- Words Liam Cattermole
Rising to international acclaim with her debut EP ‘Foam’, waterbaby takes us through her musical firsts, from magical Destiny’s Child moments to proving people wrong from the get-go.
A rising star in the heart of Stockholm’s thriving music scene, waterbaby is making hypnotic bedroom pop with mainstream appeal. The Sub Pop-signed artist just released her debut EP, ‘Foam’, a project shrouded in mystical production and the singer’s occasionally auto-tuned croons. “Airforce Blue”, the lead single, offers acoustic inflections with an earworm-worthy hook. “Airforce, blue eyes, white lies, first tries, crooked smile” she sings eloquently, while gently luring listeners into her intimate universe.
What follows is a brooding 10 minutes of lo-fi house, meditative folk and sultry R&B, all projected by waterbaby’s natural dynamism. On its surface, ‘Foam’ feels tremendously insular, but in moments, this reclusiveness is replayed by the Swedish artists longing for connection. The occasional raps, string scores and beautifully delivered piano loops show off a stardom that comes from unconventionality: where genres are warped and rule books are broken.
To celebrate the landmark moment, we spoke with waterbaby about her musical firsts, from magical Destiny’s Child moments to proving people wrong from the get-go.
First song you ever made?
I don’t even know if you can call it a song. I wrote it when I was 12 and it was my way of introducing myself and saying where I’m from between piano breaks.
First CD or record you owned?
‘Music of the Sun’ by Rihanna
First time you realised you wanted to do music full time?
It’s always been my dream, but it went from a dream to a plan the first time I did professional backup singing at 16.
First gig and first festival you went to?
The first festival I attended was an amazing jazz and blues festival in Stockholm, in 2008 maybe. I remember seeing Kanye and Raphael Saadiq.
The first concert I ever went to was Destiny’s Child and it was magical.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
It depends on how I look at it but from the get-go, having to prove yourself and getting out of the pocket people try to fit you in, especially when you’re young. But I’ve always had a very supportive family, so I’m very thankful for that; I don’t take it for granted.
First instrument you owned?
A turquoise guitar my dad brought back from Vietnam.
First time you felt like giving up?
I can be very melodramatic so that thought or feeling appears often, but thankfully it always passes very quickly.
First time you felt starstruck?
My dad owns a barbershop in which my brother and I grew up. He always had rappers in his chair, so meeting them was always very exciting.
First time you realised you’d made it?
I don’t really have a clear vision of what making it is for me. I’m definitely not there yet!