Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Searching for Lost Boys Island: Interview with Erik Odsell

Erik Odsell is a Swedish songwriter and recording artist. For several years he has worked as a freelance musician behind many well-known Swedish artists and he has written music for artists both in Europe and the United States.

On the 23rd of October Erik Odsell’s brand new album Searching For Lost Boys Island was released. Erik has previously released 3 singles from the album which have all been well received.

When Erik’s debut single, and the title track for the album Searching For Lost Boys Island, was released the newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet (the major newspaper in southern Sweden) wrote: "Erik Odsell moves barriers... The music is radio pop, defined by a modern sound but with a foundation of musical craftsmanship which makes him stand out from the crowd".

Erik's second single, As Long As I'm With You - featuring Sascha Dupont, is climbing on the Danish hit list ChartBase Top-100 and is currently No. 38 on the list.

Erik’s third single, Unapology, is so far listed for airplay on two radio stations in England.

Interview with Erik Odsell

Tell us about your journey in music. How did it start for you and what inspired you to become an artist?

Erik: I grew up in a home with a lot of music. As a child I often sat in a baby chair in front of my parents old grand piano while my father was playing. Early on I then started playing the piano myself and started singing in a choir. At the age of 13 I started playing in my first band, picking up the guitar and trying to make it sound like what I was hearing on my favorite records and all of a sudden I started writing my own songs. Since then music has been the most important part of my life. For me my relationship to music can only be described as magic. Listening to a mind-blowing flawless note or just thinking of a part in a song I truly love still makes me shiver and it still makes every hair on my arms rise. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. And to be able to provide other people with that experience, I mean, who doesn’t wanna be a magician?

You haven't always been a solo artist. How has your experience as a singer and writer for other artists helped you become an artist yourself?

Erik: When you’re working with music on a regular basis you constantly develop your abilities and skills. It’s basically like any other craftsmanship. I feel blessed to have been able to work with a lot of amazing musicians and artists through the years. I mean, the best thing you can do to develop as an artist is to work with people who are better than you. It keeps you on your toes and forces you to always bring your a-game. As a songwriter and background singer for other artists I have also had the privilege to write, produce and work with music in different genres. I believe that has given me a solid ground to stand on while figuring out who I am as an artist.

Your new album is called Can you tell us the premise behind the idea of the album Lost Boys Island and its name?

Erik: I come from Sweden. A country where it’s quite important to be modest, to “fit in” and to live your life like “ordinary people” do. Over the years I have been working with both music and completely different things but when someone asks me what I do I instinctively feel I have to answer “I play music. I sing. I write. I tell stories. I’m a pop musician”. But the older I get more and more people ask me “…and what do you do besides music?” As if devoting your life to music isn’t a “real thing”. As if you are someone who refuses to grow up and stop dreaming. As if you are some kind of wanna-be Peter Pan. I always find this so strange. I’m quite good at a lot of things. I have been quite successful at a lot of things too, but nothing is as serious to me as music. To me music is life, music is death, music is magic. The most important thing in life. I may not be Peter Pan but I sure as hell am searching for lost boys island. So this is an album about life, love, death and the importance of pursuing dreams and I guess it represents me and my pursuit of my dreams quite well.

What is your latest single and tell us about the song. What was the inspiration behind the song?

Erik: My latest single is called Unapology and it’s a song I co-wrote with an amazing artist, which also happens to be a very good friend, called Kier. We wrote this song together in LA late last year and it tells a story about someone who is unfaithful to her boyfriend. She wakes up in the morning in another mans bed with a lot of anguish as she realizes what she has done. But is also kind of mixed emotions as even though she’s done something terrible it also feels totally right and that meeting this other guy could be the beginning of something amazing. It’s a song about how love and desire isn’t always black or white. We are actually just now working on a video for this song that will be released soon. I guess the song recognizes that infidelity is a ugly thing but also that love is blind and when love at first glance leads to infidelity it can somehow also be the start of something beautiful even though someone will get hurt.

What is the toughest challenge being a solo artist?

Erik: I would have to say that the toughest challenge being a solo artist is that it sometimes can feel a bit lonely. Being a hard working musician within pop music can be pretty hard. It’s a business where you constantly have to face a lot of downs just to be able to sometimes enjoy the ups. It’s a lot of big, but empty, words in the music industry and it sometimes can be hard to keep working your ass off without ever admitting defeat. If you’re a solo artist you have to do a lot of this struggle on your own and yes, that can sometimes feel a bit lonely.

If you could perform with any artist (living or dead), who would you share the stage with?

Erik: Ouch, tough question! There are so many amazing artists that would be a dream come true sharing the stage with but if I have to name one I would probably have to say Whitney Houston during her glory days. Once upon a time there was nothing Whitney couldn’t do with her voice. To sing a duet with Whitney would be just awesome!

What is the plan for the rest of 2015 and looking forward into 2016 for Erik Odsell?

Erik: Right now I’m working with some promotion to get more people to discover my brand new album and I am also working on a video for my latest single Unapology. I am also in contact with some people I know from before within the music industry to try and set up collaborations within publishing and booking of gigs for 2016. I really wanna get out and play my brand new album live with my band so hopefully 2016 will be filled with gigs. I am also still working with other artists. I am for example a member of a Swedish vocal band called Pros & Cons and we’re currently recording our third album, set for release during early spring of 2016, so I won’t be putting my feet up, that’s for sure.

Find more of Erik Odsell
Twitter: www.twitter.com/erikodsell
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/erikodsell 
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3ijnMT8RG0GaamHSQzBk9R

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