Music requires balance. For RAINDEAR, this plays out as a tug-of-war between her pop-sensibilities and an experimental side still most comfortable in the shadows. On her latest single, ‘Coins’, RAINDEAR takes a beat to revel a little in the darkness.

“It's not a positive song, but at least it's independent and filled with the realisation of an unsustainable situation.”

I caught up with RAINDEAR over email to discuss her relationship with music, Stockholm’s music scene, and what keeps artists like her going.

What are some of your earliest memories of music? Who are the artists that when you listen to them now suddenly take you back to your childhood?

My earliest memories are probably all of the jam sessions my parents had in our living room where we grew up. They used to have them downstairs and it was my favourite lullaby to fall asleep to upstairs, hearing these groves through the walls. When I hear those tunes or similar ones now (jazz music) I find myself very comfortable and satisfied deep into the soul so it might have something to do with that?

When did you start down the path of writing and performing your own original material? How do those early songs differ from what you are creating now?

When I was a kid I wanted to make mainstream, children-friendly pop suitable for Eurovision and other TV shows like that (lol). Then, I went on to writing “Amy Winehousey”- jazzy pop because I was hugely influenced by her for a time. But as the years went by, I got more into electronic stuff and I just naturally ended up doing what I do now- which is far more “me” than ever before... My early songs are pretty good, but I’m just so much better at understanding the whole picture now - soundscapes and textures, etc. Now I see myself as much as a composer and a producer as an artist; earlier I was more “a singer who wrote my own songs”- if that makes sense? Nothing wrong with that. I’m just meant to have more than one role in the process.

Your songs have a strong focus on rhythm, balancing tight beats on woozy tightropes. How does this affect your approach to writing a song? Do you find yourself focusing on beats first?

Yes I think I do. I always start with some kind of a rhythm that’s distinct enough. Then I definitely go back to it later on and make it better. But I find it important to have an idea of how the beat should be when I start.

Are there any artists or bands you consider an influence that may surprise fans?

I personally don’t think my influences are surprising at all but I guess fans might be surprised about the variety of genres I listen to. I have listened to a lot of classical, jazz and world music in my days. Recently I’m mostly just blasting random techno I find on Soundcloud.

What do you wish more outsiders knew about Stockholm’s music scene?

As much as it’s inspiring to be in the “capital of pop” where pretty much everyone makes music, it’s also very tiring. Sweden is a tiny country and therefore we don’t have a lot of “room” for different subcultures and alternative genres. Sometimes it feels like all that ever matters here is mainstream pop (and some hip hop). The cooler alternative stuff you hear that reaches beyond Sweden’s borders usually doesn’t get a lot of attention over here. For example Niki & The Dove and Little Dragon would NEVER have the success they’ve had without their international hype.

However one magical thing about the Stockholm scene is the many huge feminist/equality networks (like Oda Studios, Upfront Producer Network, Popkollo, etc.) that have popped up the last few years. I’m super involved in these projects and I would say it’s pretty unique to the whole world.

The ease of accessibility to so much music and niche communities essentially going global has blown the music industry wide open. What keeps you optimistic not only for your own pursuits, but for those musicians still wet behind the ears, creating in this newly charted territory?

Very few artists can make a living of their music these days so it’s pretty hard to keep optimistic when you think of that, ha ha. I would say, community is everything. This industry is gonna break your heart from time to time, so you can’t be alone. You need to find your people to gang up with. Stop competing and start organizing your group because you will need each other! When you have a community that shares your values and that you can trust, you’ll be secure with whatever happens.

If you could collaborate with two artists, who would they be and why?

I potentially have one dream collab planned but not gonna jinx it. Other than that I actually don't like mentioning other artist cause then I might miss some and it's not really my thing to go around thinking too much of dream collabs, cause maybe I don’t know what my dream collab is yet. Maybe I’ll know it when I hear it?