Interviews

Q&A: Greta Svabo Bech

Coming from the chilly Faroe Islands and signed to Propeller Recordings in Norway, the phenomenal Greta Svabo Bech has been creating some incredibly moving music. Recently releasing her latest single “Dominoes”, an enchanting and beautiful tune that delves into what it is to be human, Greta has also shared her captivating, tranquil music video for the previous single “Breathe”. We caught up with Greta to talk about her most recent release, her inspirations, and what it is like to live in the picturesque Faroe Islands.

Hi Greta – what’s your day been like?

After a bit of a hectic week, today started off pretty peacefully with a sea swim. At 7 degrees celsius it’s not as cold as it has been, but it still woke me up! I’ve spent the day going through mood boards, planning some filming, getting my creative brain on. It’s now exactly a week since Dominoes came out, which is exciting to think. I’d like to imagine that someone (my sister?) is dancing to it in their kitchen RIGHT NOW.

You came from The Faroe Islands, what is your favourite part about living there?

This past year, my favourite part about living here has been the ability to have some sort of semblance of “normal life” during covid. In the last couple of years I have started to appreciate the outdoors more. The elements can be harsh – dark, stormy, cold. I used to complain about the weather when I lived in the UK but there’s nothing like a Faroese winter storm to make you realise it’s not that bad over there! And after sea-swimming nearly every day this last winter, being outside in the changing elements can be what makes it interesting. It reminds you you’re small – part of something bigger than yourself.

What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘Dominoes’?

When I was 19 I lost a friend in a car crash, and the line “we’re just like dominoes, when we fall we fall the same we down”, was a line that came to me when I was driving. It was waiting for the right song. This idea that we are all equal after we have passed. Being human means being fragile, vulnerable, hurting easily – and knowing that nothing is permanent. As depressing as that sounds, there is also a magic to it – there can be magic in a moment.

What have you got in the world for the rest of the year after this?

After spending a fair chunk of last year finishing music, I’m really grateful to be sharing a lot of new music this year – with the lovely people at Propeller Recordings in Norway. Next month I’m performing at the Great Escape festival online. I don’t know how the “live” world is going to be looking but I would LOVE to get out and be performing the new music by the end of the year! Nothing can replace performing to real life humans, and that connection.

Are there any artists that inspire you the most when you’re writing?

I listen to a lot of new music all the time, so different artists inspire me at different times. There are a lot of authors who inspire me, and when I read a lot, it helps me think and write better – you get to live in universes you might never otherwise travel in. Reflect in a different way. I go through periods of reading a lot of surrealist fiction, to reading psychology books. Artists who are heavily involved in every facet of their creative process also inspire me a lot – like FKA twigs – who is so involved in her process in body, mind, art and spirit. I really just enjoy artists who are passionate about creating: I love hearing or reading about artists and their creative process. Why they write, what their journey has been, how deep they dive…

Where do you see yourself in the future with your music career?

I want to be the best storyteller I can be. And to keep searching for my favourite musical punchlines. So…wherever that journey takes me!

What is your songwriting process like? Is there any particular thing that motivates and inspires you to write?

It varies a lot. I keep notebooks. These notebooks go with me whatever the process. I wrote “Breathe”, which I released last month, on the guitar. The words, melody and chords all came together, when I was sat on the carpet of my bedroom in Liverpool. Sometimes I start writing at the piano, sometimes I start with a beat or a loop. A voice memo. I love writing alone as well as with someone else. You learn a lot from both.

You studied music in Liverpool, here in the UK. How was that, and what was your favourite part of being in the UK at that time?

Being a student in Liverpool was a lot of fun. It’s not too big there, and there is a great community – you recognise people on the street, but it’s big enough for you not to feel claustrophobic! My favourite part of being in the UK has always been the sense of humour – the Brits and their sarcasm feel like home. 😉

Thanks for chatting to us!

If you love Greta as much as we do, you can see her online performance at this year’s virtual The Great Escape showcase.

Keep connected with Greta Svabo Bech

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Q&A: Greta Svabo Bech
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