With her brand new single Show Me Now premiered here on Radar today, and her second album Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy out next week, we caught up with Swedish pop phenomena Ida Redig to talk about creative highs and songs without limits.
I won’t do the mistake of comparing Ida Redig to any other female pop phenomena that have emerged in Sweden over the past five years. With influences ranging from deep house to the commercial pop of co-writer Kristoffer Östergren from Melody Club, Ida Redig has fashioned an album for the flickering lights of the dance floor more than anything else. The electronic beats and unapologetic intensity of Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy is vastly different from her toned down, acoustic debut and she wants to keep it that way as she continues to construct new, wild sounds in the studio she bought and built herself.
By taking control over the production process, Ida’s music is firmly her own. When I speak to her on a miserable January morning, about creative highs and songs without limits, it’s clear that dreams don’t exist. Ida Redig always wrings visions into reality.
What were you thinking when you were making this record?
– All the time I had this vision; it’s going to be big and it’s going to speak to you and you will feel the music inside of you, also literally, with heavy drums and bass. You have to feel it.
– After the debut I wanted to something different and it felt very natural to do this kind of music. I wrote lots of songs for two years, maybe forty, fifty songs and they were really good, but they were not exactly how I wanted them to be. Then I began working with Kristoffer and the pieces came together. It felt right.
Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy;
that’s what it’s all about
The album seems to be made for the dance floor. It woke me up this morning. It was like getting ready for a party.
– I’m so glad to hear it. Some people say it sounds like Lykke Li or an eighties thing. It’s hard for people to put a finger on it and I’m very happy about that, because it means I’ve done something different. My opinion is that it’s me, Ida Redig, and I like what you say about it being dance music. You have to want to dance when you listen to it.
You went to a prominent music college in Gothenburg. Did it have an impact on you?
– There’s only one thing I’ve taken with me from school. I had a teacher called Tommy Kotter, who played jazz piano. He was so cool. I don’t like jazz music at all, but he made me look at music in another way; there are no rules. That’s how I write music now, I write how I feel.
– I watched a documentary about Primal Scream recently and saw how they threw away their drums and guitars and played with synthesizers and mixed everything up. I realised that’s the way I’ve been making my music. It’s important to do what you think. Sometimes people wanted me to change this and that, but I believed in it. Now, when the whole album is done, I’m very happy that I’ve made these decisions and I had the courage to stand up for my opinions.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
– Myself. I’m most proud of my music and the fact that I produced it by myself and made it just the way I wanted. Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy; that’s what it’s all about. You have to do what you love and sometimes you have to go through with it even though you’re the only one who believes in it. You can’t do anything half-way, you have to do it fully. I’m proud of myself for making an album that is so good.
That’s so nice to hear, because sometimes when I interview people, and especially women, they don’t take credit for their own work. It’s great to hear that you are so confident in what you want to do and what you’ve created. What will your next album be like?
– This is my new sound and I will hold on to it, but my next album will go one step further. I have a really good flow right now. Success leads to success. It makes me want to work more and put it all out there. I want to be better, develop and challenge myself even more. The ten years ahead of me will be a good ten years.
Perhaps in the same way as Primal Scream made Screamadelica you will make something completely different again in a few years’ time?
– I think so, except that they were in the studio doing drugs and writing songs about drugs… I’m trying to have that feeling without the drugs! We’ll see where it’s going to land.
Anything you want to add?
– No, just…
Listen to the album?
– Yeah, you will be blown away.
Listen to Ida Redig’s brand new single Show Me Now here. Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy will be out on March 5.
Photography by Linus Morales.