Nina Karlsson: the modest charm of change
On March 7, Nina Karlsson will perform at the forefront of International Women’s Day at the Waiting Room club, enveloping St. Petersburg’s girls, mothers and grandmothers with holiday vibes and amazing vocals.
I once came to a party in overalls, – that’s what my friends called Carlson. And the second “c” in the surname appeared by mistake.
The girl began her musical journey with small St. Petersburg cafes, the main attraction of which was the piano. A graduate of the composer’s faculty of the Conservatory then did not even think about the career of the singer. Her first concert was a pure coincidence, and the lyrics of the songs were poems by D. Joyce – there were none of their own. Now Nina has a bass player, drummer and keyboard player, as well as well-deserved popularity both in Russia and abroad.
Journalists are accustomed to calling her “a sweet, friendly, funny girl,” but it seemed to me that Nina had grown out of this definition a long time ago and would happily change her children’s sundress for a spectacular evening dress! Reflecting on our conversation and noting the richness of the vocal presentation in Nina’s songs (they still sound in my playlist), I decided that it was just necessary to enter the word “change”. You will soon understand why. So…
Before going on stage as a singer, Nina did it as a model.
I accidentally ended up in the modeling business. She wanted to give one musician her fashion show, and in the end she herself was on the catwalk. The main benefit of this experience is that I almost lost the fear of the scene. And now I’m all in music! And I do not like restrictions, but the podium life would distract me.
What is the basis of the songs – your personal reality or …?
Sometimes it’s my experience, sometimes it’s the story of my friends. I am a very sympathetic person, so I can easily write a song based on someone else’s, but SUCH a touching story! Let’s say “I DENY” is a song about a girl who, being alone in reality, fills her nights with imaginary love.
Spectators often see your reincarnation on stage, depending on the song …
To be honest, I don’t think about my image on stage. My idea of how I should look changes as often as my mood! The main thing is the pitch. And the confidence that you are doing everything right. For me it is important how I dress, how I look on stage. I’m interested in choosing outfits and make-up: good, the fashion industry is so developed that you can find amazingly beautiful things!
What is your favorite vocal technique?
My fans say that I often sing in radically different ranges within the same song, easily switch from top to bottom and vice versa. But this happens by itself: I always sing sincerely, in a different manner – the way I like.
The debut album “I DENY” marked a whirlpool of events in the life of the group. The recording took place in the famous Mummy House near Moscow. Share your impressions of working side by side with Ilya Lagutenko?
There was a lot of snow and a beautiful dog Bonya … We recorded 11 tracks, not without controversy, but quickly enough. Ilya came to us, listened to draft versions, and I remembered his words: “I heard this only abroad.” Ilya is very gallant and insanely charming, at the end of recording he brought us a bottle of champagne. There are several other important figures in this story: Mikhail Kozyrev (it was thanks to him that we met with Pavel Shevchuk and it all happened) and Artemy Troitsky (he released the album on his Soyuz-Voskhod label).
By the way, the statement by Pavlo Shevchuk about the recording of the album “I DENY” is known:
The music of Nina Karlsson is delicate, fragile, multi-layered. Often it seems to me that if these three factors occur in such a sequence, start interacting, then fixing them on film is as difficult as being born Jamie Oliver, who, at every opportunity, drank something of his own preparation from a plate and exclaimed: “This is Rock- n roll! ” We can say that Nina Karlsson is also Rock and Roll. Just not the same as today. But the real one. Spontaneous, unexpected and elusive. It’s hard for him to find the words. But one thing is certain – it exists. ”
When recording their debut album, the musicians used double bass, metallophone, rare synthesizers, theremin, flute, violin and even the voices of the Simpsons family. Nina explains:
Any special sound stuff was invented by our bass player Viktor Sankov. He even recorded the sound of a glass thrown on the floor and the sound of a ball hitting a wall! The voices of Lisa and Homer Simpsons did not appear by chance, because the song “Bored & Tired” is dedicated to Lisa, a smart and talented girl who finds it very difficult to be so smart, but still a child.
You are a member of the Stereoleto and Stereozima festivals. What good have you learned at these festivals? Which of these peers do you particularly value?
At “Stereozima-2010” I liked Zhenya Lyubich: she is very light and real. And “Stereo-2009” was remembered, of course, by the performance of Nina Cave, this is a real shaman! There was an outdoor scene, right on the bay.