After establishing herself with a vast array of rich and shimmering gems this past year, Swedish artist Ulrika Berg is now looking to cement her legacy to date with the release of her eagerly-awaited self-titled debut album.
Featuring a flurry of previously unveiled single including 'Stay Queen', 'Do You Want It' and 'I Got You', her first full-length makes for a wonderfully enticing listen. With her warm and mesmerising vocals layered across a diverse R&B production from start to finish, she is certainly looking to make a bold statement with this initial collection.
So with the new album available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The voice. I was fascinated by opera as a kid. My mum taped performances to VHS whenever opera would be on the TV. I watched it on repeat. Felt it was so powerful and emotional. And then I fell in love with the flute, loved the airy tone of it.. I played it for about two years when I was 9 or so. The teacher I had at that time focused mainly on theory and it didn't resonate with me at the time so sadly I didn't continue as I wanted to play by ear.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
Soul, Motown, Swedish pop, and 90's EDM.
What was the first album you remember owning?
It was a tape by the Swedish Pop duo Lilie & Susie that I got for Christmas when I was about 4.. and then the first album I bought with my allowance was Mariah Carey’s’ Daydream.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Is this love’ by Bob Marley, to me it's the best love song ever made. The simplicity of the melody and the love expressed in the lyrics is just how I want love to be. It's like butter to my soul.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I sing melody ideas that comes to me often without any instrumentation, I usually do a few ideas and then pick my favourites, then create the chords and demo for it. Most of the time the lyrics come last in the process if it doesn't come to me straight away. If I am in lack of inspiration I'll listen to live concerts of the genre of music I like and then let it sink in a bit in silence before I start to create. I am the most productive when I am either very happy or very sad. Emotions inspire a lot.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
At the moment I'm listening to Tom Misch, Teyana Taylor, Mac Ayres, Lucky Daye, Summer Walker, Steve Lacy and a lot of Bossa Nova and Latin playlists.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Oh wow... So many I admire but today I'd say Daniel Caesar. Love him.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
The magic of being able to create a song. Feel like it's a special gift I've been given. It's amazing to be able to just sing something that didn't exist a minute ago. Magic. So thankful for it.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Social media and the short attention span mindset of it and that at times it seems like everyone is needed to be an extreme extrovert nowadays. Breaks my heart a bit if I'm honest. But I get why it is happening of course and that is the reality of today. Everyone just needs to find their way of doing it whilst staying true to self.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
Practice makes progress. Done is better than perfect. Don't stop, keep going and your unique path will appear.
Ulrika Berg's self-titled debut album is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.