Interview with Erik Odsell

Erik Odsell is an award winning Swedish songwriter and recording artist. For several years he has worked as a freelance musician behind many well-known Swedish artists and he has written music for artists both in Europe and the United States.

What made you decide that music is the right path for you?

I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. As a small child my dad used to put me in a baby chair in front of the old grand piano at our house while he was playing and I just sat there, spell bound, listening. When I was 7 I started playing the piano and also started singing in a well-reputed boys choir in Sweden and at the age of 13 I picked up the guitar, learning to play be ear and trying to make the guitar sound like my favourite records. That’s also when I started writing songs. After high school I played in a lot of bands and later on started singing background vocals and playing with other artists in Sweden. I also started writing music for other artists but sometime after 2012 I decided I wanted to pursue a career as a solo artist.

What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?

My writing process usually starts with a short melody. From that I start working on harmonies and then I try to find the right feeling of the song. When I know where I’m headed with the song, musically, I start working on the lyrics.

What would be your dream support gig? Bonus points for place/venue.

I grew up listening to a lot of great pop from the 70s. I remember, as a kid, riding in my dad’s old, blue, Volvo station wagon in the 80s listening a lot to Elton John. My dad had this mix tape in the car and I just loved Elton’s music. I still listen a lot to Elton’s 70s-stuff and I believe it’s pure genius. Elton’s music has probably shaped me as a songwriter more than any other artist’s music has. If I could support Elton at a gig and perhaps even sing a song like Border Song together it would be a dream come true. And while we’re dreaming – why not support him at Hollywood Bowl, haha. I also wouldn’t mind singing a song or two with Adele, haha.

Give our listeners some music recommendations that we should check out!

Well first of all you should check out my co-writer Morten Kier. He has released music both in English and in his native language Danish. His international stage name is Kier. Morten is an amazing songwriter and an incredible singer. You should totally check him out. I also listen a lot to the Danish pop artist Mads Langer. If you havn’t checked him out – you should. Also – if you’re into pop/rock music with amazing vocal performances you should check out NeedToBreathe. I also wanna recommend listening to the Swedish artists Laleh and Seinabo Sey. They have made some pretty amazing songs.

Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?

Well, my latest release – Human – has been in the making for quite some time. Me and my co-producer actually started calling it Chinese Democracy II, haha. I started working on the first couple of songs in LA in November 2016, right after the 2016 American Presidential election. At the time Donald Trump became President I felt that something had changed. The political rhetoric in both the US and in Europe was suddenly about dividing people into “us” and “them”. That made an impact on me and I felt I had to write about my feelings. So the first two songs I wrote for my new album, with my co-writer Morten Kier, was “Love Riot” and “Human”. The album was originally planned to be released in 2018 but then a lot of personal stuff happened in my life forcing me to take a break from working on the album. When I started working on it again the idea was to release the album in 2020. But then we had the corona-crisis with all the restrictions so once again the album was postponed. However – this summer me and my
label decided to release it anyway. You can watch the whole story about the album in this short documentary, here:


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