We recently had conversation with an upcoming solo artist from Sweden Erik Odsell who late last year released his solo debut album “Searching For Lost Boys Island”. He has also released 3 singles from the album and the album has gained a lot of positive feedback and many great reviews.
Twist Online : First Tell us a little about the starting of the your music journey.
Erik : Music has played a huge part in my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a home where music was constantly present. When I was very young my parents used to place me in a baby chair in front of our old grand piano while my father was playing and it always made me very calm and almost meditative. At the age of seven I started playing the piano myself and also started to sing in a well reputed boys choir in my home town in Sweden. At the age of thirteen I picked up the guitar and started playing be ear trying to make the guitar sound like what I was hearing on my favorite records. At about the same time I started writing my own songs. Since then music has been the common thread in my life. It’s been my hobby, my professional occupation, my number one choice of expressing myself and my best friend.
Twist Online : You are so talented and skilled. How did you acquire such music skills?
Erik : Well thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. However I’ve always felt that I’m not the best singer, not the best songwriter, not the best piano player or guitar player – but over all, putting all things together, I think I’m doing pretty good. I think the key to get successful is to never stop being curious and never get too content. I’ve practiced music, singing and playing instruments since I was a small child – and I’ve practiced a lot – but I still learn new things constantly because I want to keep learning and I love it. The best advice I can give besides that is to always try to work with people who are better than you. I work with a lot of people who are much more accomplished at what they do than I am. I work and collaborate with amazingly talented musicians and songwriters, and it keeps me on my toes encouraging me to bring my A game and it helps me striving to always become better at what I do.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent album “Searching For Lost Boys Island” .
Erik : Well, after years of working with other artists and writing music for other artist too I decided I wanted to pursue a solo career and the outcome and first part of this journey was Searching For Lost Boys Island. In some ways it’s probably a kind of common Pop/ Rock/ Singer-Songwriter album. A lot of the songs are produced, as some would call it, with a kind of “commercial appeal” but even so I always strive to keep my music interesting seen form a musical perspective. Shortly put, I like to listen to music that has a commercial appeal with strong hooks but I still want it to be interesting to listen to and this is something I believe is significant for the songs on “Searching For Lost Boys Island”.
Besides that I believe that it’s also a very personal album, regarding both music and lyrics. My relationship to this album is probably best summed up in the title track “Searching For Lost Boys Island”. The song, of course, has a really strong reference to Peter Pan – the boy who never wanted to grow up, cause sometimes that’s how I feel about working with pop music. I come from Sweden. A country where it’s always been very important to be modest and to “fit in” in a way that if you don’t live your life like “ordinary people” do – if you don’t fit a certain pattern or design of how ordinary people should live their lives – it often feels like you have to explain yourself and your choices to those people. If I tell people back home in Sweden that I work with pop music I often get another question right after saying “And what do you do besides pop music?”. As if being dedicated to work with pop music isn’t a real “thing”. As if you’re some kind of wannabe Peter Pan who refuses to grow up. I think this is so strange. I’ve worked with other things besides music and I’ve also been quite successful working with these things but nothing is as “real” to me as making music. Music is feelings put in to something graspable, a way of communicating that in some ways exceeds other ways of communicating. Music can offer comfort and be your best friend. If that isn’t “real” I don’t know what is.
Twist Online : Is there any particular song in the album you liked working on most?
Erik : Well, that is a question which is actually kind of hard to answer. When working on a song, that will make it to an album, you always put a lot of effort into trying to communicate a certain state of mind, feeling and message to your potential audience. This often means that you develop a strong bond to your song so in that aspect it’s kind of hard to pick out favorites. However, I am very fond of the title track as it captures my relationship to the album very well and I hope my audience can use the song to relate to similar choices they’ve made in their lives. I’m also very happy about the duet, “As Long As I’m With You”, as I got to sing together with the amazing musician Sascha Dupont. The string arrangement in “Goodbye”, made by my co-producer Joel Bexelius, is also something I’m very fond of as I think that using a real string section for the song really helped me set the right emotion to the song.
Twist Online : How was the response from your fans on this Album?
Erik : It’s been great and I’m really happy, humbled and grateful for the feedback and many great reviews this album has received. When you release an album or single you never really know if you’re gonna hit the sweet spot. The person least fit to reckon if a song is gonna be well received is probably the songwriter as it’s really hard to look past your own bond to a song you’ve probably worked really hard on. But apparently I did something right and I’m really happy for the great response. As a recording artist you come across, and experience, a lot of rejection and nay-sayers so if an album is well received it’s also a personal victory. A kind of subtle “f*ck you” to all of those people. A sweet bonus on top of all the positive response.
Twist Online : Is there anyone in Music industry who inspires you?
Erik : Sure! There are a lot of well known artists, songwriters and music personalities who inspires me. I listen to a lot of music in different genres and I think that is key to write interesting music. When you combine influences – that is when you have a real chance of creating something really good. But I also get very inspired by many of the amazing musicians I work with and collaborate with.
Twist Online : Do You write and compose your own songs?
Erik : Yes I do. Sometimes I write my songs by myself and sometimes I write my songs together with other songwriters. I really enjoy writing together with other songwriters. When I co-write songs it, more or less, always starts with one of us presenting an idea. And I love that fact that if I present an idea to a song it’s very common that the person I collaborate with will find new things from my idea to develop in the song resulting in the song taking new turns, making it even better.
Twist Online : Are you planning another project in recent future?
Erik : Yes, I’m currently working on new music. I’m not sure yet if it will develop into a new album or if it will be part of extra material for a re-launch of my recent album on vinyl but either way – there’s new music coming!
Twist Online : Are you socially active? How can your fans follow you?
Erik : Yes I am. Besides my official website www.erikodsell.com, where you can buy my music and merchandise, I’m also active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. On Facebook you’ll find me at www.facebook.com/erikodsellofficial and on Twitter and Instagram it’s www.twitter.com/erikodsell and www.instagram.com/erikodsell.