Swedish electro-pop artist honeyfreckle has released her second single pit stop. Vulnerable lyrics that will make you want to cry have been matched with sounds that will have you up and dancing; a tune that will certainly be on your summer playlist! Take a listen…
Following the success of her debut single love me not – which received a whole lot of love from radio stations, journalists and music-lovers worldwide – pit stop, produced with honeyfreckle’s brother Hampus, dives deep into the “nightmare scenario” the artist describes as “being left behind by people that I love”. The dramatics and emotions of the lyrics have been fused with upbeat production, creating an enjoyable tune that will have you dancing into summer.
We got talking to 24 year-old Sanna – the talented songwriter and musician behind the project honeyfreckle – about pit stop, the dynamics when working with family, and even got a selection of songs to sink into from the comfort of your couch….
Hey! Hope you’re doing well. How’s isolation/lockdown going?
Hi! Thank you, I’m doing good. Hope you are too! I live in Sweden, so we don’t have a national lock-down like many other countries, but I try to stay at home as much as possible. I think everything feels really strange at the moment, but I keep myself busy and try to maintain some sort of routine.
Well, your second single pit stop is definitely going to brighten people up during this time and get people dancing! I know your work with your brother, the producer Hampus (the Swedish Billie Eilish and Finneas some could say?) How did the song come to life?
I think being compared to Billie and Finneas is the nicest compliment we’ve ever gotten, haha. They are amazing! When a new song comes to life it usually starts with me writing melody and lyrics by the piano, and then I show the material to my brother so that we can do the production together. For pit stop we had a vision of creating something that people can dance to, which we felt would be an interesting contrast to the emotional lyrics.
We added elements such as the hi-hat and the strumming guitar to create drive. The bass line, the synth melody in the chorus and the choir at the end are a few of my favorite components. Hampus has a really great sense of detail that I’m always astonished by. The filtered conga passage in pit stop is one of the things that I would’ve never come up with myself. We both like to be creative, and have different ideas for the production, so I think that we compliment each other in a very good way.
We love the electronic production matched with your vulnerable lyrics and vocals. What’s it like working with your brother? It’s amazing that you’re both following music – did you grow up in a musical family?
Thank you! I love working with my brother, I think our collaboration is working really well. We have been doing musical projects together as long as I can remember. Many people have asked us if working together leads to many fights, but I wouldn’t say that. Instead I think it allows us to be more honest with each other. We never really fought a lot when we were younger either, and when we have a disagreement we usually find ways to solve it.
Our dad has played in a rock cover band for almost 30 years. Our mum knows a little piano, but doesn’t practice music in the same way. I think you can say that we grew up in a very supportive home, where our parents have always allowed us to be creative. We have had instruments available to practice on, and they have tried to help us as much as they can.
You grew up in Sweden before studying at ICMP in London – how does the music ‘scene’ vary?
This one is difficult. I only lived in London for a year, even though I wish I could’ve stayed longer. I think that there is an amazing amount of opportunities when you’re an active musician in London. I didn’t know anyone when I moved there and during my year there, I had so many great experiences of performing live and collaborating with talented musicians. I really like that people were so open to new music acts, and that people were curious about different genres. I constantly learn more about how the Swedish music scene works. I would definitely say that there are more platforms that focus on independent and upcoming artists in the UK than in Sweden. We have a really good scene for big artists, and there are so many great actors helping artists that are just getting started. I think the Swedish music scene needs more ways to support artists in between those two stages, but I realise that might be easier said than done. Overall I believe Sweden has a reputation of producing good music, and of course it is really cool to be an active musician in a country like that.
Of course, Sweden is known for the writers and producers that come out of it, and that are still based there. Countless musicians head to Sweden to write and produce their albums! And what inspires/influences your music?
Lyric wise I’m influenced by feelings. Writing music is a way of ventilating, and it doesn’t have to be my own experiences. Sometimes it’s just about things I’ve been thinking or dreaming about. pit stop is an example of that, where I’ve turned some of my nightmares into lyrics. My first single love me not was inspired by the classic “he loves me, he loves me not” game. Musically, some of the musicians I’m inspired by are NIMMO, Dua Lipa, Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ingrid Michaelson and Say LouLou. My brother has introduced me to M83 and Chvrches.
You featured on AJ Salvatore’s single Malibu. How was that experience?
That was amazing! AJ reached out to me on Instagram after hearing my debut single and said he had a song that might suit my voice and sound. Malibu is the first original song I’ve recorded that I didn’t write myself, so it was a new experience for me. I think the coolest part was the fact that he lives in the US and I live in Sweden, and we still did that collaboration without even meeting in real life. For me, that just shows how amazing the internet can be if you use it right.
And what’s next for you after pit stop? More releases in the near future?
I’m excited to hear what people think about pit stop, and what kind of opportunities the release will bring. I’m writing new music and I hope that I will be able to release more music soon. Besides creating music, I’m studying and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree this spring. I’ve studied strategic communication and digital media, which pairs really well with my musicianship. So there are a lot of things going on, which is really exciting.
Very exciting! On a side note, we’re intrigued by the name ‘honeyfreckle’ – how did you come up with it?
In July last year, before I had released my debut single, I had so many suggestions for an artist name. There were both bad and semi-good names, but I didn’t really connect with any of them. I only knew that I wanted to have freckle in the name. In the summer my face gets all freckly and I also have two freckles in my eye. One day I was sitting at the kitchen table with my visuals team, Simon and Rebecka, and Rebecka suddenly yelled out “What about honeyfreckle?!”. After that, nothing else sounded good and we decided to go for it.
Well I love the name (perhaps because I’m also covered in freckles!) Finally, as all our readers are stuck at home, we were hoping you’d give us 5 songs you love?
- It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane, The Ark: “It’s quite old, but it was my first favorite song. The lyrics are incredibly well written. The lead singer, Ola Salo, has really inspired me as an artist when it comes to being bold. I remember seeing the band live when I was 12 years old, and he walked in on stage wearing a gold leotard and I was just in awe. That memory has really stuck with me.”
- Cool, Dua Lipa: “This song is perfect and I can’t get the synth loop out of my head! I’m a big fan of Tove Lo as well, and I feel like you can really hear that she was a part of writing this song.”
- Meeting Place, Esther: “She really impressed me at a gig I went to earlier this year, where her live performance consisted of her soft voice, a few backing tracks and a xylophone. I love the dreamy electro pop vibe and the
characteristic melody loop.”
- Place to Rent, NIMMO: “I discovered this band when they were doing a show at KOKO in London. NME was hosting the night I think, and I was just blown away. This was about 5-6 years ago and I still love them.”
- “It’s difficult to choose only five songs, but I’m going to give the last spot to the song Missing You, Ingrid Michaelson: I think it’s really cool that she wrote an entire album based on the Stranger Things series. It was actually her album that made me watch the show, and not the other way around.”
Listen to pit stop here, and follow honeyfreckle below:
Photo: Simon Roth Kalla