• Scampi: When Summer is not Cancelled

    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    In the summer of 1946, both fashion designer Jacques Heim and mechanical engineer Louis Réard claimed to be the first to launch the bikini on the French Riviera in Cannes. The design consisted of two triangles on top, placed to cover the bosom and two triangles, one front, one back, on the bottom. Although Louis Réard patented his version, it is Jacques Heim, who is remembered as a couturier and an early advocate of sportswear. And we are still not certain who really invented bikini. Nevertheless, the first time the bikini officially appeared in a fashion event was at a poolside show at the Piscine Molitor in Paris on July 5, 1946. Since then it has never left the social space. How does the swimwear market look like today? Odalisque has met Emelie Olsson, a women behind the Swedish swimwear brand Scampi in order to speak about the brand, the company, the design process and the sustainable idea behind it.

    Could you tell us about yourself and how the idea to start Scampi appeared?
    I had been in the fashion industry for 12 years and as the daughter of two entrepreneurs I was longing to do my own thing. I had had my eyes on Scampi for a while, the brand has been around for x years and they had a lot of good values that I could build my vision on. I knew I wanted to be as sustainable as possible and Scampi was already at that time producing in Europe with European fabrics, so it was a good start from that aspect. The brand also represented long lasting quality and inclusiveness to all shapes and sizes, two things I had also envisioned. When I randomly met the owners at the beach in Tulum and they were in the process of selling, it really felt like it was meant to be.

    What is Scampi about and how is it different from other swimwear brands in the market?
    Scampi first and foremost represents a sustainable vision and the desire to have zero impact on the planet. Long lasting quality, timeless style and outstanding fit goes hand in hand with that, we want to do pieces that stay in your wardrobe for years and not months or weeks. Scampi is also inclusive and offer great swimwear to every woman out there, regardless of size or body type. Those things are really what makes up the brand and what we want to do.

    What does it mean to be a climate positive brand in such a niche market?
    It is really a tricky thing to communicate. On one hand it is better not to produce any products and have zero impact on the climate from that aspect. But other brands are still making swimwear and they are doing it with a bigger environmental impact than us so we are a better alternative since people will still want to go swimming. Climate positivity for us means that we are compensating or offsetting all the emissions (externally assessed) created throughout our supply chain, from the making of sewing thread to our employee’s holiday travels, by 120%. That initiative not only offsets all our emissions and more but also help develop green power in developing countries faster, making that the cheaper and more used power source vs coal or gas. So, in a sense the world is instantly 20% better off and most likely with an added long-lasting positive effect. The over arcing need for less consumption makes this a really tight rope to walk but I firmly believe that for this time, now, this is the best we can do with what we have at our disposal.

    What are the Econyl fabrics that you use in your production?
    Swimwear today is mainly made from either virgin (newly produced) polyamide or polyester. Two strong materials that suits the purpose well as both absorb little water and dry quickly. The backside is the negative environmental impact; both materials require large amounts of energy and chemicals in the production process and they also release micro-plastics in our waters during laundry that among other things can harm the reproductive capability of fish (and thus ending up in our bodies when we eat that sea bass). Econyl is made through collecting polyamide (Nylon) in the form of old fishing nets and other waste from the oceans. Through a sustainable purification and regeneration process, new polyamide is created from this waste. This polyamide is called Econyl and can be recycled over and over again without effects on quality and without the need for extracting new resources from our planet.

    Do you use any other fabrics?
    Our main business is the swimwear by far and for all of that we are using Econyl. We also produce some beautiful beachwear in matching prints and for that we use plant based fibers in the form of viscose that we chose for it’s soft touch, nice drape and relatively low environmental impact.

    Could you describe the design process?
    It is ongoing all the time, nature inspires me every day, my activities inspire me, surfing, swimming with the kids being active on the beach watching people being happy in their best environment is inspiring. I always work on a few items that I fell myself are missing in the market, when they are perfect I make them apart of the next up coming collection. It takes months to create the perfect fit and functionality. With colors and prints its faster, I get inspired by the trends out there obviously and also search for new unique prints or vintage ones that I can update.

