• vest Sthlm Misc
    dress House of Dagmar
    gloves Pretty Little Thing
    shoes Ganni
    socks Minna Palmqvist
    necklace Thomas Sabo
    rings Bjoern's Own
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    photography Sandra Myhrberg 
    stylist Ulrika Lindqvist 

    A Small Town Musician - An Interview With Bjoern

    Written by Fashion Tales

    Linnéa Bjoern the artist and the name behind Bjoern and how to grow up in the two small villages Hedemora and Norberg in the Swedish county of Dalarna to be a musician.

    How did you know that music was what you wanted to work with?
    Music is something that has always been with me and I’ve been drawn to music as a way to get my emotions out. It has helped me to calm down as a hyperactive kid. It was never obvious to me that it was something that I could work with until I was about 23 years old. In that time I had struggled for a while with my mental health and my identity and needed to find something that made my life feel meaningful again. I made the decision to give my all into music and since then I’ve kept that promise.

    How did your family and friends react when you said that you wanted to do music?
    I think it was very obvious that my life became more and more about music and it was very natural to everyone that it was something I should pursue. After a few years of seeing me almost giving up on finding anything meaningful in my life, I think it was something that saved both me and my family from a lot of heavy energy. Music lifted my spirit and that energy shift made it easy for my family to support my decision. But of course I think my parents have been worried at times, wondering how I would be able to make money.

    How was it to grow up in a small town?
    I loved to grow up in a small town even if  I’ve always felt restless and longing to see more. As a kid it was sometimes a bit frustrating to be living in the woods 10km from my closest friend. In a way I think the smaller communities I grew up in have helped me to become more social and outgoing. There was a feeling of safety in knowing almost every person I met and it was easy to feel seen and heard. It definitely gave me the chance to develop a lot of creativity and sense of self. Living in nature made me develop a fantasy world and the ability to play by myself.

    Your song ”Why” what’s it about?
    My song ”Why” is a song about someone that was very special to me growing up. My grandfather often babysat me and was a very artistic soul that always made me smile. He struggled a lot with his mental health after he fell down a tree and hit his head. He eventually decided to take his own life. This was a trauma I carried with me for many years without knowing how much it had affected me, until I started to really get into songwriting. One day in a session all the memories of grandpa came to me and I felt a need to understand Why he decided to leave like that. I think my grandpa was present at that moment and told me that it was ok to write this song about him.

    Your artist name is Bjoern, How did you come up with that?
    It’s simply a take on my last name “Björn”.

    Growing up in Dalarna where skiing is a big sport we need to know, Do you ski, and have you ever done the ”vasaloppet”?
    I’ve actually been a competitive skier my whole youth until I finished high school as a 20 year old. My first 20 years was dedicated to cross-country skiing among other sports. I went to Mora Skidgymnasium which is a high school for elite skiers, so it’s been a big part of my life for sure. I’ve actually never done the “Vasaloppet” but I’ve worked for them as a time controller. I’ve done the “Kort Vasan” as a kid and ran the summer version “Vasastafetten” many times.

    Where do you get the inspiration to write your music?
    Most of my inspiration comes from looking into my own experiences of being a human and reacting to the world. I’m fascinated by how different thoughts make us feel certain things as well as how some feelings tend to make us think in certain ways. That connection and how it sometimes makes us take decisions that aren't the best for us, is what inspires me. But inspiration comes from everything really. I also take a lot of inspiration from what I see, smell, feel and hear wherever I go. It’s definitely a hard question to answer.

    If you got the chance to meet your biggest role model who would that be?
    I feel like I change role models so often because I have a tendency to get fascinated by almost every person who’s passionate about something. The ones I look up to the most are often people I’ve already met. My parents and friends are some of them. When I think about it every single person I surround myself with are people I look up to in some way. I want to surround myself with people that challenge me, inspire me and help me to grow. If I should say someone that I don’t know personally it would be Jonna Jinton or Grimes atm. Two cool women who seem to be very true to their expression and who’s incredibly creative and talented in different ways.

