JOSEFIN ÖHRN + THE LIBERATION
A couple of years ago I went to Art School. What I didn’t know then is that one of the people in my class had a rare and deep voice and a great stage charisma. Yeats later I stumbled upon the music of my former classmate Josefin Öhrn.
It’s early autumn and I meet Josefin at the famous coffee shop Saturnus. The café has the largest and from what I’ve heard best cinnamon buns in Stockholm. But we skip the buns and just order regular coffee. The air’s still warm and we take a seat outside, it is nice to do an interview with someone that I already know (at least a little bit) for a change.
MM: Let’s start from the beginning; why did you go to art school?
JÖ: I’ve always enjoyed making things and felt a need to do something creative. When I began art school I was more into visual art and expressions. But then I got a guitar and I kept coming up with songs. I started writing lyrics. At that time I was working extra in a vinyl shop and a friend of mine had just helped me to record a demo. The guy who owned the shop used to be a drummer in a band called Mouth, they were quite big in some underground scenes in NY during the 90’s. I played him the demo and he thought I should collaborate with his friend Fredrik Joelson. We started writing music together and that’s how it all started.
MM: Did you always know that you had such a powerful voice?
JÖ: A lot of people say that they can always tell it’s my voice, that it’s unique in some way, but I never thought about it until now.
MM: But you must have known you were a great singer, right?
Josefin laughs for a bit and tells me that she never knew, she just always though it was really fun to sing and write songs. She’s just happy people want to listen to her. The band is called Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation and started in 2011 and as we speak is starting to get really serious. Their summer’s been full of concerts and festivals. Their sound is quite psychedelic and 70’s inspired. I ask Josefin if that’s her opinion too.
JÖ: I don’t think about specific genres that much, but the bands that we might have been inspired by are from the psych wave, we listen to a lot of 60’s and 70’s music. There’re many new interesting bands at the moment that are doing similar things to ours but I think we’re a bit 90’s inspired too.
Josefin doesn’t just have a heavenly voice she also looks like a rock star from Woodstock. She’s been working with the stylist Filippa Berg, who runs a very successful blog at rodeo.com and also just started her own online vintage shop called Mahala Vintage. How did you meet Filippa?
JÖ: We been working together for a while now. She is really awesome. I think we met through common friends, maybe out somewhere or at a dinner party, I’m not sure. Stockholm’s so small you know. We were both eager to collaborate and felt it would be a great match from the beginning.
MM: So how is it to have a stylist? Does she give you options or does she just tell you to “wear this”?
JÖ: Haha, well she knows what I like and gives me a lot of options to choose from. It’s really a luxury; she often brings me things I might never have found myself.
MM: Do you always agree?
JÖ: Yes, I think so.
MM: Do you have any role models when it comes to style, anyone whom you think about when you pick your outfits?
JÖ: I really like the style of Bianca Jagger, Jane Birkin and Nico. I like the feeling of their styles, they all withheld a lot of power.