Akiine (full name Akiine Kivelä Ngarambe) is a Swedish fairytale dream-pop sensation, who recently caught my eyes, ears, heart, and mind at one Sofar Sounds gig in London. Having enchanted me with her bedtime storytelling voice and blissful ballerina movements, I decided to email her a few questions on behalf of Indie Current so that I could learn a bit more about this intriguing young lady.
Indie Current: Tell us a bit about yourself, your roots, and your background in music.
Akiine: I grew up in a suburb of Stockholm very close to the woods and lots of greenery. It’s close to the capital, but at the same time feels very rural (even though it’s a bigger town) because it’s surrounded by lots of trees. I feel like music has always been with me, kind of like how My Little Ponies have their powers, I feel like all my friends have their “thing” and mine’s always been music. I feel it everywhere, and the fact that I grew up so close to nature has been a major catalyst; I think it brings out creativity in a person. Also, I had a wonderful teacher my first three years of school who loved music and theatre, so it was always twined into the curriculum. At school, we even had these big singing congregations where the whole school joined in. My parents have been wonderful enablers, as well: they put both me and my sister in ballet classes and we got to take piano lessons. But I feel like even without any musical input from home, I would have found myself making music anyway. I feel like it’s not my decision, it’s something that I have to do. So in terms of how it all began, it kind of has always been there, like I’ve subconsciously been absorbing any tingling magic into my spirit. It’s been expressed through instruments, dancing and writing—and now I feel like I’ve found the ultimate expression which is combining them all together. Valerio who works with me helps produce the tracks and plays with me live. He is a great musician with a good ear!
IC: Who and/or what influences can be found in your music?
A: Main influences have been feelings and colours. Also, choirs and really beautiful Christmas music. Trying to create a feeling through the music. Trying to capture some sort of omnipresent nostalgia and magic from the air. I have these bittersweet feelings, some sort of memories from way beyond me. That is where I swim. I’d say my influence is spiritual.
IC: What was your most memorable performance and experience on stage?
A: The most exciting one was probably the first gig we did together. It was in August at Birthdays and the way it felt was like stardust and fairy lights in my belly. I also really liked the Sofar Sounds gig; there was such a nice vibe and the concept of Sofar made it just a really beautiful experience because I knew everyone was in there with loving intentions and to bliss out in music.
IC: What do you have planned for 2014?
A: We are taking a bit of a gig break now to finish off demos, and I am writing new songs as well. We are also working on putting together an EP.
IC: If you had to pick a musician or band to collaborate with, who would it be?