    If you wouldn't do music what do you think you would do then?
    Maybe I would be some kind of coach, massage therapist or have some kind of place for mental and physical growth where people can come to challenge themselves. I love the feeling of making other people grow and heal. I could also see myself being some kind of craftswoman because I love working with my hands to create. It would also be cool to try acting one day. I have so many dreams haha…

    What’s a place/country you would like to travel to?
    It would be amazing to travel to Japan, north of Norway, New Zealand and Iceland or just drive around in Europe to see all the beautiful and small villages and their history. I really want to travel everywhere so the locations I want to go to change all the time.

    Bjoern's new debut single “Why” (2020) had a great national impact with steady radio rotation on P3, participation in TV4 Nyhetsmorgon and a place among the “best of the week” at Dagens Nyheter. The song also attracted international attention when the world star Tones And I hand-picked the song for her competition “That one song”, as the only contribution from Europe.  

    top Stand Studio
    necklace made by belt Samsoe Samsoe
    rings Bjoern's Own 
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    vest and trousers Baum und Pferdgarten
    top Minna Palmqvist
    rings Bjoern's Own
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    dress Rodebjer
    stockings Swedish Stockings
    rings Bjoern's Own
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    boots Bjoern's Own Dr Martens
    top Ida Klamborn
    rings Bjoern's Own
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    top Pretty Little Thing
    shirt COS
    trousers Sthlm Misc
    boots Bjoern's Own Dr Martens
    rings Bjoern's Own 
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    robe Lisa Helena Jacobson X Rave Review
    dress Baum und Pferdgarten
    shoes Samsoe Samsoe
    anklet made by necklace Thomas Sabo
    rings Bjoern's Own
    earrings La Maison Bagatelle
    photography Sandra Myhrberg
    stylist Ulrika Lindqvist
    hair & makeup Filippa Smedhagen
    stylist’s assistant Nellie Sjögren
  • photography Sandra Myhrberg
    fashion Jahwanna Berglund
    coat Baum und Pferdgarten
    top WEEKEND / Max Mara
    trousers Lacoste
    loafers COS

    An Interview With Lou Elliotte

    Written by Valeria Bartocci by Valeria Bartocci

    On How to Become a Solo Artist, the Ep “Best You’ve Ever Had”

    We know her as Louise Lennartsson from the Swedish pop group, Estraden.
    Now she is taking her own magical way in her solo career as a pop artist with the name, Lou Elliotte. She comes with colourful and brutally honest music that takes you by storm. You can hear her characteristic and energetic voice so clear and loud that it makes your heart want to dance. It took her some time to become Lou Elliotte but now she is finally grabbing the music industry by the horns.

    Was it difficult for you to go solo after being in a band, how did you get to the point you are today as Lou Elliotte?
    It has always been my dream and original plan to be a solo artist making music in English even though I released Lou Elliotte after Estraden.  Estraden was from the beginning just a fun project, not anyone’s plan to start a Swedish band. We wrote one song that we recorded and liked, so we started our band because of that song. Then it just took off and it went so well so I decided to wait with Lou Elliotte. Also, I didn't exactly know what kind of music I wanted to release, I think I needed to grow as a person and find out what I wanted to do.

    How does the band feel about you starting a solo career?
    They are super supportive and happy for me. Felix and Carl are also a producer team, producing and writing music for other artists, so they have a lot of work to do as well besides Estraden.

    Tell me more about your new single Touch Yourself?
    I wrote the song with Fatmax Gsus. The song itself is a love song but it sheds a light on an important subject that we should talk about more. Women who masturbate. I think it's crazy, cus through history, it has always been referred to as something shameful and it feels like it still is. I think that is such bullshit!  Because it's natural and it's also 2022 so it's like, Hello? Women do masturbate!

