Listen to our exclusive interview with Danish sensation Soleima above or read the full transcript below!
Marketing Director Danny Alvarado-Gómez ('22) and Marketing Associate Patrick Mosquera ('21) had the honor of speaking with Soleima on her debut album, "Powerslide," and what it's been like releasing it during a pandemic. WVBR would like to give want to give a sincere thank you to Soleima for her time and positive energy as well as in2une Music for the
opportunity! Check out the album review for "Powerslide," here.
How are you handling isolation so far? We heard that Denmark was the first European country to start restrictions, but it seems like those are starting to ease up now.
Yeah! So, obviously like everywhere, it’s been a little bit crazy. We were quick to shut down and now it’s starting to open up, but only some places. So actually, the Prime Minister went on national TV two days ago and said that all festivals would be cancelled, for example. And I was going to play basically all festivals here because of the new album, so I’m still mourning at this, but I guess it was what you could expect. Yeah, it’s hitting all of us at the same time. It’s gonna be a time to, I don’t know, new creativity. In my case, new writing.
What has it been like to release an album during a pandemic? What are the kind of responses you’ve been getting to Powerslide?
So, actually my album was released the 13th and the 11th was when our country was shut down. So, it was only two days before and the label and everyone was freaking out being like ‘Ah! What are we gonna do? What is this situation?’ and people were like ‘Should we postpone it? What is the right thing to do?’ and no one really knew. And then, of course, we ended up releasing it. And you know what? I actually think it’s been a good thing.
People are home–maybe they have more time to listen. And the response to the album has been great, I feel, so I’m actually really happy with this. And I also feel like, you know, music is not a cure to anything. It is not a cure to this virus. But, it can be a comfort and entertainment at the least. So, I think it’s very, very important overall to keep up and let the music be alive and going.
Your album is full of different sounds, R&B, electro-pop, alternative, how do you create a cohesive album with these different inspirations?
You know what? In the beginning when I was writing, it was a struggle for me to get it more cohesive. I wanted it all to be more streamlined and to sound more alike. But, I think I’m coming to terms with that my music is hybrid. And this album is very much a hybrid. And I think it feels good to see the strength in it–drawing on inspirations from those many different genres. And it is because I personally just enjoy many different things. I grew up on everything from Wu-Tang and pre-war loose jazz to Spice Girls and all things. And I think it’s just speaking to me, somehow. And I’m just trying to re-embrace that. And then I think my voice is very much also part of connecting everything.
So we took a look at your “Roses” video and we noticed a lot of soft, bluish, and indie visuals. Can you tell us more about that and the inspiration behind it?
Yeah, definitely! To me, “Roses” has a strange vibe to it because somehow it is a pretty aggressive song if you listen to the lyrics and it has some, kind of, meanness to it somehow. But, also, it is very the opposite: very fun. It has this childish melody almost and I think, to me, it has some happiness and relief. And I kind of wanted to bring those two things together in the video and wanted to play around with ‘How can you actually combine those two things?’ And that was by playing around with some of these more. I was pretty grunge-inspired. I watched a ton of Nirvana videos and saw that they had some of that cleanness but still that, you know–I don’t know how I can put it–the weird, kind of, mean kindness.
Some of your producers have worked with big names, Jonny Coffer and Hennedub, how was it working with your producers? How did you get to know them?
I feel very very happy working with Johnny and Henne. They are super talented and some of the people that I worked with quite a lot on this album. For me, I worked more closely with fewer people on this album which has been a very, very great process. And those are just super, super creative. I feel very free creatively when I work with those two. And we met actually–I feel like this is often how it is–you meet first, you had a session, and then you just find out that you’re really on the same page and really writing and you enjoy each other’s writing and then you just keep on working. And Henne is a fellow Danish, so we’re basically neighbors.
Now that you are signed with Atlantic Records, how do you feel about expanding out of Denmark and Europe? Would you potentially move to the US?
That is such a, of course, great question and it is so weird to mention right now with all of this going on. Right now it seems like I am never going to leave Denmark! But, obviously we just came actually from a 30-day tour in the US. It is my first time touring there. We landed like three weeks ago, I think. And that is something I want to do a lot more. Playing live as much as possible both in Denmark, but obviously also outside of Denmark is something I would want to prioritize, and hopefully this virus will be gone soon and we will have a vaccine and we will be able to move around again. So, that’s definitely something I prioritize.
And moving to the US, moving to New York, actually was something I was thinking about; both because I love the city and I love working with people there, and because the label is there. It’s something I can definitely imagine. And also I think living in other cities and other countries–I think it is healthy and good for everyone to exchange that way. I guess a dream of mine is to live in many different places in my life.
If you could collab with your dream artist or producer, who would that be?
Oh, a classic question! I think there are so many people I would love love love to work with. I think music right now is so brave and so inspiring, there’s a lot of people I would work with. I think right now I am listening a lot to this girl, I think she is Colombian-American, called Kali Uchis. She would definitely be a dream collaboration right now. You know, it is funny enough, her debut album is called “Isolation” so you should give it a spin!
Lastly, do you have details on your postponed tour for next year you’d like to share with your fans?
I was supposed to play in Scandinavia starting three weeks ago, so I was supposed to be playing as we speak. I think right now it’s just so hard to say because everything I had in my calendar–which of course when you release an album it’s like the new types of A lists, which I love–but it's all either postponed or canceled. So, right now, nothing on the calendar, but hopefully all the stuff I was supposed to do is gonna be across the fall. I am going to stay in that hope!
Are you also planning to do more at-home performances of the different songs? Of “Roses”? We saw on your Instagram that you had some performances.
Yeah! I am doing different stuff actually pretty often. Luckily, we have the internet and we can meet and connect there and I am doing live questions here and there both on my own and also collabing with different blocks and types. So that is definitely something I am going to do and something people should go and see! That’s definitely gonna be something we are going to see a lot more of I guess.