    How many collections do you release per year?
    We currently have 3-4 drops per year but are looking into having more and smaller capsules released in the future in order to be more flexible and able to respond to customers’ needs in a more agile way. The aim is to reduce over-production and not build stock that is both bad for the environment and business.

    Who is your customer?
    Women between 25-65. That is the fantastic thing, scampi offers swimwear for all ages and body types. People buy scampi because they have high standards when it comes to fit and quality. Fit is everything and the quality we use lasts up to five times longer than our competitors.

    Is it hard to be sustainable and gain profit? Do you have to compromise and, if so, how?
    It is definitely a challenge, we put everything we earn back into the brand and our efforts to be as good as we can for the world while still producing products. It’s a fine balance between being a commercial company and an advocate for green change, the best would be if we all went swimming naked. But I believe that we can be the better alternative and we are continuously working on bettering our practices. We do not really compromise when it comes to our product or our process though and that’s probably why we are barely breaking even.

    Do you do any collaborations with other brands or artists?
    No not at the moment but I am looking to make a collaboration with an artist who makes wonderful prints in the future.

    What would your advice be for young designers or entrepreneurs, who want to start their own brand, when it comes to sustainable strategy? Where to start and how?
    If you have an idea that makes you a better alternative in your area than what is out there, I think that is a good place to start. You still need to be as good or better than everyone else to cut through the noise, but established brands are slower and mostly needs to support a huge staff often including store personnel with their actions. Make sure your product ticks all the boxes, is possible to produce close to your market at a competitive price and go digital. Focus your efforts on-line where you can get better margins but be aware this requires a fantastic marketing effort so assure you have that competence on-board. So, be the better alternative, beat them at their own game and give back what you can to the planet. And keep evolving.


    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Justice locked inside our old
    Fear of tragedies
    Tragedies of a Biblic
    Waste emotions”

    Giving one of his famous lectures, almost 100 years ago, the British philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell, was concerned with “the problem of determining what is the relation called meaning.” He would use the word “Napoleon” that “means” a certain person. Thus, in saying the word “Napoleon”, one is asserting a relation between this word and the person so designated. Let us take the word “music”.  It might be hard to come up with an exhaustive definition for it but music is easy to recognise, when one is hearing it. Oxford Dictionary defines music as “sounds that are arranged in a way that is pleasant or exciting to listen to.” Aristotle compared music with emotions, interpreting the former  as a principle of movement on the sense level. Meanwhile, Plato claimed that music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything by becoming a moral law. We see that the definition of the word “music” describes emotions — pleasure and excitement — that are inherent in us humans.If we now consider what sort of object a word itself is, as a physical thing, not as a meaning, we discover, according to Bertrand Russell, that a word is not something unique and particular but consists of a set of occurrences. Further, a spoken word has two aspects, depending on how we regard the latter — as a speaker or as a hearer. Considering now the meaning that music and lyrics create we might regard it from these two perspectives — a listener perspective and an artist perspective. An artist is both a creator and a kind of  “speaker” of his or her music that people may like or reject. Justice of one’s feelings suddenly becomes locked inside one’s own soul, where those feelings are born by the meaning that relationship between lyrics, music and the personalities of composer, poet and singer constitute. Ostensibly, a song becomes a complicated element of relations between people creating it, making it alive and the audience, bringing them in one or another way together with each other and, in the first place, with their own self. Trying to understand the process of creating music and/or songs, Odalisque met the man behind the lyrics of the Swedish band The MotiveZ Nebojsa Grujic and spoke to him about the band, music, lyrics and the challenging times. The band released their first album 'Alexandria' in March and it is available on Spotify. During the COVID-19 period the band worked hard and a new song called ‘Breath of Fuel’ is their latest “Corona baby”.