    In your single ”I Lost” you're talking about how your dreams started to come true but also that you lost something very important, what’s the song about?
    I've been singing about my life for the last couple of years, dreaming about being an artist, releasing music, playing live, and writing songs for other artists. I listened to Veronica Maggio for all my teenage years and she was such a big inspiration to me and now I'm working with her. That’s such a big dream come true. When I started to work with her a year ago, that was when I wrote: “I Lost”. Finally being where I had been dreaming of, happy, but not as happy as I thought I would be because I also went through a rough time in my life. At the same time as all my dreams were coming true, my boyfriend at the time and I took a break and I have never felt sadder.

    Tell me about your E:P why did you choose to mix new and old songs in it?
    I had a concert in 2019 with my band Estraden, at that time we hadn't released enough songs to have a whole concert so we added some covers for the show. “Teenage Dirtbag” was one of the songs we played. I love that song, it has been with me since I was a child and it's really close to my heart so I felt that I wanted to release a cover of it. I had a version that I made with my friend Madelene Eliasson who is a songwriter and producer, she also played with me at the concert in 2019. So we went into the studio and we made a newer version. I had an idea with using vocoder chorus so this 2021 version of the song is with more pop, cuter but still with the guitar, and almost with this, we will rock you-beat.
    It's hard to make a cover and keep that same magic that the original version has but still make it your own. You don’t want to make exactly the same but something new. We had the first version that I and Madelene Eliasson made and then we got stuck at one point and didn’t know exactly how to finish it. We brought another producer to help us with the song, Rasmus Budny so we finished it with him and I'm very happy with how the song turned out. Since everybody loves the original version of “Teenage Dirtbag” it makes me so happy when people tell me they love my
    cover. I've actually had that song as a reference for Lou Elliotte, especially the verse, the verse is the best verse I have ever heard! As a songwriter, I’m so jealous that he wrote that, it’s so so fucking genius.

    What is your best memory about doing your EP?
    I have one thing that I'm very happy about and that’s when I made the song “I Lost”. I was super depressed because my boyfriend and I had taken a break so I went into the studio with two of my friends, Amanda Cygnaeus and Madelene Eliasson. I was low and sad and I wanted to write about it because I always write about my personal experiences. That's why nearly all of my songs are about my exes. It was my favorite session and it felt so special. I wrote exactly how I felt, it was right from the heart. I'm attached to that song. I also love that song because it was only us women who wrote it. I have never done that before, of course, I have been writing with women before but I have been making songs for six years and I have never released a song written by only women. That's a very special moment for me. It also reflects how the music industry is, fucked up,  just by hearing that information, like yes I have been releasing music for six years but I have never done a song that is made by only women. That's obviously not the goal that you should only work with women. I just want the industry to be equal. Of course, I wish that this was not a thing. It just shows that the music industry is struggling with equality.

    Next song with the band Estraden?
    Our next song going to be released on the 4th of February called “Säg Till Din Mamma”. We have another artist collaborating with us on the song but he will be anonymous. That's super exciting!

    Is it hard to separate yourself from you as Lou Elliotte and you as Louise Lennartsson from the band Estraden?
    No, I feel like with Estraden since we are a band we write about experiences from what we all have been through in the songs but with Lou it’s only me and my experiences so I get to decide by myself. But I definitely feel like it's me in both Estraden and Lou Elliotte.

    Where do you find yourself in the most inspirational state?
    It's definitely when I'm going through something, when my ex and I broke up I wrote many songs about it. I was crying and being sad in the studio all the time. Tears falling and I'm just saying let's write about this. I love the feeling of making music and being right in the moment even if the moments I find myself in are sometimes really sad or hard.

    jacket SVC
    shirt COS
    trousers Ida Klamborn
    boots Steve Madden

    top Christopher Kane / Zalando

    jewellery WOS

    body & trousers Jade Cropper
    gloves Handsome
    top Hanna Linnéa Ryd
    dress Baum und Pferdgarten
    boots Anny Nordh
    earring Jane and Sophie
    body & trousers Jade Cropper
    gloves Handsome
    shoes Balenciaga
    photography Sandra Myhrberg
    fashion Jahwanna Berglund
    makeup Elva Ahlbin
    hair Adam Nilsson
    assistants Alicia Hurst & Thea Undemo
  • photography Sandra Myhrberg
    fashion Jahwanna Berglund


