It was really never a conscious choice to become a musician. I started playing the piano when I was 8 years old. When I turned 18 I got a guitar and started writing songs to learn how to play it. After a while I just had a bunch of songs and started recording them with some basic recording equipment and put them out on a website for people to download. Then I recorded a demo and sent it to a radio show that picked up my song ‘Ghosts’ and then all of the sudden people started to email me wanting to hear more. So I kind of just went from there.
What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?
The regular ones I guess. Record labels that want to turn you into something you are not etc. But I still think it’s a great surprise every time someone contacts me from another country having heard my music. It’s what keeps me going.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Not giving up. There are so many times you just feel like quitting. But I haven’t felt that in a while though. I think you have a lot of hopes and ideas about how stuff is going to be and sometimes when it turns out differently it strikes you down. But I think that I’ve actually passed that now. I know now that my music career is only what I make of it and that I have to do it for me and not for anybody else or any other reasons than that I like what I do.
Tell us about your band.
I’m a solo artist but back home in Sweden I have a backing band of four guys that I absolutely love. They are super talented and they know my music as well as I do – even if I present a brand new song for them. I’m on a two year solo tour right now and sometimes I really miss the companionship you have when you’re in a band. But at the same time it’s exciting to be up there on stage aloe. You’re totally left out to what you do and have nothing to hide behind. It’s scary and wonderful at the same time.
What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
I think that it usually starts with a melody for me, but sometimes I can get inspired by a phrase or something someone says. In the end I think all my songs have their roots in my feelings and personal experiences, even though the lyrics can be twisted into something else.
Tell us about your most memorable performances.
I think it’s a tie between the first time I got to perform at a festival (years before I actually released an album) and when I played at the Lollapalooza festival in 2008. I think the feeling of those two concerts were the same. I was overwhelmed by being invited to perform and it doesn’t really matter what size the concert was. The Lollapalooza was amazing because it was so big and you got to hang out at this huge backstage area where all sorts of famous artists walked around. But at that first festival I played in Sweden, my husband (then boyfriend) and I drove down there and we slept in the car and that was just amazing too, especially since it was my third gig ever.
Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?
I’ve shared the stage with some awesome Swedish artists like Christian Kjellvander for example. Here in the US I was one of the opening acts for Suzanne Vega at SxSW one year and that was pretty cool too even though we weren’t on stage at the same time.
Anything else you want to share?
Keep your eyes open for my tour if you’re in the US. I’m here for two years going around the country in an old RV that I bought in Florida.
Check out Sofia Talvik at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/sofiatalvik