Interview: George Bilios
Sailor & I, real name Alexander Sjödin, is a Swedish musician with a unique voice and the awe inspiring talent to make emotive music combining electronica, pop, vocalisms and atmosphere. On his way to perform at Greece’s Reworks, we had an interesting chat.
Sailor & I, What does it actually stands for? Who is this Sailor with & I? What is this project all about?
Sailor & I is the sum of different sides of my personality. The hole project is about my journey exploring that, trying to understand the past of my life and why certain things turned out certain ways, a deep dive into my inner emotions. It’s also a great escape away from things I’m afraid of, because working with creativity can sometimes make you feel almighty, and you suddenly forget about your fears. This project has become so much more than just writing songs and recording them, it’s a life project where I fill the void with sounds and where the sounds create emotions in return.
Electronica, pop, vocalisms, where do you “categorize” your music?
I make Indie music with electronical and orchestral elements. The main thing about my music is a story, in terms of songwriting. I never make a beat with a couple of layers, it’s always about a song which carries a story as ground fundament in all music I’ve released so far.
My first touch with your music was through a very exciting video (Tough Love). Then I saw “Turn around”. I was amazed of the atmosphere, the direction of photography, the “clean” forms you are using in those 2 videos, apart from your music. Do you find image as important as music?
I can’t tell if they are as important as music, it depends on the context. To me, the images of a music video should either reflect a story of the story of the song OR add a new element that give’s the song’s story another dimension. Music video is really hard to get right btw, you never really know what they end up like even if you have a great idea to work on. But I’ve been happy to been able to work with skilled people with interesting ideas.
What’s next after Sweat?
I’ve just released a single package on my own label called The Invention Of Loneliness, with two new songs “Leave The Light On” and “A Tiger In My Hands”. For this release we had a couple of great remixes by Joris Voorm, Junior Sanchez, Kidnap Kid and Park Hi-Hat, so I put the remixes in a separate package to not confuse people. At the moment I’m finished my album and just recently got my live setup together real nice, so performing and planning the album release in what I’m focusing on at the moment.
When did you start writing music & singing? Happened at the same time?
I’ve been making music all my life. Started to play violin at 7 or 8 and discovered very soon that it was guitar I wanted to play. Then I tried all different instruments and the curiosity is still there to learn more and to express myself with making music. I began singing not out of a desire to be a singer, but I wasn’t hearing the emotion or stories out of the singers I sought to collaborate with, so I took it on myself to sing. I’m an artist who has to express myself so the end result of an record is very important to me.
You are going to be at the Reworks in Greece (17-20/09) at the end of the month. How do you feel about performing in a Northern European country?
I played in many different countries recently and I feel the same everywhere – I LOVE IT, I’m happy to attract a crowd that is really into music, so that makes my performances really really exiting because I can feel that I connect with the people coming to hear me play, that’s amazing.
What gives you the right inspiration?
People, stories and most of all emotional life.