentricity is the reason Gary Larson’s The Far Side was funny, and why we all like coral reef squids.
“The people who have always thought I’m too wild and talk too much and so on have made me burst out everything I’ve ever felt into all of my songs. So I thank all the rude people and mean teachers. I do things sometimes and people think I’m not serious. But I am. So that is also why I make music. Because no one can tell me it’s not realistic or decide over me. Being happy doesn’t mean I’m not serious. I’m silly I’m very sure of this but I’m also very serious about whatever I do and very determined and go through with the things I set my mind on doing!”
Planning on doing music forever and mixing it with all the things she loves like dancing, drawing, baking and photography, she also someday plans on gathering a band and a tour bus so she can visit a wide variety of places.
“I like visiting East Africa and cool places like buildings with funny lights and I like going to a suburb 20 minutes from here where my old school is because it’s next to a nice park and a tiny castle and a little lake and its nice to be there on the summer time. And also I like going to town, especially when the season is the most felt. Like the most summer, fall, winter, spring. I’d like to visit Iceland and go to the north of Sweden someday soon. Just take the train with my friends and go there to see the northern lights and sleep one night in an ice hotel. I imagine it to be very expensive so that’s the reason for the one night… otherwise id like to maybe stay two if its not too cold! I want to tour around the world EVERYWHERE!!! Especially… New York!! I don’t know why. I’ve always wanted to go to New York. I call it my favorite city even though I’ve never been there! I want to move there.. and Denmark also because I like Copenhagen a lot and when I get old I want to move to Tanzania and live by the sea and speak Swahili and eat self grown food haha”
So it sounds like she has a pretty full plate of places to go, but she certainly seems to have the energy to get there. I hope one day to cross paths with this seemingly magical elf or faerie of a person, so listen to her mp3s and tell me if you can figure out a way to bring her out to the states!