Under the Radar: HELH

HELH is a new name to the music scene. The Gothenburg based artist released their dreamy, electronic, dance pop debut single Body last week. They say the song was written out of frustration, and I feel quite frustrated that the song is only 3 minutes long. I have listened to Body on repeat since the first time I heard it, and I can’t wait for HELH to make more music!

I met up with HELH (or Hanna, which is their real name) the morning after their releaseparty in Stockholm, one hour before they were going back to Gothenburg. Just enough time to take some pictures and have a small chat!

What were you doing five minutes ago?
– Five minutes ago I watched Netflix and ate crisps in bed.

Can you tell us about your new single Body?
– Body is an exploration of my own desire and sense of self, sexuality and gender. I wrote it one night after coming home from a club I think, and instead of venting to a friend I made a song. And then vented to a friend.

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How did you choose your artist name HELH?
– It’s actually my initials, and I’ve used them in a similar fashion at least since I was is sixth grade and wanted to be a fantasy author called H.E.L. Hasselberg. Maybe some day…

What are you most proud of?
– It would be my siblings, who both are so intelligent and big-hearted.

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How come your music sounds the way it does?
– I think the way I write lyrics might be influenced by artists I listened to when I started to realise that I could make music too, who were Regina Spector, Kate Nash and Annika Norlin. Then I fell in love with the potential and playfulness of electronic music, and Grimes obviously. And then I met Linnéa Atieno who is my producer and a really big part of the sound. Right now I’m doing a course in music producing so that we can work more effectively together.

If you were an animal, which would it be?
– I recently did the Pottermore test where you find out which patronus you would have if you sadly were not a muggle. I got a bay stallion!

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You have tattooed your best friend’s name on your arm as a birthday gift to her. What was her reaction, and will she do the same for you on your birthday?
– When I sent her a picture (we were in different countries), she was so happy she ran into the bedroom where her mom was sleeping and woke her up. I think she may have been crying too? But it was sort of already a returning favour, since she had gotten a really big tattoo symbolising me. Haha! Aren’t we cute?

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If you would live elsewhere than Gothenburg where would that be?
– I lived in Oxford for a while and have since given up on the dream of studying there, but omg that city is beautiful. San Francisco would be amazing, too!

If you had a podcast, what would it be about?
– I had one, once! We made one episode, and I had the idea that it could be about coming of age, trying to figure out what to do with life, etcetera. I usually feel quite good about myself, but I couldn’t stand listening to me just blabbering on about not-so-interesting things. I’d rather listen to others, having conversations about philosophy or politics.

Your most recent lie?
– I never lie.

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What are you doing in five years?
– In five years I have used up all of my student loans and I really hope I have figured out what to do with them until then. Maybe I will even have a job?