What happens when you mix a childhood in rural Sweden, a love of video game soundtracks, and professional songwriting training? If alt-pop singer Skott is any indication, you get nothing short of aural magic.
Skott did not have a typical pop star’s trajectory. In fact, she spent her youth in a small Swedish village, known for its traditional customs and folk music. She began playing violin at a young age and took a keen interest in music composition, but it wasn’t until a trip to the city introduced teenaged Skott to modern pop music. The rest is history. Now living in Stockholm, the singer/songwriter keeps the influences of her childhood alive in her positively bewitching sound.
With debut album Always Live for Always, Skott is a force to be reckoned with. Her unique blend of musical influences and vivid songwriting weave together for an expansive, ethereal sonic journey. Effortless falsetto and cinematic instrumentation combine for an album that is nothing short of enchanting. Always Live for Always is not just an album-it is an experience.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Skott about her creative journey, musical influences, and Legend of Zelda.
Get to Know Skott:
Beyond the Stage: How would you describe your music to someone hasn’t listened to you yet?
Skott: Slightly melancholic yet playful left field pop.
BTS: You started playing violin at a very young age. What made you interested in pursuing music professionally?
Skott: It wasn’t something I planned really or even though was possible but I used to dream about being a composer of some kind, making soundtracks for computer/ video games was my ultimate fantasy in my early teens. I started playing the violin when I was five and even at that age I would try to come up with my little melodies, and when I was thirteen I started producing simple 8-bit-ish sounding instrumental tracks as my dearest hobby. But I always thought I’d aim for something within nature/science/Engineering. Although music kept distracting me, I didn’t actually believe working with it could become a reality for me until it just was. It’s hard to explain, I still don’t really understand it.
BTS: Who do you cite as your biggest musical influences and what about their work resonates with you?
Skott: I grew up surrounded by folk music playing the violin, so folk is still something very dear to my heart and there’s definitely some small fragments of that in my music. Same with all the video/computer game music I’ve been obsessing over as a teenager. My bridge to pop/rock was Muse, what an incredible band.
BTS: You released your debut album Always Live for Always last month. How does it feel to finally have it out in the world?
Skott: It feels a bit strange, unreal. I’ve wanted to release my album for so long but it kept getting delayed due to different reasons so there was a time when it almost felt like it would never happen. I’m so happy that the day finally came and I feel very grateful that I get to work with music and do what I love.
BTS: What was the songwriting process like for you for the album? What do you hope listeners take away from the album as a whole?
Skott: I was actually writing a big part of this album in secret. I was signed to a major record label for a while and it was a tricky situation, they only wanted radio friendly singles, as the industry often is like these days. It was hard for me because I only write whatever comes to me and I find it extremely hard to find creativity when there’s little freedom. But I just keep making these songs that had to come out, not actually knowing if I would be able to release them. Eventually I had to get out of the deal and start my own label Dollar Menu to finally get to release my first album Always Live For Always.
BTS: Always Live for Always has an incredibly detailed piece of album artwork. What was the inspiration behind creating that image to represent the album?
Skott: I love the process of creating the cover art for my songs, it’s so much fun trying to visualize the music and to figure out each song’s essence or soul. They all have their own spirit animal or creature, which are featured on the cover. And since the ALFA album is a collection of twelve tracks, you’ll find twelve creatures on the cover art, each representing their specific song.
BTS: How have you stayed connected with fans in the midst of coronavirus restrictions? What’s it been like to navigate a new way of reaching out when we can’t gather for live music in-person?
Skott: Of course my intention was to go out touring the new album and meet the audience in person and it’s sad not to be able to, but by putting out so much new music I hope to create a form of connection. After all, music is the most natural way for me to communicate.
BTS: You’ve already worked with so many incredible artists, but if you could collaborate with any artist in the industry right now, who would it be and why?
Skott: I still haven’t completely given up the dream on creating soundtracks for video games, so if I get to dream BIG it would be to collaborate with legendary Nintendo composers like Koji Kondo.
BTS: I’ve read that Legend of Zelda video game soundtracks were part of your musical inspiration as a child. How do you think the Breath of the Wild soundtrack lives up to its predecessors?
Skott: It’s really funny to read this question right now because I’m literally having weird (but nice) vaporwave/lofi hip hop remixes of the Zelda soundtrack playing in the background, and as soon as something from BOTW plays, the music is way less “melody driven”, and you can kinda hear the remixer is struggling a bit. To be honest I’m a little bit disappointed in the soundtrack of BOTW, I love the game and the music is beautiful but it lacks the character and id of classic Zelda, epic-ness and mystery. I totally respect and agree with the idea of creating an airy and minimalistic atmosphere that goes with the peacefulness of being in the wilderness. But having more attention demanding music for specific situations and locations would, in my opinion, make the game even better. The right soundtrack is extremely important for how we experience a game.
Skott’s new album Always Live for Always is now available for streaming. Listen here.
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