Words by Art Jefferson
Images courtesy of RBECKA
If there was any thought of the country of Sweden reaching a halt with their leading charge of artists dominating pop music, think again. Like the constant body blows executed by skilled boxers, Swedish acts continue to deliver knock out singles that are mainstream welcoming and typically stadium grand in sound.
Rebecka Rydgren aka RBECKA is an accurate representation of the pop greatness that Sweden has to offer. Hailing from Järfälla, the rising star hit the ground fully running with her 2016 debut single ‘Should Have Surrendered’. A darker cutting of the pop spectrum, her follow-up ‘Be The One’ contained all the right added ingredients that could help elevate a song straight to the top of the charts. Her current track ‘Raindrops’ finds the singer sounded better than ever, possessing a confidence and vocal impact that can surely compete with any popular artist presently in the music business.
Having already made an impressive presence of Stockholm stations P3 and P4, RBECKA is ready to grab the mainstream firmly in her fist with the tightest of grip.
Your background in music extends back to your early years in school. I read that you were performing Green Day covers. Can you talk about your early days of music?
RBECKA – My first performance in front of an audience was in elementary school. A few of my girlfriends and I sung and danced to a song from the Swedish Junior Eurovision Song contest. I still remember every word to that song, haha. In 4th grade, me and a couple of other guys formed a rock band. We performed Green Day songs at every school assembly. During that time, I realized just how much I enjoyed music and performing, and you could say that those years led me to where I am today.
You attended the Internationella Engelska Skolan. What impact did that have on you in terms of helping to shape your music direction?
RBECKA– I can’t imagine a better time than when I attended Internationella Engelska Skolan. The teachers and staff showed a lot of interest and really supported me in my music. The vice principal, Mr. Elder, arranged a show at the end of each term, where students were given the opportunity to perform if they wanted to. I performed at every single one of those shows and I loved it. I’m really lucky to have attended such a fantastic school where the teachers really support the students’ interested. I would like to thank all the staff at Internationella Engelska Skolan for four amazing years. A special thanks to vice principle Mr Elder and music teacher Mrs Evans, thank you for always motivating and supporting me.
You have worked with Ditte Lindbom on your first two singles. How did you two come in contact with one another?
RBECKA – During the summer of 2015, I emailed a lot of studios and offered to act as a demo singer. Ditte was one of the people I contacted.
Your single ‘Should Have Surrendered’ was really big in production, exuding a dark pop aesthetic. Can you discuss the recording process for that track because it came out quite phenomenal?
RBECKA – Ditte is a former rocker turned pop, and my voice, especially the depth of it, inspired the sound of ‘Should Have Surrendered’; dark pop with influences of rock.
Your new song ‘Raindrops’ is another really big pop cut. It shows an even bigger growth in delivery and approach. Talk about this cut in particular. Who did you work with in terms of production and what was the motivation behind the lyrics?
RBECKA – I wrote the song together with a team of songwriters and producers called Wild Ghosts on ‘Raindrops’. The song started off as an ambient loop and a descending pentatonic piano riff that reminded me of rain falling from the sky (hence, the name “Raindrops”. I would describe the song as a dark pop ballad with a moody piano and epic drums.
‘Raindrops’ is about empowerment and finding the inner strength to break free from a toxic relationship. Too many people feel trapped in a relationship with an abusive partner, “Raindrops” attempts to express what these people are feeling, and hopefully motivate them to find their inner strength and leave this destructive relationship.
I know that you have been also working more on the songwriting end of things. How has that process been and is it quite a liberating feeling?
RBECKA – I absolutely love writing songs! There’s something special in seeing your thoughts, feelings and experiences come to life in the shape of a song. Writing music is such an amazing way to tell a story, share an important message and just express yourself. I have written quite a few new songs together with my musicians Alejandro Guillen and Omar Córdova. We usually start with a theme, always something that we ourselves feel or have felt at some point or something we’ve experienced. Then we build the song around that. For me, it’s really important to believe in the message, otherwise you won’t be able to really deliver the song in a genuine way.
Are you currently working on an EP of LP to be released in the near future?
RBECKA – My main focus now is writing new songs, recording, releasing as singles and then performing the music. An EP Is something that I’d really love to do and something that is a goal of mine. I hope to release an EP probably next year. That would be really awesome!