Nina Persson of The Cardigans and A Camp on Her Solo Album and Balancing Motherhood with Artistry - Interview | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Nina Persson of The Cardigans and A Camp on Her Solo Album and Balancing Motherhood with Artistry

New Horizons

May 13, 2014 Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - Portlandia Bookmark and Share

“Less bearded music.” That’s how Nina Persson, Swedish born frontwoman for both The Cardigans and A Camp, describes her debut solo album, Animal Heart. For Persson, releasing music for the first time under her own name has given her freedom to move in a different direction.

“I thought it would be really fun to do something that’s a little bit more modern-sounding,” says Persson. “With both The Cardigans and A Camp, I’m attached to musicians who are really driven guitar players. With Animal Heart, I was going to take the chance to ditch the guitars…. Also, I started listening to music in the ‘80s, so I thought it would be fun to glance at that.”

Animal Heart is a sparkling pop work that relies on analog keyboards and synthesizers to set the mood, but it is an album led by Persson’s voice, which takes center stage throughout the album’s 12 tracks. Recorded in Brooklyn, Sweden, and her current hometown of Harlem, it’s also the first album Persson has crafted since having her first child three years ago.

“One thing that really played a big role in the decision [to make this a solo album] was that this was the only way I could think of working while I have a child,” says Persson. “I’m the only factor, the only agent that needs to be moved around, the one person to make decisions. It was easier logistically.”

Persson also found herself needing to adjust her typical writing methods.

“I used to be very thoughtful when I was writing. I would sit long nights, drinking tons of red wine; it was just hard and anxious,” she says. “This time it all happened in daylight. It was just easier. I found a way to just go with my intuition and decided that whatever I do fast is going to be good enough.”

“I realized really early on that if I was going to go with my old M.O., I was going to kill myself,” she adds. “There were many times where I was at a crossroads. If I’m going to have this job, it has to be easier. If I can’t trust what I do intuitively, I don’t know if I can do this anymore, because I can’t sweat that much. It has to do with having to get up in the morning and get my kid to school, and it also has to do with the fact that I can’t have anxiety be my job.”

While Persson plans to tour the album, this time she has new priorities.

“I don’t want any of my work to ever hurt my son,” says Persson. “I think it’s really good for a kid to see that their parents have jobs that they love and that inspire and challenge them, jobs that they really want to do. But I also don’t want him to feel like I will ever leave him for anything.”

“It’s wonderful to realize that I’m totally the same person, just with a kid,” she continues. “You can sometimes have weird thoughts that it can turn you into somebody else, that it’s going to make you want different things. It’s not really true. And I’m happy to have discovered that.”

[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s February/March/April print issue (Issue 49).]


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