Sophie Zelmani releases her new album “Soul” on November 23rd
There are not many artists that can unite the beautiful, bare & naked with a burning intensity in the same fashion that singer/songwriter Sophie Zelmani continues to do. Her debut came in 1995 and throughout the last 16 years she has consistently released bodies of work that soothe the body and the mind imbedded in a
shroud of melancholy and mystery. This Stockholm born singer has with the sparsest means entranced her admirers with music that reaches far under the skin – to a place where each breath can resound with the power of an earthquake. To make the quiet intense is something that Sophie and long time producer Lars
Halapi have made their signature sound.
“Soul” was recorded in Skåne in the South of Sweden and mixed by Ronnie Lahti at Medley Studios in Copenhagen. The result is a proud and soul-filled album.
You have a new album coming out shortly called “Soul”. When did you write the songs?
I guess last autumn. I began a while after the last tour ended. “If You’re Still A Dreamer” was the first song I wrote on this album. Then my inner self was pretty quiet for a few months before I started to travel down to Skåne (in the Swedish South) again where Lasse (Lars Halapi – long time producer) lives and has his studio. His place has become somewhat of a “safe haven” for me where I always feel at home. It is a good
place to get creative and write songs
Tell us about the writing process.
In recent years I have occasionally tried to write a certain type of song but usually I end up being irritated feeling disgusted with myself. The only thing that really works for me is to follow my instincts exactly and trust wherever it takes the music and usually I end up with a song without almost knowing how I ended up there. Sometimes I know if there is something I will need or want to write a song about but there is no sense in rushing it but it must be given time to form. I basically grab the guitar and take a c. .. or am … and something pops up or not…
What made the recording special this time? Where were you?
There is nothing really out of the ordinary about this recording. It took place during the spring and summer in Lasse’s studio. Most of the time it was just Lasse and myself – some days with the rest of us (musicians Thomas Axelsson and Peter Korhonen.) The luxury of having a studio right outside the doorstep is that it can be laid down as soon as a new song has been written. It’s unique to be able to capture the spontaneous
feeling one has at that very moment. When things are more pre-planned and the entire band is present another type of feeling is created – one that evolves around numerous people and a shared experience which also has it’s positives. Afterwards additional instrumentation and vocals are added. We mixed the album in Copenhagen at Medley studios.
How come it is always Lars Halapi by your side?
All I know is that the years have deepened what was apparent at out very first meeting. I hope it lasts a lifetime. And there are a thousand reasons for it.
Can you say three things that inspire you when making music?
I could say more .. Longing, missing, people’s sorrows, movies, other people’s music, insights, dreams
Is there a point in your 16 years as an artist that you think was key or stuck out? Any special memories?
Nothing compares to the first year. When we got to fly around the world because of a few songs. It was crazy, but pretty amazing. I wish I had been less opposed to it and to myself as I have great memories from that time that I am very grateful for. The memories start coming back, maybe because I want them now ..?
“Suddenly,” I understand that I am older, and every album that we are able to make becomes in itself a little victory.
Soul – what inspired the title?
If we had chosen one of the album tracks it would have been titled “my soul remembers.” So why not just take “soul”, which is a sufficiently nice short word packed with a lot of power in itself .. And this album has a bit more “soul” than usual .. I think