    How did it all start with the band?
    After a long time in the music business, I ended up standing alone with a lot of compositions in my hands. I was not able to record and I phoned an old friend of mine and asked wether he could play some guitars on these songs. He said, “Definitely! But I am going to bring someone else who is more into Rock.” And this is how we met Sale. It was just a year ago and we clicked directly. On the first day, we recorded four songs. There obviously was a lot of Macallan and Rémy Martin involved but it was great. So, we clicked straight away and he said that he had a singer and that was a guy from Croatia called Davor. I had some compositions that I thought should be sung by a girl. And I called a girl named Hilda and she jumped on straight away. And then Jesper came into the picture. I think they did a great job. I also phoned some other old friends offering some songs they could do. The song ‘Preach’ they knocked in one night. Hilda performs live quite a lot and has her own projects as well. This is how we sort of combined the record - everybody knew somebody. We had a drummer, who was filming this show and he also made some very prominent bits for a number of songs.

    How many are you now in the band?
    Now we found a new member, a twenty-five-year-old guy called Stephan. So, we are four people in the band right now but we are always open for collaborations with other artists. However, we have realised that music has no age limit and now we happen to play with different artists of different ages from time to time — experimenting sort of. It appear to be very motivating for us as a band and as individuals.

    What do you think keeps you together, besides music?
    I think, a feeling of freedom and creativity. I have been creating my whole life and therefore, I, for example, clicked with Carl Lagercrantz’ artworks, which ended up on our first album cover and even on the cover for our latest single “Breath of Fuel”. I have an idea but it is about how you would express my idea. If I want to play a guitar to find a right motive for my lyrics, I can simply put it in my computer that would do all this midi and it will sound perfect. However, we prefer to play physically and to use the technology to experience the product that we have accomplished. A lot of our recordings have been conducted in merely one take. Moreover, a lot of solos are pure improvisations. Therefore, my idea of music and freedom is that I give you this gutar line and let’s see what you can do with it. If I have lyrics, we would sit down, trying to adjust. When I gave my lyrics to Hilda, I wanted to see what she could do with it.

    What kind of music do you play?
    I would say it is a mixture with Rock as a foundation. It is a sort of old school. Most of these compositions include two guitars, a base line and some melodies. Then again, it is about how these melodies are expressed by the vocalists and how these gutar lines are going to get developed. There is a singer’s soul that have to compose it.

    Could you say a couple of words about the name of your band and how it is connected to the music you play?
    You alway have to have a goal but to give you band the name ‘Goal’ would sound like a hooligan football. ‘Motivations’ sounded like a brilliant funk band. So, we came up with ‘Motives’ and then my friend artist Carl Lagercrantz came up with the Z as ‘MotiveZ’, and he had a connection ‘from A to Z’ that we hadn’t thought about. We are still under construction, because we have to use it and this is so brilliant. Alfa and Omega have been used in Biblical stories and this is musical one.

    Do you have a studio for your rehearsals?
    Yes, we have it out in Taby and it is a brilliant place. We are going to start recording there. Our first record was done at another place in Huddinge. Now we will try to record in the jamming room, like really really old school. It is a friend of ours who built that studio and it is a really old-school studio. It is very inspiring and different from ordinary jamming rooms that you rent, where you are usually two by two and cannot breathe. In this studio you can make you a cup of coffee and there is even a sauna.

    Who writes the music?
    Mostly, it is me. Both music and lyrics. I usually say that I present them. I like the freedom of how you would interpret them, how you would play the riff. Maybe instead of playing F-sharp minor, the guitar just goes down to A major.

    Do you have any discussions about lyrics within the band?
    Always. I am not a singer and people who criticise my lyrics have to say more about poetry or literature. I always write about politics and about being hurt by somebody, being insulted.

    How do you keep yourself inspired?
    I try not to go agains individuals. Once, I had a song about one individual, a journalist who got on my nerves. Usually, I try to observe a phenomenon. One of the songs was about the pain of not belonging but the sweetness of the longing. Sometimes, if you change venues, if you change apartments and if you change schools, which I have done, you feel like you do not really fit in, you do not really belong there. Things are not going the way you would want them. Once, I was totally broke, hanging out with my friends, surrounded by pretty rich people, who were loaded with cash, while we were not. At that time, I experienced that sweetness of longing. This is a paradox of life. Thus, there are a lot of things to write about. It is about duality of longing and not belonging. I am not trying to preach but to raise questions within different areas of life.

