Karolina Sveiby is a singer-songwriter currently based in Helsinki. Born and raised in Sweden, she discovered her passion for writing songs at a very early age and begun to study music at Nacka Musikklasser. Karolina then spent nine years in Australia, before coming back to Northern Europe and moving to Finland, where she has been living for eight years. That is why Karolina‘s pieces are influenced by three different cultures, as she defines herself Swedish-Finnish-Australian. Karolina Sveiby‘s music is melodic, easy to listen to, with a strong focus on the lyrics, which are fundamental to the artist.
When Le Ombre nel Cielo decided to interview Karolina Sveiby, she has been happy to answer our questions and she has shared with us some interesting stories and facts about her music and life.
Le Ombre nel Cielo – When was it that you first got interested in music? Do you have a little story to tell us about that?
Karolina Sveiby – I have been singing pretty much all my life- music was a big part of my childhood. My mother is very musical, and we used to sing together ever since I was two years old! (I know this because I have a tape with my baby self singing my own versions of nursery rhymes!) I actually wrote my first song when I was around 3 years old. I believe it was about a crocodile. That potential “monster hit” is long forgotten though, unfortunately! I went to a special music school- Nacka Musikklasser- in Sweden from grade 4 to grade 9 , which is when I was more formally trained in choir and piano.
LOnC – If you were asked to explain which kind of music you make, what would you answer? What do you think about music genres: is it easy to categorize your music?
KS – This is always a difficult question to answer! It is not that straight forward to categorize my music. I grew up in Sweden, then lived in Australia for 9 years and have now been living in Finland for 8 years, so my music has influences from all three cultures. I enjoy experimenting with different styles, yet under the same theme. My music is melodic, easy to listen to, with a strong focus on the lyrics. It is important to me that a song has something to say other than “I love you” or “Why don’t you love me?”. I want to write songs that are uplifting and hopefully inspiring.
LOnC – Is there any special place where you like to go to get inspired? How important is the city and Country you live in, in relation to your music?
KS – I have discovered that inspiration can strike pretty much anywhere. I actually got the ideas for three songs on my record, Secret Symmetry, while in the car! But sitting around waiting to get inspired does not work for me. The more I write, the more inspired I get. The city or country I live in is not important, my state of mind is. Since I always start from the lyrics, I can not just decide “I want to write a song today”. I need to have something I would like to say. Once I feel I have strong lyrics, the melody sort of arrives on its own. If I have not got a melody down in around 15 minutes, I know there is nothing to it but to scrap it all and start again. Good songs just seem to arrive from somewhere.
LOnC – What do you do, besides making music? Tell us a little about yourself: we would like to know more about you.
KS – I studied drama and education in Australia, and have worked as a language and drama teacher of both children and adults in Australia and now in Finland. I thoroughly enjoy working with people of all ages. I am the kind of person who needs variety in my work, and right now every day is different, which suits me very well!
LOnC – Could you pick your all time favourite musician? Also, could you name some of the emerging artists that are inspiring you the most at the moment?
KS – Leonard Cohen. Without a doubt. He is an awe inspiring poet, performer and singer/songwriter, and his songs are full of timeless wisdom. I have to admit that I do not keep my finger on the pulse as much as I would like when it comes to emerging artists. I first get inspired by a good melody, a wise piece of lyric, a voice. There are definitely plenty of great singer/songwriters out there. One amazing Australian artist not so well known yet in Scandinavia, and who falls within this category, is Missy Higgins.
LOnC – Which is the question that we have missed to ask during our little interview? What would you ask yourself, that we haven’t asked, about your music project?
KS – Good question! I would maybe ask: “where can we hear a sample of your music?” The answer would be: for example on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon. Just look for Secret Symmetry. You can also hear a couple of the songs from the record on myspace.com/karolinasveiby. I hope you enjoy it!
Many thanks to Karolina Sveiby!