Interview with Sidsel Storm: The music is definitely spirit: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Sidsel Storm. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Sidsel Storm: – I was born in Copenhagen where I stil live. I grew up with a father who played guitar – accatually he played irish folk music, but also a lot of other genres. He worked as CEO on the local musicschool and every change I got, I went with him at work.

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time?

SS: – I´ve been singing all my life and if somebody asked me as a little girl what I wanted to be as a grownup, I would say ”I want to be a singer”. First I wrote rock/pop tunes and sang in a Rock band…. I was about 13 years old and when I turned 19 years old I got introduced for jazz music. And that was when a whole new journey started.

JBN: – What did you do to find and develop your sound?

SS: – I listend to many many jazzsingers and got inspiration from a lot of genres. It took some years to find my own personel jazzsound. And I found out that my voice is much better for jazzmusic.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

SS: – I always keep a courious mind and I love to learn and improve. every time I play live with my band is where I improve the most.

JBN: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in? 

SS: – Some of my own compositions are very inspiried of the simlpe melodies of Nordic traditionals. I am very fond of the ”good melody” and a less is more approach. I try to take these concepts and merge them with jazz. I rarely use dissonance, but when I do it is for the most part a conscious choice to create a feel or a vibe

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing? 

SS: – At the moment I try to stay away from social media as much as possible.

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

SS: – I try not to get stuck in my “head” when writing music. I like to let my self be guided by my emotions, feelings, state of mind etc. instead. It usually takes me to a better place, than if I try and write something very specific and over think things.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

SS: – Yes. I feel a deep connection. I do like pleasing my audience, performing I front of a live audience is one of my favourite things to do. But I will also challenge them from time to time, do songs in new arrangements, duo-versions maybe make decisions they wont necessary understand at first, but learn to love.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

SS: – My newest album was made when my youngest son was still a newborn. Actually the title song, Awake was recorded while he was with me in the vocal booth napping=)

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old? 

SS: – Here in Denmark we have competitions for jazz composeres under 30 years old – thats a fantastic opputunity for the young composers to get their music out to an audience. And concerning the standards … I love to sing standards and find my own version of the songs.

JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life? 

SS: – For me, music is definitely spirit. It is what lifts you up when you are down, helps you through hardships, helps set your mood etc. So in a sense music is spiritual.

JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be? 

SS: – Apparently we now find ourselves in a streaming era … lets just go back to vinyl’s and CDs 🙂

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

SS: – I´m listening to a lot of different genres – jazz, pop, indie, rock, folke music and so on, but I love my Pat Metheny albums, can’t go wrong there. These days I listen to some old school stuff – Ella, Coltrane etc. also some Nordic folk stuff like Thomas Dybdal.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music? 

SS: – My music is mostly about the little adventures of everyday life. The joy of seeing life evolve right before your eyes.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go? 

SS: – Well I would like to have lived in the 1920’s, where you would hear a live jazzband no matter what club you would walk in to.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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