Mirel Wagner's genius is in the subtly of things. It's she alone on stage, her haunting voice nearly a whisper as the Nordic Music Prize winner accompanies herself on guitar, gently plucking away at each track from her acclaimed sophomore album When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day, on which her skeletal songs contrast with the intoxicated festival lunacy where she is performing them.

Despite the obnoxious broods and thunderous amps housed on the other side of Provinssi's park, Mirel is focused inside her isolated world within the stage lights, where she seems to relive her stories from her modern folk tales as she sings them. And while she plays, more people are captivated and drawn into her space, where everything is subtle and aware.

Congrats on your success with the Nordic Music Prize and your rave-reviewed album When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day. What are you working on now?

Writing new stuff. I'm constantly writing and touring and playing the songs from the last project.

Have you sat down and planned out what you want for your next album, or is it something that you consistently write and create to see where it goes?

It's sort of a mixture of both. Of course, I always want to have a direction - any direction and continue moving so you're not repeating yourself. In some ways also, I don't think too much about what I'm doing in that sort of sense. I just do.

Your last project, it was so dense creatively in regards to the way that you write. So is taking time to conceptualize usually part of your creative process and how is that artistic progression for you, because it comes across as so intricate?

It's very slow. It's so slow. Mostly, the thinking is something that happens constantly and then there's the writing stuff that is sort of the finishing lines of the sprint.

Where would you say you are creatively now in comparison to where you were when you were working on When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day?

I'm in the same place. Creatively, I'm still at the start of my career and artistic ambitions so they are still largely not fulfilled. I do lots already but I want to try new things. However, I am in a good place.

What are some of those things you'd like to try? What's on your creative bucket list?

Music-wise, I would love to have a very very large gospel choir. That sort of thing.

Which is so cool, because that's the opposite of what I saw on stage. What I saw was subtle and soft and a gospel choir is so much.

I'm open to it. I'm open to anything and everything. If it works, then it works. I try not to think about it too much.

Because then you limit yourself.

Exactly and you sort of paint yourself into a corner. You overthink and you can't get anything done.

What inspires you currently?

Just life in general. It's kind of hard for me to pinpoint things that inspire me when it's just a constant stream that gets stuck in my undercurrent subconscious mess and that's where I sort of draw things.

So festival season is hectic for you. You're playing nearly every festival your country has to offer. How have you prepared - or have you?

No, I haven't but I think I should start. I have no complaints though. I really enjoy playing.

You give so much on stage and your performance is very personal. It can be very vulnerable, especially with a rowdy festival crowd, to be so exposed on stage with just you and a guitar. How do you prepare for those moments on stage? Is there a routine you have that gets you into that current state of mind or are you always able to just go to the place you need to be to perform your enigmatic set?

I just try and breathe and try to remember that most people don't want any bad for you and they're not out to get you. People are just there to hear your music and so I try to keep that in mind. They're not trying to stone me. I don't really think about it. I just play. At some point, I just think that it isn't my problem. It's the audience's problem if they don't want to listen, in some ways. I'm not there to win anyone over. I'm just there to play and connect.

What's your ideal performance place? If you were to think of heaven as a stage, what would that look like?

This is going to sound so stupid, but my bedroom.

Because that's where you write most of your work?

Yes, exactly.

I see that. Because when you perform, it seems like it could be your bedroom. It's intimate. It's kind of like you invited us in, instead of the other way around.

That sounds nice.

It sounds nice for us too.


You can visit Mirel Wagner by heading here.