EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: SWEDISH UP-AND-COMING SONGSTRESS BERG HOPES FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE WITH NEW RELEASE “WHERE WILL WE BE?”

Image Courtesy of BERG, art director Brendan Ewen, Photography by NKT studio

Newcomer BERG wants her music to be an expression of not just her good days, but her bad ones too. The Swedish born, London-based singer wants the world to acknowledge that we are not one-dimensional beings, and that it is important to share our experiences with one another; the happy, the sad, and every emotion in between. BERG find her voice from the darkness, a sentiment she hopes to bring across on her newest single, “Where Will We Be?” The songs conjures up a world that isn’t our own, one that might become reality one day.

With her trusted piano, an instrument she studied classically since childhood, BERG takes comfort in the ethereal, and is not afraid to cut deep with her lyrics. Equally escapist and grounded in reality, her songs are deeply personal yet at the same time universal, echoing her hope that we can use music as a shared experience to heal and guide us through not just our best moments, but our worst.

We sat down with the up-and-coming songstress to talk about her background and passion for mental health awareness. Check out the full exclusive interview below.

Image Courtesy of BERG, art director Brendan Ewen, Photography by NKT studio

Does your Swedish upbringing inform your music in any way?

Absolutely! Music and song are such a big part of the culture. I mean, just look at the likes of ABBA and Max Martin! Pop melodies are part of the Swedish soul.

How did you go about writing your new single “Where Will We Be”?

When I write a song, I sit down at the piano and try to visualize a world that’s different to the one I’m in. I want the melodies and lyrics to be the stepping stones that transport the listener out of themselves and into that world. When you are feeling uncertain, afraid or down, “Where Will We Be” is a song of possibility, hope and joy.

“Where Will We Be” takes inspiration from the current news. What in particular inspired the lyrics?

Well I think the title itself is a reflection of how we all feel right now. I think many of us have moments when we are overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, but then other days when we are full of hope.

Courtesy of BERG Instagram.

If “Where Will We Be” is about imagining a different future, what does that future look like to you?

Gosh. Well, obviously I would like a lot to change in the world. There is so much suffering at the moment. I hope that we will become more honest and self-reflective about who we are as individuals and as a society; a world where we can speak openly about how we feel without fear of judgement.

On a personal level, I’m looking forward to performing and touring again. I’d just like to have the freedom to keep making music that means something; writing songs that have a real effect on people; making melodies that move you.

Tell us about your classical music background. Why is the piano such a special instrument to you?

Classical music is such a big influence in my life. I trained as a classical pianist as a child, and even though I gave it up, I love to compose short little classical pieces that are filled to the brim with emotion: soundtracks to the soul. I think that definitely comes through in my songs.

What’s the biggest difference between the Swedish and English music scene? Which do you prefer?

I think the English music scene, especially London, is an incredibly saturated market, which means you can always find amazing music but it’s difficult to stand out. Sweden is smaller but has a big respect for the music industry, which you can see by how much awesome music they produce! I love both, but I’d love to play live and write more in Sweden.

 

You studied history at the University of Edinburgh. What made you transition to a career in music?

I always wanted to be a musician, but when I finished school I had no idea who I was or what kind of music I wanted to make. History has always interested me because it tells us so much about human nature. History and music are both forms of storytelling. Only after I graduated did I feel like I had something to say in my music. Experiences that I could share as an artist.

Mental health is clearly a very significant topic for you. What statement do you hope to make about mental health issues with your music?

I want people to be able to talk about their good and bad days. We all face obstacles in our lives, and each of us handle them differently. Now, more than ever, we need to share our experiences so that others know they are not the only ones struggling. I’d like my music to reflect the ups and the downs of life. We are not one-dimensional, we all have different sides. Some of us suffer more than others. But it’s not about pretending the darkness isn’t there, it’s about finding a way through it.

I’m now an ambassador for MQ Mental Health which aims to transform the way we think about our mental health and quality of life through research. Maybe with a better understanding of the issues we can start helping people in a real and productive way.

In your music you address the light and darkness in your life and navigating personal pain – what do you want your audience to be able to take away from this?

For years I tried to pretend that I didn’t experience darker days. I would hide the dark parts of myself from my family, friends and relationships because I considered them weaknesses. But now I see that accepting that part is so important in finding the light. I’d love for my audience to be able to feel transported into other worlds of emotions and moods. Music is a form of therapy for me, so hopefully my songs can help others by offering moments of relief, joy or sadness. A safe space to feel whatever comes up.

 

Across your singles, the mood is very ethereal while the lyrics are very intimate and personal. Can you tell us more about your songwriting process?

My songs are my daydreams, my escape from the day-to-day. But the lyrics are my reflection of my emotions, my mood. I try to be as honest as possible, so that the listener knows it’s real.

Do you have a personal mantra or philosophy?

Be kind, be brave, have faith and keep going.

Are there any upcoming projects we can look forward to?

Yes! So many exciting projects on the horizon. I have a bunch of new songs! My next single “Fake Love,” also produced by Faris Badwan, will be coming out in August! So follow me for updates.

Find BERG’s music on SoundCloud, Apple Music and Spotify, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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