Born and raised in Västerås, Sweden, Tilda Allie is first and foremost an artist. Surrounded by all kind of arts during her childhood years, she quickly got captivated by the world of creativity and culture.
Allie incorporates colourful and provoking visuals along with her emotions to shape her art, which we can appreciate through her stunning music videos. Fusing elements of dark pop, electronic, soul and jazz, the Swedish artist writes and performs her songs in the most sincere and authentic way, revealing a true vocalist with an infectious positive energy.
Inspired by the likes of Björk, NAO and Amy Winehouse, the singer/songwriter is without a doubt, an artist to watch in 2018.
Now based in the UK, Tilda Allie is currently working on her debut EP. The remix of her record “Further Than You” , produced by Swedish artist & producer CNTR, is now available on major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself. What’s your story?
I am a glitter-faced Nordic performer and singer inspired by the 60s pop culture and art such as Andy Warhol, David Bowie and Francis Bacon. I write music to emotionally get through my days. My lyrics are often very straightforward and honest. This might also have something to do with English not being my native language as I was born and raised in Sweden. But I love the rawness that it can bring to my songs. I have a passionate love for genres such as RnB, Neo-Soul and electronic music. I love experimenting with different elements to express myself, which is why my music is very eclectic and draws inspiration from a larger group of artists and creatives, not just musicians.
I combine thought-provoking visuals and colourful melodies to captivate the audience’s senses. My performances are always emotional and I always feel very vulnerable on stage but it is also the place I feel the most comfortable.
Tell us a little bit about your childhood.
As mentioned I was born in Sweden and grew up there. I deiced to move to the UK 5 years ago and I will never regret it.
I am blessed with a very supportive family and I have them to thank for a lot of my accomplishments. I have always been a strong character and this is definitely something I used to get a lot of critics for as a teenager. I come from a political background and has always put emphasis in being a strong independent female, this has definitely caused problems for me. I have had issues with authority and followed the conventional rules in school. Never really felt like I fit in etc. I ended up playing bass in a girl band when I was 14 years old and I finally found my place. I loved it. Since then, music has been that one thing that makes life worth living for.
Throughout my upbringing in Vasteras the music scene was very male dominated. Me and a few girls started up a female band and I had played the bass. We were inspired by all the 60’s stars such as: The Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, the Who, the Monkeys, the Yardbirds… you name it. My roots lie in rock and I think you can tell by the way I perform, but grunge and a lot of the Britpop scene have influenced me loads, such as Oasis, Jet and Jeff Buckley.
Jazz came in much later through listening to a lot of Hip-Hop and Soul, I thank Amy Winehouse. My parents are big music fans and I have been exposed to various genres throughout my childhood.
Did you grow up in a musical environment? Who were your musical influences?
My family has always fed me with culture from a very young age. Going to theatre, exhibitions, museums and concerts was a necessity. It definitely has shaped my taste enormously. I am for this forever grateful as I am well aware of that we live in a society today where art is expensive and is not always as accessible as it should be for everyone.
Growing up my dad and mum listened to The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Swedish folk music and urban music in general. There has always been a love for discovering something new and exciting.
Do you remember your first musical memory?
One of the best memories I have is when me and my siblings put on James Browns ‘Sex machine’ on the vinyl player completely unaware of the meaning of the song. I sang along and obviously having the normal evening show in the living room, using a blanket as my stage.
When did you realise you could sing? Did you take any lesson?
I have always been singing, it was never something I discovered. It took me until I was 16 to really understand that I wanted to do music. But singing on it’s own has never been the main thing. It has always been the creative part of the music that has been my number one reason to sing. It just was the easiest way to get all the stuff out of my head rather than playing guitar or piano.
I did take lessons when I was 16 and I have been studying music ever since, which is almost 10 years now.
What made you want to be an artist? What motivated you?
My motivation is my emotions, making music feels good and writing songs that can touch other people too is an amazing feeling. Somehow I am good at expressing myself, I always have been. I want to be that catalyst that starts that process of feelings in someone else.
Why I want to be an artist is an easy question because I don’t think there is anything else out there that would ever make me as happy. Being on stage and telling the audience a story is so special and it feels like you are serving a purpose. I want to send out a message to people. I want others to feel like they are not alone, I want to talk about matter such as having the courage to be vulnerable. This is why I am trying to be as naked as possible in front of my audience, as I am telling people about my own personal experiences.
When did you write your first song? What was it about?
I have always written songs, even just short little snippets. It has really mostly served a therapeutic purpose in the past. First ever song was called ‘Lazy’. It is about a woman who psychically gets older by every minute because of out of sadness. She grows old with her fears and worries.
Do you remember the first time you performed? Where was it? How was it like? What lessons did you learn since then?
I used to dance for about 8 years before going into music so I have been on stage from the age of 8 years old. It has always felt so naturally for me. I think the most important lessons I have learnt is to only follow my emotions on stage. I make sure to lose myself completely in the music and not focus on anything else. If I can lose myself in the music, other people will too.
Tell us about your single “Further Than You”. What’s the message behind this song? Who did you work?
Describe us your songwriting/recording process for this record.
I try not to say too much about my songs as I really want it to become special to every individual who listens to it. But I would say the song tries to capture the pain of finding comfort and strength within yourself, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and scared, free from judgment. “I have been walking so much further than you” is me helping myself to realise that if you look back you have already come so far. I have also chosen to use a few subtle references to some of my favorite songs in each line of the first verse as a honor to the bands and artists that have really helped me through some tricky times in life. I wonder if people will be able to spot the lines.
CNTR recently did a remix on that record. How did it come about?
We got in contact through an old tutor, We both happen to be from Sweden, both based in the UK. CNTR makes the most amazing emotionally atmospheric beats and sounds. When I heard the first edit of the remix, I fell in love. The remix is almost better than the original. We are currently working on some more music together. This time we are collaborating, which is very exciting!