    Mapei wears: coat Nicklas Gustavsson shades Valentino via Mister Spex

    Okazaki wears: jacket Stand Studios
    Thomas Rusiak wears: t-shirt Bareen overshirt Woolrich

    In Remarkable Feel-Good Symbiosis, an Interview With Mor

    Written by Decirée Josefsson by Sandra Myhrberg

    The year is 2020, there's ongoing isolation and thirst for something uplifting.

    Jacqueline Mapei Cummings is currently back from Thailand, planning to meet up with producers Thomas Rusiak and Fredrik Okazaki to make a new album. Three music legends, Mapei, Okazaki, and Rusiak not knowing that first session was about to be the skeleton of something much bigger than a band, a brilliant artcraft. MOR is not only a force of wisdom and hope, defined by more than the incentive to attract money. They are also a leading light of gratitude and a statement that if you genuinely love what you do and create from a space of joyfulness, external elements won't make your creativity limited. It’s soulful, abstract, and free of interpretation. A humble movement where art means conversation.

    I met the three of the members for beers one afternoon at a local bar near their studio, asked them about the background, story, and experiences being a member of MOR:

    When you first got together did you know right away that this was something special?
    F: My theory is that everything goes down to the deep understanding of one and other feelings. There is no pride. On the contrary, there’s an environment built on the fundamentals that we like to hang out and make music that we genuinely love. That in combination with respect towards each other created a space where creativity has been flowing with tremendous ease. After the first session, we decided to change the primary thought of making an album for Jackie. Instead we created a band that today stands for a family.
    T: We have been approaching music with similarities, however there have been directions one might think is straggly and incoherent. Jackie is multifaceted and has been able to manage every part of those spiky out-of-the-box ideas. Together we have been able to control and produce pure greatness. I get chills talking about what we have created, it’s been everywhere and nowhere and suddenly we’re almost done with two albums and every song has its unique touch, still the very same movement.
    J: I’ve been very inspired by the thoughts and feelings from us as individuals when it comes to lyrics and melodies. We talk a lot about day-to-day romanticism while hanging out. These reflections, feelings, and thoughts are something that I like to bring with me into the studio. That is what creates a story and context. Everything feels natural and safe. It's a soothing feeling for the demons to be able to express freely based on your emotions.

    The first material consists of 17 songs. This was the outcome of a handful of spontaneous sessions together. The first thought was to release everything all at once, suicide for the carrier one would say. It ended up in two upcoming albums. The first single, Spitfire was released earlier in October this year. Jacqueline Mapei Cummings said while describing the song “You will never experience love if you don’t welcome it” which is based on how individuals sometimes won’t let themselves be proved to love. Spitfire is one of 13 songs from their first album, set to release at the end of February.
    F: When we meet up we usually chit-chat for hours, making music for fifteen minutes. It has never been a must, which makes all of us very open-minded about the outcome. Focusing on the attitude and energy between us instead of forcing the outcome of the song.
    J: A shallow room without touchable feelings isn't a sustainable way to create. Every conversation and word between gets manifested into songs. That is genuinely what creates our content. The real world.
    T: Everything has been about now and then, with heart and ears towards finding that raw and genuine feeling of sound.
    J: We are like three different bottles of wine on the same shelf. Storing and aging individually but properly match each other mentally.  Even if we have lived separate lives our knowledge obtained,  gathered the same mental wisdom.