    The title of song ‘Broadway’ was intentionally misspelled and people called me up saying it was misspelled. My answer to it was, “So is Manhattan.” Everything is kind of misspelled on the record. The name is misspelled. However, this particular song was my personal experience, while watching a great Broadway show. The audience consisted of multiracial and multinational, quite wealthy people, clapping their hands to celebrate that the justice won at the end of the play. At the same time no one even bothered to give a couple of dollars to the beggars outside. They were clapping their hands inside, not bothering about what was going on outside. I got a bit chocked. Therefore, the song starts with the words, “Justice locked inside an old theatre.”

    If your band was an artwork, what would it be?
    I think it would be a painting, portraying something like French Revolution, Declaration of Independence — some kind of protest, definitely. Alternatively, it could be some knights on a march towards freedom. It would be early Romanticism of the 19th century.

    How do you keep your spirits up during these challenging times?
    We keep producing, because now it is the time for us to spread, to build and to compose even more. I am writing lyrics all the time now. This time, however, we will do it differently. The singer now wants to be more involved into the creative process. The first record is more about guitar with some base on it. Now we will work more on developing the melody on vocals. I find this time very creative, because Sweden shows its own way, some other European countries have a more stringent strategy. And I find this time amazing. As a band, we are expanding now and doing a lot of creative things in the old school way. One of our guys drives a truck delivering milk. He could not lock himself down because someone had to do his job. I work as a teacher, where I mostly teach in social sciences and English for the grades between 4 and 9. And I had to do my job during the entire #stayhome-period. Children need to be looked after, therefore they needed to keep coming to school.

    Has your presence on Spotify helped you to be out there for your audience during COVID-19?
    Yes, definitely. We have noticed that there has been an expansion on Spotify since the lockdown. Already, at an early stage, our guitar player suggested that we had to spread ourselves on Facebook, Sportify and other social media.

    Has the COVID-19 period affected your lyrics?
    I think so. I belong to those people, who wants to reflect over what is going on at the moment, the current events. I am telling a history what I have been through, what other people have been through. The thing that triggers me off is the injustice on the individual level or on more social level. Look at the elderly people who have worked for sixty years and now they cannot even leave their apartments. Some lucky ones have a garden. But what about the rest? They are locked in the concrete jungle.

    What kind of support would you, as a creative entrepreneur, like to have in such challenging times?
    It is a good question. I have been going around town now and there are places, there are arenas, there are squares. And we have an amphitheatre out here on Langholmen. So, what I would like to see is an opportunity for music bands to perform on those stages. Perform for people. If there is electricity there, you can perform, while you are still keeping a social distancing.

    Would you consider to perform in a digital mode?
    Our singer really wants us to do that. It is a great idea but it would be nice to keep the physical performance and, maybe, play outside.

    What advice would you give to musicians who have just begun their music journey?
    Do not give up! Just do not give up!

    Could you say a couple of words about your future vision?
    We want to expand and to keep on creating new music.
    “One spin on those heels
    One ride on the wheels
    One hang for the chills
    One tear for the bills.”

  • photography by SANDRA MHRBERG

    stylist QIM CLAESSON

    grooming MOONA NARANCIC

    Shivers Down the Spine with Tussilago

    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Nowadays many of us choose to avoid social contact and stay at home, amusing ourselves with reading, writing, doing nothing, suffering, pondering or simply listening to a music. And this last component we wanted to bring up, when we came up with the idea of doing interview with the Swedish music band with a beguiling name Tussilago. While preparing the interview, we wonder why we actually want to listen to music and why we don’t. How Listen to a music often results in a pleasant emotional response. Neuroscientists Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre at McGill University in Montreal conducted an intriguing study in 2001, by, with the help of magnetic resonance imaging, measuring cerebral blood flow changes that appeared in response to subject-selected music that elicited the highly pleasurable experience of “shivers-down-the-spine” or “chills.” The study also exposed changes in heart rate, electromyogram, and respiration. The final result showed that listening to pleasurable music activates brain regions called the limbic and paralimbic areas, which are connected to euphoric reward responses, similar to those we experience from sex, good food and addictive drugs.

