Tough Love With Steele
14th June 2018
Stockholm based singer Steele is toughening up the footpaths made by the likes of Goldfrapp. Ethereal, whimsical but full of drama, this singer is serving up the perfect sundazed soundtracks. We took some time out in the shade at a skatepark for a chat.
Hi Steele – is that your real name?
Hi! Yes, it’s my mum’s maiden name – she was born in the UK!
Your sound flirts between ‘dark pop’ and ‘trip hop’ – can you describe these bespoke genres to a newbie?
Well, ‘dark pop’ is (to me at least) the modern sound and melodies of ‘classic pop’ but with a more rough and melancholic undertone. ‘Trip hop’ is quite experimental and progressive, but the easiest way to describe it is a mix between low tempo hip-hop and electronica.
Who are your musical influences and why?
Ah, there are so many! I started off taking classical piano lessons at a very early age, but grew up listening to a lot of jazz, funk and soul at home. Then I was in the midst of the 90’s pop, grunge and trip hop. I’m influenced by so much, and listen broadly to most genres. I think it would be easier to say my inspiration comes from music, movies, nature and relationships.
Your voice has serious cinematic qualities – if you could soundtrack a film, what would it be and why?
I adore sci-fi, so if there will be a sequel to ‘Interstellar’ or ‘Inception’ – call me! J
What’s the meaning behind new single Temporary Love?
I find relationships to be a very curious thing. You have this bond with someone, sometimes for a very long time and share your best and worst moment, deepest thoughts and dreams. And when it ends, all of a sudden that person becomes a stranger that you barely even glance at – should you ever meet again. It has made me think of how fleeting things can be. Or temporary if you will.
What’s been your funniest temporary obsession?
Playing World of Warcraft!
Taking all things temporary to one side, what are your forever loves in life?
My dog Leo, PG tips, the Swedish archipelago, cooking and creating anything with my hands! And my big, amazing family of course, but that goes without saying, right?
We’re getting Lana del Ray vibes with this new release, which is a great thing! Did Lana pave the way for a whimsical bohemian revival?
I think del Ray definitely became a big symbol for a retro rebirth, alongside with Goldfrapp, Bat For Lashes, Lykke Li and many others. J They all share that sentimental vibe, but manage to keep their own signature sound.
Putting our wage on the line to assume that Steele is a veteran festival girl…!?
You bet! I went to my first festival when I was 15 here in Sweden with my sister Emilie and my cousin Amanda – we all had dreadlocks down to our hips and built a camp called ‘Dread girls’… Emilie, who is the creator of all of my covers, made an illustration of the three of us on a large sheet that we put up as some kind of a pirate flag.
What are the best and worst things about a festival?
Best: The music!!
Worst: People peeing on your tent…
What’s your finest festival looks, and what would you pick out from Superdry to conquer the mainstage?
Anything that’s colourful and easy to move around in! You need to be able to dance, run, climb, jump without any restrictions.
photographer Kari Jaroszynska and Elvira Brandt for hair & make-up