    What is your relationship with the music industry, in many ways controlled and designed to fit into frames?
    J: As a mutual force those frames felt good to not care about one's for all. We’re throwing us off the edge a little bit. Not caring so much if something doesn't fit into the box of a specific genre.
    F: There’s been a mutual sprinkle of fatigue towards the attitude in the industry. There’s no bad music. It’s the lack of friendliness.
    J: The side you get tired of is more or less the shift of focus from the pure love and art in making music. It’s even worse today with social media and everything being so approachable.
    T: I haven’t been working in the music industry for quite some time, and starting to notice people's behavior and reactions has been easier coming back. “Swedish jealousy”is a term. Includes backstabbing and competitiveness. There’s however almost only love and positive feedback towards the material and us as a unit. I’ve been receiving commendations from people I haven’t talked with for years.
    J: It’s important not to exclude positivity. The ones that are with us on this journey have been showing love and appreciation.
    T: I guess we’re quite bulletproof. There’s nothing to hate about this music. You don’t necessarily have to like or appreciate it. Everyone can hear the joyfulness and euphoria that the three of us have experienced while producing this music. That simplicity makes people more frustrated because there's nothing to touch.
    J: Some can give us the evil eye, then jealousy and skepticism can shine through. Even if there’s a very small percentage expressing this it feels great not to be lonely in that swarm.
    T: Maybe the situation would have been different if we were alone. Now we’re a united force.

    Would you consider there’s a message that has to be said with your music?
    J: If something needs to be said, the story we have created is like the journey of melancholic depression. There's grief and hope.
    F: It’s also worth noting the simplicity of gratefulness towards your friends, to connect and be appreciative of your relationships.
    J: Leave the rooms you’re not comfortable in. As the creator of your life, decisions should be based upon that.
    F: It’s not always easy to find your place in the entertainment industry. It’s been important to maintain the rustic environment while working with this project and to create a rather safe space for the music to be able to develop freely. Going to the studio for a session is all about the feeling. We have placed candles, flowers, and paintings in the room. Preserving the intimate and natural feeling.
    J: In many of the studios I've visited, I have felt homeless. It’s really big to have a standing point like these two guys have, with such welcoming, kindness, and professionality without any underlying intention.

    How come this is so important for you, the minimalism and familiarity?
    F: The American entertainment culture is based on the purpose of pleasantness. There's a strong similarity to entertain, no matter how commercial, indie, or whatever genre it might be. Not saying that there is something wrong with it. It simply means that every step you take doesn't need to define your inner child. At some point as an individual, the inner child of ours wants to define itself, sometimes all it wants is to create based on feeling.
    J: It goes back to the realness of doing what you love. Tired of constantly touching the surface, when it’s easy to be real.
    T: Not saying that this constellation is the best or the most unique. However, this colorful collaboration has been a fun new artistic way of approaching musical writing and producing.

    Max Jenny said in an interview with Odalisque “Life is like a theater but instead of people playing a part, they’re really just being themselves. So, I don’t need a lot of fuel, life is inspiring as it is.” The three old friends have gathered unique experiences, wisdom creating a story that has become a movement in remarkable feel-good symbiosis. That group is called MOR.

    Mapei wears: coat Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini via Zalando
    dress Pretty Little Things socks Happy Socks
    Okazaki wears: sweater COS trousers Samsøe Samsøe
    Thomas Rusiak wears:  shirt Timberland
    Mapei wears: coat Nicklas Gustavsson shades Valentino via Mister Spex
    Okazaki wears: jacket Stand Studios trousers Calvin Klein
    Thomas Rusiak wears: t-shirt Bareen overshirt Woolrich denim Dr Denim

    vest Ganni

    knitted dress 2nd day

    Mapei wears: coat Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini via Zalando
    dress Pretty Little Things socks Happy Socks

    Okazaki wears: sweater COS trousers Samsøe Samsøe
    Thomas Rusiak wears:  shirt Timberland denim Levis

    photography Sandra Myhrberg

    article Decirée Josefsson
    fashion Jahwanna Berglund
    hair Khaddy Gassama / Swedish Hair Mafia
    makeup Sandy Alhali
    special thanks to Hotel Kung Carl
    MOR - Mapei, Okazaki and Thomas Rusiak


    shirt COS
    jacket Stand