    Already in 1956, the philosopher and composer Leonard Meyer in his book “Emotion and Meaning in Music” surmised that emotion in music is based on what we expect and whether or not our expectations become satisfied. When the audience’s every expectation was met and when no expectations were met, were found to be ultimately unsatisfying. Connecting music theory with and aesthetics to psychology and neuroscience, Leonard Meyer was among the first scholars to explore the relationship between game theory and music composition. He also suggested that the value of a musical work was in direct correlation to how well the complexity of the work engaged the listener. Besides creating their own music, Tussilago’s band members listen to a music a lot, both old pieces and new ones. Now you at least might have a clue why and become curious to test the music theory on yourself. After a two-year-long lull, Tussilago make a comeback with a new album “Sense of Me”, influenced by such names as Tame Impala and Brian Eno. The song with the same title is a co-production with the composer and musician Petter Winnberg from the Swedish band Amason. 

    How did it all start with Tussilago?
    Samuel and Rickard and Zacharias (Vacation Forever) had a band with two others previously to Tussilago, but when the lead singer left to study medicine abroad, the band became an experiment. After a couple of months our old friend Pierre came back from a year abroad, and when he took the spot as bass player, Tussilago was finally complete. 

    Why did you choose to name your band Tussilago?
    When we got our first gig we still hadn’t decided a name. Tussilago had come to mind from when Zacharias mom found a cat in a trash bin close to their home in Portugal. We were there at the time and got to take care of it together. It was named Shanti, but Rickard always called it Tussilago. We had a few options for our band name but couldn’t decide. When we had only a few hours until our first live show, we just took Tussilago and stuck with it.

    Who is your audience? Has it changed since you started?
    We have a pretty mixed audience, or actually maybe not, since most of them probably live at Södermalm in Stockholm. I remember in the beginning, when you could see statistics on Spotify for the first time, we thought it was interesting that there were something like 65 percent women listening. That has changed since, I think it is 60 percent men now for some reason. We have a really wide range of age though!

    How have you changed since 2011, when it comes to music, lyrics and the band as such?
    A lot and not so much at the same time. We still listen to a lot of the same stuff we did then, but I think we all just like a wider range of music now. The band has gone through some phases over the years but the spirit stays the same. We still jam, goof around and hit our heads over the lyrics.

    What has been the biggest challenge for you as a band so far?
    To open for Dungen. 

    How has COVID-19 affected your music and lyrics?
    A lot, but probably mostly subconsciously. What feels most different is to have a bigger amount of time at your disposal, normally we have to squeeze sessions and jams into the schedules of our lives but now everything has a slower and smoother pace. Lyric-wise, we will soon see the difference, we have mainly been jamming instrumental songs lately.

    What upcoming projects do you have?
    We have some live shows that have been cancelled that we hope will be moved to a period later on, and we are working on new material in the studio now. Stay tuned!

    Is there any dream project that you would love to do?
    To build a raft and take it to New Zeeland! With the band. One that you could live on, and make music. But it would have to be really big if we were to succeed. I don’t know, it would be great though.

    Link to one of Tussilago's latest songs Talk Talk:


    Pierre wears
    leathera jacket ACNE STUDIOS
    cardigan OUR LEGACY
    trousers BLK DNM
    Rickard wears
    blazer ADNYM ATELIER
    shirt & trousers ACNE STUDIOS
    Samuel wears
    smoking jacket BLK DNM
    knitted sweater OSCAR JACOBSON

    Pierre wears

    smoking Jacket & trousers BLK DNM
    t-shirt & shoes private

    Rickard wears

    Leather Jacket BLK DNM
    cardigan ADNYM ATELIER
    t-shirt & trousers BLK DNM
    shoes stylist’s studio

    Samuel wears

    blazer ACNE STUDIOS
    shirt & shoes stylist’s studio