A couple of weeks back we did a shoot together with CALIROOTS and JOSEF SLUNGE, a young Malmö-based artist originally from Gothenburg in Sweden. Josef has been active in the music industry since 2019 when he released the single “Heybabey”. He has since experimented with his sound, deriving influence from a wide variety of genres. The 23 year old rapper just released his debut album “Ikväll, inatt, men aldrig imorgon”! The album has been praised for its vulnerability. Of course we took the time to ask him some questions to get to know him a bit better!
When did your interest in music start and what is your first music memory?
I do not recall my first memory of music, but when I was around ten my father introduced me to the guitar and together we played “Jätten Jorms sång”. During my childhood would I always play at different gatherings, such as our neighbours' summer party. But I do know when I fell in love with music. It was the first time I heard Parham's debut album “Pojk”. It was the first time I could recognize myself in the music, I had a strong sense of wanting to create my own music one day.
You just released your debut album, do you have a favorite track?
YES! My favourite track is “ballad från Stockholm” It took such a long time to find the right form and feel for it. I first wrote it at my godfather's piano outside Skarpnäck in Stockholm after the summer of heartbreaks, which was the summer of 2021. But it was a year later when Selma Zahroubane did the vocals that the song found its home.
Who's your music inspiration?
Hard question, it is a big one… I take inspiration from all kinds of music. But “Ikväll, inatt, men aldrig imorgon” has a lot of jazz influences. It really originates in the jazz scene. During the album process I was listening to a lot of Lisa Ekdahl, Marie Bergman and Bo Kaspers Orkester. Even Laleh has always been a big source of influence. She produced her first album by herself and that is something I would love to do one day. But of course, the rap scene in Gothenburg that I grew up with is still very important to me: Parham, Överklass, Bob Village, The Order, and Vic Vem. And Loyle Carner, but he is British!
You're from Gothenburg but live in Malmö, tell us more about the love for Malmö and how that has formed you as an artist?
Malmö is fantastic!!!! I have so much love for such a tiny city. Everything is close and available which makes it easy to live. For example, I can be in the studio and feel like I need some jazzy keys, then I just hit up my friend Gustav and he is always like fifteen minutes away. A big part of my love for jazz music also originates from Malmö, the jazz scene is so alive which is so cool.
What's your go-to outfit when you're performing?
I sort of dress as I do every day, a pair of chinos and preferably a Chris-hoodie. I don't really like to dress up or look too out there. And I mean, it sort of fits with who I am as an artist, human and like everyone else.
Now that the release tour is over there will be a bit of rest. It’s been so much fun to be on the road but equally as tiering. I need some time to let it all sink in and reflect on it all. But then, back to the studio and record some new music for the summer with the band!