The fact that Sweden is famous for its electronic scene is not a new thing. The list of musicians that have recently made us pleasantly delighted is getting longer and longer. However, nobody has brought so much confusion as her. The promotional campaign based on mysterious videos containing mysticism, carefully thought out symbolism as well as references to nature turned out to be very successful. The most important thing about it though, is that the whole turmoil resulted in one of the best electronic albums of the year.
Jonna Lee, also known as iamamiwhoami, a true artist who carefully plans every aspect of her project (starting with the musical and ending at the visual one) found some time to answer few of our questions concerning her newborn – Kin, and everything related to it.
musicis.pl: You used to record under your own name – Jonna Lee. Those songs differ a lot from what you’re doing now. What caused the change? Would you say it’s the result of reaching artistic maturity?
iamamiwhoami: The cause of the beginning of iamamiwhoami was a longing for freedom of creativity as a result of stagnation and boundaries I kept within. My mind and the outcome of my work was not in the same place.
musicis.pl: There’s a lot of nature in your videos. What’s your attitude towards it? Do you feel a special bond with nature?
iamamiwhoami: Yes I’m sprung from nature. It will always be present for that reason.
musicis.pl: Do you take inspiration from your dreams or rather from the real world?
iamamiwhoami: What we do has become my reality and living it is inspiring. The inspiration is rather the necessity of continuing the evolution of iamamiwhoami as we create our work in real time just before sharing it to preserve the reflections of the outside. The audience and what surrounds iamamiwhoami of course has an effect on our work. This conversation included. So what our work is, is the gist of our process mirrored in the eyes of the observer.
musicis.pl: Are the videos entirely your idea or are there people who help you with the concepts?
iamamiwhoami: The visual parts of our work emanates from the music with the lyrics as the script for our films, describing mine and our current state experienced from my eyes. From there I work closely with the director of iamamiwhoami and we build around that. We collaborate with our cinemapgrapher and set/costume designer and I synchronize with the songs and sounds together with Claes Björklund.
musicis.pl: Is the visual aspect equally important as the musical one or do you consider it just a supplement to your music?
iamamiwhoami: It is an important way of communication for me. At the core I’m a musician. But the unity of the two formats is very interesting as they are in close collaboration in our work. Still you are free to choose how to consume it. Sonically, visually or as a unity, they way it has been created. I use the films to communicate my music, being able to use my face and body to express raw emotion visually and enhance or alter the moods of the songs and sounds.
musicis.pl: Have you ever tried acting apart from your videos? If not, would you ever consider acting in a theatre or appearing in a film?
iamamiwhoami:I don’t see myself as an actor. I sing my stories before the audience. Kin is created as a musical film. Apart from iamamiwhoami I don’t know what would happen if I embody someone else’s fictional persona.
musicis.pl: There are a lot of great Swedish artists like the Knife, Niki & the Dove, Miike Snow etc. Would you be able to recommend us some emerging artists from your country?
iamamiwhoami: I’m afraid working so isolated inside iamamiwhoami has pushed me far away from awareness. It’s quite a relief for the creative mind.
musicis.pl: How do you imagine the future of iamamiwhoami?
iamamiwhoami: We are now in midst of delivering Kin to our audience as they are an equal part of the creation. Also I’m speaking to you and others as the proud mother of our kin to answer any questions to the best of my ability and to give my care instructions for it. Once this is done I will see where it takes me. For Kin the challenge was adapting to a shape that can be embraced whilst preserving the joy of the creative process. Who knows where this will take us? Deeper underground? Or maybe somewhere totally different.