We were first introduced to rapper Beri last year when she became one of the winners of the contest “Nästa Nivå” at the mere age of 16. Since then she has released her debut single Fri and is currently working on her upcoming debut EP. She told Radar about battling her inner demons, being compared to Rosh and what’s next to come.
What made you apply to “Nästa Nivå”?
– It was a really rash decision! I was 16, about to turn 17, and didn’t have anything else going on, so why not? I have been doing music since I was about 10 years old. It started out with just poems and then I added some beats and went to a studio to simply soak up the environment. But I didn’t really see it as a career.
Which studio was it?
– The studio was called “Vägen ut” which is an organization that was founded in 2006 just outside of Stockholm. The lead singer from the group Panetoz is the founder and he wanted it to become a place where troubled kids could go. So that’s where it all started for me!
What was it like the first time you went there?
– I was about 13-14 and a friend of mine convinced me to come with her to “Vägen ut” and when we got there they wanted me to rap, which I was really reluctant to haha.
The darkness will always be a part of me, it shows where I’ve been and what I’ve gone through, there’s no shame in that
Why were you so reluctant?
– I don’t know, it was kind of embarrassing to me. It was new and scary. And I felt very exposed since I had never rapped in front others before and the only lyrics I had were the poems I had written over the years. The first song that I rapped at “Vägen ut” was Fly by Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. And when I stepped out of the booth, people had gathered to listen to me and were like “Damn you’re really good!” After that I got a taste of something that I liked and began working on my music and writing a song that eventually became my contribution to “Nästa Nivå”. Applying to the contest became a reason for me to finish the song.
What was it like being on the show?
– The whole thing was really about me appreciating the chance that I’d been given, I mean the people that I worked with during the show had all left their homes and families to work with me and make my dreams come true. You have to appreciate that and acknowledge it. Before the show I was at a point where I didn’t even know if I wanted to pursue music as a career, but when people in the industry take their time to help you and believe in you, you take that opportunity. Cause who am I to turn it down you know?
For Nästa Nivå you went to Copenhagen to produce a song and record it. You were only there for a day, what was it like to finish your debut single in such a short amount of time?
– It was a real challenge and I don’t think that anything could have prepared me for it! But the beat was already finished and I had brought some notes with me to see if there was something useful in there. I decided to use my mothers phone number for the song, which helped me a lot.
Was it a natural choice for you to write about your mother?
– I think it was a natural choice for me to write about myself and whatever came along with that. Since my mother passed away when I was 10 years old all my texts have been autobiographic, so it became very natural for me to include her. Since she has always been such a great part of my life.
How would you describe your texts?
– They used to be very dark and they would consist of me battling my inner demons. And in the texts I would turn to my mother for help, so that the darkness would go away. She became the light and I became the darkness. Two opposites. So it became very natural for me to write dark music so that I could get rid of all the emotions that were bringing me down. But I will never be ashamed. The darkness will always be a part of me, it shows where I’ve been and what I’ve gone through, there’s no shame in that.
What would you like to write about in the future?
– A song that’s fully dedicated to my mother where I can convey the feeling of loss. But I’m saving that one for later.
I’m not scared of being compared because fear won’t get you anywhere in this industry
Do you ever get compared with the female rapper Rosh?
– Vocally there’s absolutely a resemblance, but she’s more of a gangster rapper than I am. She has released more material than I have so people have a pretty clear understanding of who she is. When I’ve released my EP I think that you will hear the difference. Rosh is a lot “harder” in the way she raps and writes her music, and she kills it that scene. I’m on the other hand is focusing more on being a bit softer. But I’m not scared of being compared to her because fear won’t get you anywhere in this industry. I would love to collaborate with her because she’s awesome! Rosh and I are both young females in an industry that is dominated by men. We shouldn’t be competing against each other, we’re not enemies, we’re allies and therefore we should always stick together.
What’s important to you?
–To be remembered and never be forgotten. Whether I continue to live through my younger sister or through my music, my legacy can’t die when I do. It’s important for me to find ways to live on and to love myself. By loving yourself you always find happiness in one way or another. And people around you won’t be able to break you since you know how to help yourself. That’s what’s important to me.
– My debut EP and a new single that will be released this summer. It’s called “Niceguzz” and is inspired by the photographer Saga Berlin and is dedicated to all the hard working females out there!
Photography by: Saga Berlin/Niceguzz