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We caught up with Be Svendsen to talk his album tour, new single ‘October Letters’ and SolSahara upcoming gig.
Electronic Groove: Hey Be, welcome again to EG. you’ve been on the road for your album tour, with stops in Miami for III Points Festival, Denver, Chicago, Vancouver, followed by global dates in Athens, Rome, Saint Martin, the Sahara desert and a few others. How does it feel to be able to perform to such a variety of different cultures?
Be Svendsen: Hello guys, thanks for the invite. It’s such a great privilege to get around to many different corners of the planet while sharing my music. It’s amazing to see and meet such variation, while coming together over the music. When I get the opportunity to stay longer than just the night of the play, arriving one or two days before makes a huge difference in getting a feeling of the place instead of running in/out. This last month has been incredible, with the destinations you are mentioning, and right now I’m sitting in a beach-villa at Playa Venao in Panama – amazing place, blessed with 4 days here, which is quite unusual for my schedule. Regarding the different cultures, there are definitely differences to be felt from country to country, but the music and the emotion it carries, often dissolves such, and brings about a similar response regardless of geographical and cultural position. Unified by a wordless language and mirroring each others emotions. How cool is that!
EG: You must feel quite a connection with your audience wherever you may perform. Do you prefer more intimate crowds compared to the larger festival stages? Does your performance change in any way, depending on the size of an audience?
Be Svendsen: It’s a good question. I definitely have a more intimate experience when I’m closer and more in eye-height with people. I get into the flow faster when I can see people’s faces and response. Although bigger crowds and stages also can be super amazing, I think I prefer a slightly more intimate setting. Lately during the album tour, I have had some big stage experiences where I almost felt like I was playing a concert where people really come to hear the tracks, that was super amazing! Only a few times I have been booked to play at a big venue for a crowd where the majority weren’t familiar with my work, and I was high up on a stage quite far from the audience. Those situations can be difficult both music-wise, and personally leaving me feeling very disconnected – in those rare cases I totally feel that it affects my performance and I go to sleep semi-depressed (laughs). I’m super sensitive to these things, but fortunately the majority of the crowds I play for, especially the people in the front rows, often already have a relation to my music which feels amazing. It helps my confidence big time, when I feel the anticipation from people. They are so sweet and lovely, the devoted listeners. <3
EG: Do you have any pre-show rituals you do before playing?
Be Svendsen: I try to get a moment of gathering my focus in various ways, but it only really works if I have a quiet back stage room, which is rarely possible. However, sweet and well meaning people and devoted listeners can be when talking to you in the minutes right before you go on stage, it can be very energy demanding and focus confusing. The few times where I have had the smoke-free quiet green room that we ask for in the contract, I’ve clearly felt the difference. A moment of polishing ones sword, definitely enhances ones chances of taking things to a satisfying level.
EG: ‘October Letters’ is the third single off your album ‘Between A Smile And A Tear,’ can you define your album in three words?
Be Svendsen: Nostalgic Groovy Memories.
EG: ‘October Letters’ is inspired from a chapter out of your great-grandfather’s book ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ [J. Anker Larsen]. How does it feel to be able to fuse what was once your great-grandfather’s work of art, into your musical production? His art & work became the inspiration for what you have now created. That must feel pretty special!
Be Svendsen: I love my great great grandfathers work, especially ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ which he won a big literature prize for in 1923. I resonate with its message, and it felt only natural to take inspiration from his work. I intent to one day make a whole record with songs written from the book. I am the last descendant in his blood-line and it feels special to fuse our works.
EG: You’re performing at the Sol Sahara event in Morocco this April! I see it’s an intimate event celebrating life, music and adventure. Can you tells us any insider information on what guests will truly experience and take away from it?
Be Svendsen: It is Sabo and Amine K who are the organizers, and all I know is that they have put a lot of efforts and planning into this, to make it a special experience. I don’t know much more than what it says on the website. 4 nights, Sahara desert, bedouin music, small intimate gathering, camels, and deep desert music. Right up my alley! Sabo is Mr. Desert and I really love what him and his fiancé Helia are doing regarding style artwork and branding of Sol Sahara. I believe we can expect a tastefully well curated lush weekend. I’m really really looking forward to it. Oh, yes, and I intend to nail how to take good milky way night sky photos out there. Thanks for having me here, and for good questions!
Find more about SolSahara event here.
Be Svendsen’s ‘Between a Smile and a Tear’ is already available. Buy/Stream here.