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Heart/Dancer on Swedish Rap, Rooftops and Wikipedia Entries

heart:dancer_2These two sweet hearts above are Linnéa Atieno and Joakim Buddee from Stockholm. They make music as Heart/Dancer and quite spectacularly so. Waterfalls, attached below, is THE song, the only one that made it to general public yet, and after a mere 3 minutes and 50 seconds leaves you longing for more. Beautifully precise production, minimal and vast at the same time and vocals that are the icing on this indietronic pop tart. Ha! Well, the best news among a whole range of good news is, the single just came out this week via Sweden’s hottest label Sommarhjärta and the two of them are going to spend the summer not-getting-a-tan in the studio, recording, having knäckebröd and coffee:

What’s the last thing you ate?
We just had the standard Heart/Dancer afternoon breakfast with grapefruit, Swedish knäckebröd and lots of coffee in the studio.

How did you two meet?
We met through a collab with a mutual friend. After a weekend of writing Swedish pop music and drinking loads of red wine, we started sending songs to each other. That in turn led to a not too serious song called “Massmurderer From Hell (I Cut Your Brain)” under the name The Kaktus, and after that we met up and wrote the songs that are now Heart/Dancer.

Joakim, your roots lie in hip hop, if I’m not mistaken, east or west coast, or maybe even dirty south? Do you have a favorite hip hop artist?
J: Mainly I grew up with Swedish rap music by artists like LoopTroop and Timbuktu. I never was that interested in what was what when it came to the American rap scene, but I bought “Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Black Star) – Respiration” on vinyl. I think that song is kind of a good representation of the music I listened to back then.

How does hip hop influence your song writing?
J: I believe it’s given me a lot, like the importance of a groove and repetition (without getting bored), but what I feel I’m using most from hiphop is the spontaneity in the music, the ability to make music in the moment. I really feel that it has given me the cornerstones of my songwriting.

Linnéa, you come from sort of a more vocal-driven background, judging from earlier projects I listened to. With Heart/Dancer, everything feels a bit more electronical and technical. Is electronic music something you were always interested in?
L: I’ve been through every genre I think (except hip hop, I leave that for Joakim), I have done jazz, punk, orchestral music and a lot different stuff. But as soon as I started making music with my computer, it came natural to me to make more electronic music. Maybe because I hate audio, haha… I was alone in the beginning with no gear and it suited me to work with midi and being able to change things easily. I like having control and not being locked up by a badly recorded kick drum.

Do you both write the songs? How is the recording process for Heart/Dancer?
Yes, we do everything together! Usually, one of us has a sketch of a verse or something, and then we work on it together, or the other one takes over for a while and then gives it back again. In the beginning we mostly weren’t even in the same place, so we always sent the projects back and forth between each other. It’s often a bit messy, but somehow a good song is born along the way so we have just continued doing that.

What inspires you?
Mostly it’s about strong emotions that we want to translate to music. A lot of times we’re inspired of other people’s songs, we listen a lot to all sorts of music. But that’s emotions too, everything is carrying some sort of feeling. It’s all about finding the right ones and expressing that in the right way.

Your wikipedia page was deleted quite quickly because it did „not indicate the importance or significance of the subject“, how do you feel about that?
That was a tragedy! Having a page on Wikipedia was a dream come true for us (honestly), and we felt a bit empty when it disappeared almost instantly. But we guess we just have to do a lot of cool stuff now so we’ll get it back!

Anything „significant“ planned for 2014?
Yes, we’re gonna keep on releasing stuff together with our label Sommarhjärta which feels so awesome for us. This summer isn’t gonna result in an impressive suntan… We’re gonna stay in the studio and work on more songs. And hopefully start playing live as soon as possible!

Where would you like to play live?
J: Rooftops are cool. I would like to play at a rooftop.
L: I want to play at a real filthy tent festival, doesn’t matter which one as long as it’s muddy like hell. I’ve never been to a real festival, and I guess it’s more likely for me to play at one than buying an expensive ticket.

Thanks for taking time!

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