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October 10, 2017

Movin' on (up)

Movin' on (up)

Ilinca Cretu
INTERVIEWS

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Maja Barløse walks in, a pink hoodie covering her long brown hair. She looks relaxed and smiles a lot. We meet, I offer her coffee or tea, but chooses a tall glass of water.

We are here to shoot a teaser video for her upcoming concert with Low-Fi, and the interview will follow this.

Maja spends some 15 minutes in the bathroom, where she dons a pair of white fishnets tights and a velvet lilac dress. Her face glitters in the dim light and all of a sudden, it’s not Maja Barløse facing me anymore – but Fjer.

Her newest single, Wrong Time, uses rather strong language and feels quite emotionally raw compared to her previous work. The video for Wrong Time has only come out two weeks ago and you can watch it here.

Hi Fjer. How are you?

FJER:  Very good… Just hugged a tiger!

So…you have just returned to Denmark after a long time in the States.

F: Yes, that’s correct. I need to spend some time in Denmark to sort out my papers but I definitely want to return to NY. Now its Denmark for a while and it’s nice… I haven’t lived in Copenhagen before so it’s an adventure.

(At this point, Rik, the office dog comes down the stairs.)

(Fjer gets distracted and excited) Aww.. Hiiiiii! (Rik, the dog, is not interested) Ok bye. (Apologises) I can’t help it. It’s like my furrapy (furry animal therapy?!). I can’t handle not having animals in my life. I used to have three cats in NY and now I don’t have any. That’s really sad.


Are the cats OK?

F: Yeah, the cats are ok, it’s just me… I am not there.

So… let’s dive in. Would you like to tell us what it’s like for a Danish woman artist to break it in the American musical industry?

F: It’s always been … I don’t want to say easy… but it has been welcoming. Not sure whether it’s the fact that I am a woman, singer-songwriter and producer and I do everything myself…  or whether it’s the fact that I am Danish or Nordic.

"They are really into Scandinavian artists right now."

You’re hot stuff.

F: Yeah (giggles)… I don’t know if I’m hot stuff. But I definitely met a lot of support and a lot of early support for stuff that I did which is kinda why I ended up putting up those two eps over there just to get started. Now I am a little more critical and trying to make my debut album. This is what I have been working on for the past two years, and that’s going to be a big project… and this is what I have been teasing out for a long time now with all the singles coming out.

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When did you start doing home concerts?

F: Years and years ago. I did a Sofar sound gig in Aarhus and I did the 2400 Session thing. They are in smallest apartments ever. It’s amazing and they film it.

"As much as I love being on a big stage, I think it’s really cool when you scale it down and you can look in the eyes of the audience."


It’s very nerve wrecking! (nervous laughter!)

Really?

F: Yes. I think the most nervous I have ever been was last year at the Low-Fi gig we did in the KW3 (now called Villa Kultur). There was no backstage where you could get yourself pumped. So I just stood there watching people come in and thinking “Can I really sing” and being really really nervous. But then after a while it just become this magic thing in-between me and the audience. I have very rarely felt that connection with the audience.It was a long show and I was sharing stories and people were asking questions and people where right there in front of me.

"It was a very special night. All the nerves went away and we were all in this symbiosis."


I don’t know about them (laughter) but I felt it. They definitely gave me so much and I hope I got to give them a lot too. We were all in this higher energy power. It was amazing. That’s how it should always be but there are so many things that go wrong. On a stage when you have lights on your face and you can’t see the audience and thinking “Waaaah how many people showed up?!”. At the Low-Fi gig I was just there and that was truly special.

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So …are you looking forward to your concert on the 12th?

F: Yes, definitely. It will be different since it will be in a home, but it will definitely be cozy. I really look forward to just connect with people again. My last concert was last month in Aarhus and it was one of my biggest shows. It was in front of thousands of people on a stage elevated on a canal. The feeling of standing there was crazy and amazing in one way, but it was also so far away from the audience. I felt a like a doll put up on a stage to entertain. It looks great and it sounds amazing but it takes away from the intimacy. There’s no connection. I am looking forward to getting more closer to the audience.

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