All pix courtesy of the very talented Märta Thisner. Visit her website on www.martathisner.com
Hello Juvelen – Now before we get started, how do we properly pronounce your name?
Hi! Uhm… this might be a little difficult. I can’t find any phonetic symbols on my computer. And, i mean, it’s swedish so i guess you could pronounce it any way you like, but my suggestion would be to pronounce it like "juvenile", but with a short "len" at the end.
Cheers – thanks for clearing that up! So "Don’t Mess" is a fantastic track, what’s it all about?
Thanks! It’s about being fed up with somebody who can’t seem to make up her mind. I usually want things to happen real fast, and I get restless when they don’t.
You’ve caused a bit of a dance craze with the video for "Don’t Mess"…we saw that Dom Dugliga video on your MySpace profile – what’s that all about?
I met Dom Duglia at a tiny swedish festival last summer, and really likes them. So i was very happy to get to work with them for the Don’t Mess video. They are so great! And fun. They are the way you want your band to be.
Do you do those dance moves whenever you hear your song – be honest…
To be honest, I didn’t really learn them properly, so no.
You’re quite popular in Sweden aren’t you? We heard your an internet phenomenon…
Totally depends on what you compare it to. But yeah, I’ve had some songs on the radio, I’m happy!
You’ve described yourself as a one-man boy band – is that really true?
That started off as a total joke. In one of the first interviews I did the journalist started his piece by writing something about how I would be the perfect boy-band member or something like that. Which I thought was quite absurd. And very funny. So I kind of stole the joke. And after a while I quite liked the description. But there’s a lot of humour in that.
It’s quite obvious that you sound a bit like Prince on your records. Is that intentional?
Yes and no. I never tried to actually sound like Prince, but he was a big inspiration to me. I can understand why some people make the comparison, but I think it’s often pretty exaggerated. Juvelen doesn’t really sound like Prince. I think people sometimes focus a bit too much on the fact that there are falsetto vocals on my record, and then they kind of automatically conclude it sounds like Prince. To me, the great thing about Prince is his originality, and his song writing. If sounding like Prince means trying to sound like yourself, then yeah, Juvelen kind of sounds like Prince.
Are you a fan of the purpled one?
Yes I am. But it’s not like I’ve always been. My love for Prince was a really late one. I used to be more into guitar based rock stuff, like The Clash, PJ Harvey and Grant Lee Buffalo, so opening up to Prince was an important part of what became Juvelen.
Some people have been comparing you to Mika lately, but personally I don’t see that – your thoughts on that one…
Thank you! Prince – fair enough, Mika – no thanks. I mean, yes, he makes pop music and so do I, but come on!
Oooh, we saw that Perez Hilton even loves you too…you’re going global…
Yeah, that’s kind of weird, I guess. But you take the love you get, right?
And we’ve even seen that people are calling you "The male Robyn"…what’s you’re take on that?…
What?! I thought Robyn was the female Juvelen?! But seriously, that is pretty weird. I don’t really know Robyn, we kind of say hi when we meet, but that’s pretty much it. We’ve both been making music in Stockholm for the last 15 years or something, and now all of a sudden someone comes up with the idea to label Juvelen a male Robyn, based on the fact that someone who wrote about Robyn also wrote about Juvelen. Pretty far fetched, I’d say. But that’s the way it works, and she’s really cool, so it’s all good, I guess.
Do you have any plans for releasing your album "1" in the UK or USA as I think it’s only available now in Scandinavia now…
That’s pretty much what we’re working on at the moment, getting the album out internationally. The sooner the better, I’d say.
There seems to be a lot of quality pop coming from Scandinavia being recognized at moment isn’t there?
Yeah! But it’s been like that for a long time now, don’t you think? I don’t know why, but yeah.
What sort of Scandi-pop do you listen to?
Ooh, I was afraid you’d ask. I’m SO bad at listening to new music. I’ve just finished a remix for Danish artist As In RebekkaMaria, and I’ve been working on a duet thing with Swedish singer Sophia Somajo recently, so I’ve been listening to them quite a bit. And Familjen! It took ages for me to realize, but Familjen is SO good!
Do you get to the UK much?
I lived in London for a couple of years, but now I haven’t been there for a while. Looks like it might go do a few shows there soon though,we’ll see. I still have some friends there, so that’d be nice!
So your track "Hanna" – based on a real life person?
Yeah, very much so. But, of course, there’s an element of fiction in it too. Or at least, the song doesn’t tell the whole truth…
Did you and the director have fun with the synhronized lady swimmers on the day of the video shoot?
Yeah, that was fun. But pretty tricky too, to get it right. That video shoot was pretty hard work. We ended up doing the performance scene last, at six in the morning after having recorded since the early morning. No business like show business!
Juvelen – thanks for answering our questions – any parting words for EQ readers?
Thank YOU! And yes: You should all come watch the show at Razzmatazz in Barcelona, October 4. See you there!
Time to book an EasyJet flight then!