- Words Cal McIntyre
Swedish multi-hyphenate creative Korantemaa should be on your radar if she isn't already. With the release of her glistening debut EP, 'a place of substance', we catch up with the artist to talk isolation and falling in love for the first time.
We first got introduced to Korantemaa with the premiere of her single ‘Matches’. Stating that there was a strong air of intrigue around this polymath, and that certainly hasn’t changed.
With the release of her shimmering debut EP, ‘a place of substance’, we find ourselves wanting to find out more and more about this enchanting artist. Sitting at the intersection of old and new, mesmerising and relatable – Korantemaa is an artist we can’t figure out, and that’s what makes her such a breath of fresh air.
Growing up in a secluded village in southern Sweden, Korantemaa found escapism in performing covers on YouTube – amassing over 25 million views in the process – it was a humble beginning for Korantemaa as she gears up to walk her own path, leading the way with her idiosyncratic and tender music. Adorned with Lo-Fi production, Korantemaa is already a master at crafting melancholic lyrics that are incredibly raw and vulnerable, yet leave the listener with the privilege of interpreting them however they wish.
Inspired by the dreams that come to her at night, Korantemaa’s music paints a soundscape that is at one with reality and the multitude of universes are that inside of her. Speaking on the latest EP, Korantemaa revealed, “The EP is about finding a place where there is meaning, a place where you can be yourself without having to force or hide anything, a place where everything feels natural.”
We caught up with the rising artist to see how she is getting on during a very strange time to exist and create in world.
If you could summarise it, what would be the story of how you became a musician?
I’ve been singing and playing instruments since I was a child. It has always been my biggest interest and the thing I’ve loved doing the most, but for some reason, it actually took a long time for me to realize that; the fact that I loved music more than anything else, and that it was the thing I spent most of my time doing. So I think the moment I realized that was when I really became a musician because it was at that moment I started to identify myself as it.
How would you describe your sound?
What are some of your first memories of music?
My dad used to sing lullabies for my siblings and I. He’s a musician as well, and he wrote three different lullabies for each one of us; one for my sister, one for me, and one for my brother. That’s a memory I really cherish, it’s such a pure form of showing love. I also remember the music my mom would listen to, it was a lot of jazz and soul. Whenever I couldn’t sleep as a child I would go into my mother’s bedroom where she always had that kind of music on. The calming and smooth atmosphere of jazz and soul really brought me comfort, and it still does.
How are you staying positive during isolation?
What’s the best part of being an artist? The worst?
The best part is that I can do what I love and (sometimes) get paid for it. The support from fans is also something I really appreciate. The worst part is definitely the music industry in itself. It’s such a shitty, conservative industry run by old white men for the most part. And as a girl who doesn’t want to do the super commercial pop music that’s playing on the radio, you always have to fight for your voice to be heard.
What is something that not many people would know about you?
Everyone who has seen me in real life knows this of course, but I don’t think most people who see me on the internet knows that I’m literally the size of a toddler. No, I’m just kidding but I’m actually really really short only 150 cm. People on youtube think that I don’t show my guitar in my videos because I don’t want people to ”rip off how I play”, but it’s actually because my guitar is so big compared to me that I look tiny and stupid.
What energy do you want to give off when you perform live?
I want to give off a confident and calm vibe. I want people to feel comfortable and invited, and I want to create an atmosphere where I’m able to connect with my audience in some way.
What does being in love feel like for you?
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
It’s not really advice, it was more of a quote that I read, but it said something along the lines of ”stop wondering if you are good enough for other people, and start wondering if they are good enough for you”. It might sound silly but it was such a mind-blowing way of thinking I had never thought of before. I’ve spent so much time doubting myself and wondering if I’m good enough for others, but all this time I should have asked myself if they were good enough for me. Because if they’re not, why would their opinions of me matter?
Do you have a favourite lyric you’ve written right now?
If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?
Stop worrying about what other people think and just do what you want! It sounds corny but honestly, it saves you so much time and discomfort. But I guess I forgive my teenage self for caring a bit too much about what other people thought about me, it’s so hard not to do when you’re in that age.