Born and raised in Västerås, Sweden, Tilda Allie moved to Brighton to carve out her music career. Once in this city, it didn’t take long for her talents to be recognised by local record label QM Records. Tilda’s first home, Sweden have recently shown their support from being awarded with a Swedish Music and Culture grant for her work.
Tilda holds a strong appreciation for genres such as RnB, Neo-Soul and electronic music and it’s no wonder she has a high regard for artists including Björk, Amy Winehouse, NAO, Lianne La Havas and Erykah Badu. We had a chat with her all about her career to date, her Swedish background and her future plans!
What inspired you to first start writing music?
It was never something I picked to do, it has always been there. I have been lucky to have been exposed to music and art from a young age through my family, so it became the most natural way for me to express how I felt. Music is my therapy and it makes me feel like a whole person. I have to do it. This will sound super pretentious but it kind of picked me I didn’t pick it, if that makes sense.
Would you say living and growing up in Sweden helped you and your song writing in the UK? If so, how?
I definitely think that having a different background helps you to open up and allow yourself to explore music. My perception has grown and become broader because of this. Sweden has a great music scene and we have some great artists and bands that have the courage to stand out. I think this definitely has to do with the more left-wing politics that has lead the country for years. The arts are seen as a necessity for personal growth and we have a budget that supports it. This makes you grow up with the belief that you are capable of doing anything as you have the social safety net to catch you if you fall. This is why I think we have some of the world’s best songwriters and musicians out there because they got the opportunity to grow
I experience everything to be a little bit harder over here, you need to work for less money and for longer hours. I have definitely become more focused because of this but would probably never have had the courage to branch out from my home country without the secure foundation to stand on. This all affects my song writing of course and I take inspiration both from the music scene over here but mostly the mentality. The UK is such a melting pot of cultures and I have had the opportunity to meet people that have really inspired me in the way that they look at music and culture.
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Tell us a little about your new single ‘Further Than You’, what are the lyrics about?
I try not to say too much about my songs as I really want it to become special to every individual who listens to it. But I would say the song tries to capture the pain of finding comfort and strength within yourself, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and scared, free from judgment. “I have been walking so much further than you” is me helping myself to realise that if you look back you have already come so far. I have also chosen to use a few subtle references to some of my favourite songs in each line of the first verse as a honour to the bands and artists that have really helped me through some tricky times in life. I wonder if people will be able to spot the lines.
How did the production behind the song come together? Was this put together with you and your band?
I have actually only been playing with a live band since September 2016 so everything is moving really fast. The song came about around June and it is recorded and produced by the former Bitter Ruin member Benjamin James. We have an interesting way of working as he is based in Vietnam. Most communication is via email. Ben is an incredible guy and he is great with painting the full picture helping me to finalise ideas regarding sound and instrumentation. In this particular case we actually got the chance to meet and recorded ‘Further Than You’ in person just outside of Brighton. I am looking to recording my new song with the band as I prefer the rawer vibe and soulful touch that it brings to the songs. Who knows, we might just all go down to Vietnam for a month of recording..
‘Further Than You’ seems to capture soul, jazz and pop music together well.. What music influences being genres and artists, would you say you’re most inspired by?
This is one of the most fun and hardest questions to answer. This particular song draws influences from the UK artist NAO. I love her mix of electronic dark beats with soulful melodies and atmospheric synths. But throughout writing the current material, I have been constantly listening to Amy Winehouse, Björk, Lianne La Havas, Ella Fitzgerald, Radiohead and Hiatus Kaiyote.
I have heard the comparison to Janis Joplin and David Bowie too and there is definitely a lot of inspiration taken from a lot of 60s artist as I grew up listening to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Funkadelic, Janis Joplin, The Who and The Beatles. Blues and psychedelic rock are close to my heart.
Have you learned to play instruments alongside singing and song writing?
I have always played the piano. I grew up with a big old super dark upright piano at home and sort of learnt how to play without really knowing it. The guitar came much later around 14. I like writing on both. The guitar for more jazzy stuff and piano definitely for more pop based darker songs.
How would you describe your live show performance to someone who was considering coming to a show?
A mixture of insanity and a colourful explosion of emotions. I am very naked on stage (wearing my heart on my sleeve). Each song means so much to me and I can’t help myself from really getting into it. I think this is where the comparisons to Janis Joplin come in. Imagine Janis but covered in a full facemask of glitter.
Can we expect new songs to be released soon? Maybe an EP or an album?
Yes, you can. Exciting things are happening and I am planning on releasing my debut EP on 9th June. Hopefully, having a second EP finished by the end of the summer. I just really want to dig into music and write some new material. I feel so inspired for the summer to come and all the experiences it brings, so yes please keep an eye out for the coming EP!