Posted On 09 May 2017
Powerhouse Swedish pop singer/songwriter Amanda Fondell catapulted to fame after being the youngest contestant to win Swedish Idol at just 16. After releasing a No. 1 album, she paused to truly find her own sound and gain a new, individual focused perspective in her music, resulting a new EP In A Talk With Nature, that will be released on June 2, 2017. Acceptance is a key message in the stunning EP. Over the last few years, Amanda had a profound experience of creating a different persona for herself, and meeting demands to act a certain way. The four-track collection is her bold statement to stay true to herself and stand up for what she believes in.
Growing up in a small village in Sweden, Linderöd, she started creating covers of her favorite songs with her best friend. At just 13, the duo were invited to play at local events, and eventually began writing their own music. At 16, she decided to take a chance with the music industry and auditioned for Swedish Idol on a whim, ultimately winning the competition.
Throughout her career, Amanda’s music has accumulated over 22 million streams, seen multiple singles chart in Sweden and has collaborated with many prominent electronic artists, including lending her vocals to Axwell’s “Barricade” and Didrick’s “Smoke” in the last year.
Learn more about Amanda Fondell in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How is 2017 treating you so far?
Thank you! My 2016 was all about finishing the songs that I’m going to release this year. 2017 is treating me well! I just released my single “Naked” and getting ready to do some promo, gigs and some songwriting in LA and New York in May. The EP is coming and I’m so excited!!
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
Right now I’m in my home in Stockhom. I’m currently lying in bed, eating my avocado toast and listening to Laputa – Hiatus Kaiyote (remix) – that’s my morning. My friend sent this song to me and I’m a fan of Anderson.Paak. I love the vocal phrasing against the guitar rhythm!
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Has your family always been supportive of this dream? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
Actually, no! I was that kid that had too many fantasies and didn’t think about the future. I liked dolphins and I knew that I wanted to take care of them, but none of that happened hah. My family is so supportive, they have always been that way. My first musical memory would have to be when I was young and hiding behind our playhouse. I was singing and say to myself “No one will ever hear me sing, it will be my secret.” I was a kid, so of course had a lot of “secrets.” 😉 I will always be doing music, but i have some love for other things to.
On June 2nd, you will release your newest EP, “In A Talk With Nature.” Can you talk about how you’ve grown as a musician on this collection? And where did the inspiration for these songs come from? How long did it take to put these songs together?
I’ve grown a lot on the EP. Over three years I wrote so many songs – the ones you need to write before something good comes out. Some of my inspirations were Kimbra, Little Dragon and She Keeps Bees, to names a few…I was looking for and wanted to create an honest raw world with fun rhythms and unexpected sounds. There are a lot of sounds on the EP that are taken out of context, and aren’t necessarily real instruments. Before deciding to make the EP, I was in a lot of label meetings, and felt that no one understood what I wanted to do, so I decided to release it on my own with my crew. I’ve learned that every little step of the process took more time and effort than I expected. There were many hard decisions to make, but I’m so happy with the end result.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Naked.” How did this song come together exactly? How did it go from being an idea in your head to a full song?
“Naked” was created in a basement in Stockholm with Linnea Södahl and Andreas Roos. I had this idea with a chorus’ ”AHHAH” and just vibed to the mic and recorded ”I just wanna see you naked”. I remember we wrote a verse and we decided to recreate it 2 years later when I took the song to my dear friend Robin Grubert, who produced the EP. I send it to Robin and he liked it, he tried out some ideas. I flew over to LA and we worked on the production, the chorus was there so all we needed to do was to create a different feeling in the verses. It took us three weeks to finish it.
I understand that you are self-releasing your forthcoming EP. Why did you decide to do that and not work with a major label? What’s been the biggest challenge or surprise when it comes to self-releasing this collection?
I wanted to feel free, that’s basically it. I felt that I couldn’t move forward when i was on the major label. It was a natural thing to do for me. The biggest challenge was to make decisions on my own, because my future depends on them.
In 2011, you were on Swedish Idol and even won the whole show! What was that experience like for you? What do you think was the biggest lesson you learned from being on the show? Would you do it all over again if you could?
Idol was a big thing for me, i learned so much and got to see how the business works, even though we were in a bubble. I experimented different sides and played a lot on the stage. The biggest lesson would be to learn how to shake off the negative comments. I wouldn’t do it again, but looking back and I am just happy that I got to do it.
Who are some of your very favorite artists? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I love Kimbra, I adore the deep pop sound and her playful vocal. Little Dragon – it speaks for itself, these guys are truly musicians and I love how they are turning it into the future and another world. She Keeps Bees – I love the raw feeling in every song they create. Nao – I have never heard this sound before, the soul, few instruments and a simple vocal create a whole new world. Sia – I adore her song writing, I can tell when I hear a song that Sia has written. Chris Martin – same here, these people have a melody language that I really want to achieve.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
I would love to see people feel the feelings that I’m singing about. The message is to feel free and be you, to be brave and go your own way, to love and accept yourself.