You have amazing and colourful visuals. What vision do you have for your artistry? How would you describe it?
As I mentioned earlier, I have grown up with art around me. I find things, nature, colours, lights, flowers etc so appealing. I think I actually am more a natural visual person and the auditorial came much later. I have always been painting and drawing. Even did a fine art course before studying music at Uni. So I love to be able to combine all my creative outputs to one! I think that the visuals very often enhance the music and altogether, the experiences of the song can reach out to a wider range of people.
Who’s helping you create the vision you have for yourself?
As Bjork is one of my all time favorite artist I draw a lot of inspiration from her. I love her avant garde style! I paint as well and this is a big reason for my love for the visual aspect of things. I come up with the concepts myself and then get help to put them into reality like this time Juliet Bryant has had a massive importance on this project! She helped me bring my ideas to life!
Could you tell us a little bit about your video “Time Frame”? Did you come up with the concept? What’s the inspiration behind this video?
I love the painter Alexa Meade and have been following her work since I saw her TED Talk. She paints her models in milk baths and the results are just beautiful. I have always been very interested in art and the visual aspect of my music is almost as important, it becomes an extension of emotions and moods in the same way as the music itself.
The actual process of filming was pretty simple, one camera, me in the bathtub and some good lighting. It took us 8 hours to film and 6 of them I spent in the bathtub. I genuinely love glitter but the process of getting it off took weeks. It gets everywhere, but definitely worth it.
You are originally from Sweden. How was it like when you first moved to the UK? What was the biggest challenge?
I experience everything to be a little bit harder over here, you need to work for less money and for longer hours. I have definitely become more focused because of this but would probably never have had the courage to branch out from my home country without the secure foundation to stand on. This all affects my songwriting of course and I take inspiration both from the music scene over here but mostly the mentality. The UK is such a melting pot of cultures and I have had the opportunity to meet people that have really inspired me in the way that they look at music and culture.
I definitely think that having a different background helps you to open up and allow yourself to explore music. My perception has grown and become broader because of this. Sweden has a great music scene and we have some great artists and bands that have the courage to stand out. I think this definitely has to do with the more left-wing politics that has led the country for years. The arts are seen as a necessity for personal growth and we have a budget that supports it. This makes you grow up with the belief that you are capable of doing anything as you have the social safety net to catch you if you fall. This is why I think we have some of the world’s best songwriters and musicians out there because they got the opportunity to grow.
When and why did you decide to move to the UK?
I needed inspiration and a new place in order to continue growing as a person and musically. I think I was running away from the person I was in Sweden and from a lot of the pressure I felt in my hometown. I wanted a fresh start and Brighton and the U.K. felt like the perfect place: the music scene is massive and the music history too. It has been a dream of mine to move to the U.K. since I was fourteen. Dreaming about walking down Brick Lane with a big hat and flare-y trousers; going to arty parties and clubs. I feel like it is one of the most important decisions I have made so far. I am happy I had the courage to move and be comfortable in my insecurities.
How do you like living in Brighton?
I have always created music back home and felt uninspired from being stuck in a pop box and as I come from a middle class city near Stockholm, being different was hard. I wrote about the transition in my song ‘Snowman’, the snowman can be seen as the country Sweden or as a person that you have to leave behind in order to move forward.
I grew up with Twiggy, Rolling Stones and the Beatles as big idols and dreamt about walking in Soho with big hats and flower dresses. I wanted to live that dream! Picking Brighton was a lucky coincidence. After college I decided to take a break from music and study Art and English. I ended up in Brighton on one of the English courses and fell in love.
The reaction has been very positive, my Nordic tone and choice of melodies stood out and became one of my biggest assets. Suddenly being different was seen as good. Don’t get me wrong, being an opinionated female is always hard and I have had my beefs even here, but I feel so much more at home. Brighton is a place for everyone, the norm is to be eccentric, loud, confident and proud, it’s liberating!
There is everything from Jazz, Soul, Metal, Folk, Indie, Electro, Hip-Hop to Rock and Prog, here. The mixture of cultures, sexualities and ages make it so much more inspiring and easy to experiment. My hometown has been very helpful towards young creatives in many ways but it is on such a small scale. Bear in mind Sweden is further away and have not had the same opportunity to grow culturally – as the population has a smaller mixture of nationalities – which I love about Brighton! Mixture of cultures always… ALWAYS.
What are the differences between the Swedish and the British music industry?
It is bigger, and more opportunities for more types of styles. I think it is hard in different ways. Sweden is smaller so less competition but because of this, the music and styles feel more narrowed down and I think it is easier to fall into more straight pop. The UK have offered me such a rich variety of music!
There are a lot of incredible Swedish talents in the music industry. In your opinion, why do you think Swedish artists have such a solid musicality and artistry?
Education is the answer to this question. We are brought up in a post-socialistic country which has always encouraged the arts. I think this had a major impact on the music scene. From a young age we get exposed to music, theatre and art. It is for everyone.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I am inspired by artists like NAO, Björk, Solange, Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, IMDB, Jorja Smith and Hiatus Kaiyote. My music has been described as electropop fused with soul and jazz.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a EP and it is the project I am the most proud of so far. The songs are currently getting recorded at Echo Zoo Studios.
How to you want to be remembered for?
I am too busy living in the moment now. I hope people will remember meeting me while alive. I hope people will remember the meeting we had and how that made them feel.
What’s your purpose?
My purpose is to lose myself in my own creativity, and use that as a tool to help others to have the courage to start recognising their emotions. I want to tell people stories about love, help others to reach each other. We live in such a cold world. Love and kindness are the only things that will change that.
Connect with Tilda: