Alexandra Jardvall on her album ‘Aurora Skies’
Alexandra Jardvall is not here for celebrity. She simply wants to do what she loves: make music.
She has been composing, producing and performing successfully for over 20 years as an independent artist. A natural entertainer, she booked her first paid gig in 1987.
Today, Alexandra plays over 100 gigs a year all over Scandinavia. On the small stage and in large arenas, she accompanies her powerful, husky contralto with guitar and harmonica.
Alexandra has played for everyone from the Swedish Royal Family to the KFOR forces in Kosovo and Macedonia yet you can still find her live show in intimate settings like pubs and on the popular cruises between the Nordic countries.
As a solo artist she has two albums under her belt: ‘As Good As It Gets’ (2009) and ‘Aurora Skies’ (2016).
Rings + Things caught up with Alexandra to talk about her influences and her latest studio offering.
Influences and inspiration for ‘Aurora Skies’
Alexandra, in your live performances, you often pay homage to musical giants from the 1960s like Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. What is it about music from that era that inspires you?
I love music in all forms, but I do prefer “the real deal” as in real musicians playing real instruments. That’s inspiring.
In September you released your second studio album ‘Aurora Skies’ containing only original songs. What was your inspiration?
I wasn’t planning a second album actually, but at one of the ships I work on, I started discussing music with a fellow musician and found out we both liked that Americana tainted music.
As a joke I said ”text me the first line of our new song and I’ll text back the second line”. That continued and in a couple of months we had ten ready songs, without even meeting in person.
It was great and forced me to step out of my comfort zone in many ways, like not writing about death, loss and sadness. It was also the first time I really wrote songs together with someone.
Real scary but fun and educating.
Alexandra Jardvall on her influences
What is it that you love about the sound of Americana?
To my ears, it’s simple and straight forward. I understand it.
What is your favorite song on the album? Why is it special to you?
”Hero” cause that’s what we are, all of us. It’s just hard to remember sometimes. My sisters kids sing in the end and that always puts a smile on my face.
What do you want listeners to take away from your songs?
From ‘Aurora Skies’, I’d say recognition and a huge smile.
Being an independent musician in the digital age
Technology has changed the music industry in a big way since you started out. What has this meant for you as an independent artist?
– It’s a lot easier to reach out to my fans and also easier to get new fans, all over the world. Saying that, it’s sadly impossible to earn any money from digital music services.
If you could go back twenty years ago when you were just entering the music business, what advice would you give yourself?
– Same thing I tell myself today; trust yourself and your guts. Never doubt your musicality. Your own chosen path is the right path. Show respect and be grateful.
You’re booked for gigs almost every week of the year. During your performances you have a very unique way of engaging the audience and getting them involved in the music. It’s clear that you’re passionate about what you do. What motivates you as an performer?
– There’s no motivation needed. Playing music and performing keeps me alive. Always has, always will.