Isn’t always a refreshing thing to find new music? We think so and we can’t get enough of Norwegian songstress Siri Wålberg – aka – Sissy Wish. This super talented musician has a hauntingly beautiful voice with lyrics we think you’ll fall in love with. After releasing her debut EP in 2003 and later on her debut album, Sissy is gearing up for the release of her US debut Beauties Never Die.
Read on and get to know Sissy Wish…
You know I’d love to learn some about you. When did you get your start in music?
Alright, I kind of started when I was about six years-old. Everything was because of feeling good, because my parents really wanted me to do something that had to do with music. So, they told to give me a clarinet and play in a school band. I realized that as long as with melodies out of it, I wanted to do it for like ten years or something. They allowed me to play piano at the same time so I have a lot to do with music. But, I didn’t make any songs until I was maybe sixteen years old.
Oh wow, you started pretty young.
Well my taste wasn’t … that was kind of low before I was sixteen years old. [Laughs] I bought my first album when I was like fifteen, and my brother he ran after me with a knife because he was so ticked off it was Ace of Base. So, he forced me to have research on different kinds of music. I felt threatened I had to do it and then I realized afterwards that it was a good idea.
How did you come up with the name Sissy Wish?
Uh, that was a long long time ago, so I didn’t have any choice when I was like twenty-three. I really wanted to change that name, but I realized why would I do that when I already have had it for like five years or something. The reason why, maybe because I was reading a lot of Astrid Lindgren at that time. You know that book writer? It’s a boy that she wrote about a lot, it’s called ‘Per Pusling’. Maybe there’s something on the net in American, I don’t know what it’s called in American. But, Per Pusling he is like the character I wanted to be like. I think like the girlish version of Per Pusling, is kind of what I came up with Sissy Wish. It’s like a similar thing to Per Pusling, except for that he is boy and I am girl.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?
I think that the music I’m making now has nothing to do with like my musical skills. I really want to use its time on finding the right sound and have fun with the sounds. Mix them together and not be afraid of having too much on the songs, and when it’s too much just to take away. Like that stuff that’s not the most important. So, I really use lots of time with researching on everything I find in a room and I don’t care about if it’s on piano or full or a chair. I think compared to the others that I have released in Norway, it’s more fun.
Your album Beauties Never Die will be released early this fall; it’s your third album and has actually been out for sometime overseas. Can you tell me a little bit about the record?
Yeah, I have been sitting in my studio working for like one and a half years, before I went to the studio working with a producer. So I had a lot of demonstration stuff that we had when I went to my producer and started working with it. At the same time I was also having help from my band, at that time … that I haven’t anymore because now I’m like playing this like duo. So, um we were like maybe five people in the studio trying to work out the demonstrations that I’d done in my own studio. Then we changed some digital sounds with bird sounds, just not to make it too flat and cold. To warm everything up just a little bit with the earth instruments. As I said, I don’t have that much musical skills that I wanted to make this album the best way. So, I had to have some help from my friends and my backing band to play the stuff that I wanted to have on the album that was already played in a sense on keyboard.
It’s a very easy listening album, really mellow. Would you say it’s much different from your first two albums, You May Breathe… and Tuning In?
No, I think that the only … that the most important thing that you can see the difference is my self-confidence. I’ve always tried to make melody first before the lyrics, and it has always been a first priority to work on the melodies to get it like perfect when I start to record it. That’s why its so many hundred years on one song at a time. [Laughs] Usually I try to make one chorus and then after two days I’ll have to check if it’s like as good as it was. Then maybe change the whole chorus again because the verse was maybe not so good with it. Everything is like that, that’s how I work. I can’t work with anyone I have to work alone at first.
Where do you get your songwriting inspiration from? What inspires you?
It’s like everything, especially even being walking around. It’s got nothing to do with music I think, where I get my inspiration from … just daily life.
And Beauties Never Die is actually named after a track on the record, what’s the song about?
I don’t know really because … you can tell kind of … and it’s really important for me that people can write my stuff and make their own opinions. It’s like you have your downs and you have your ups, it has nothing to do with how you look; it’s the way you act … the way you decided to do stuff.
Is it more like you inner beauty never dies?
Well, it’s not about me really, it’s about everyone. It’s a word that I can’t figure out what’s in English. But, when in the end you get use to the rejection everywhere, people are always after you because its too much selfishness everywhere. As long as you take your own decisions, you will in the end feel like it’s worth doing that and not go other ways like change your opinions. Because you care to do your own things, not because the other opinions are stronger than you.
You’ll be touring a bit later on in the year but I heard you’ll be playing the annual Modern Sky Festival in Beijing, that’s so exciting! Will this be your first time in China?
Oh yeah, yeah that will be really interesting. I wonder how they will look at me when they see how tall I am compared to them. They will be really terrified I think. [Laughs]
Are there any US tour plans in the works?
Yeah! That’s why we’re here because I think it’s really important to do something before the album will be released. It’s really important to also come back after the release, to show the songs live, if people come maybe more will listen to it in September. But maybe we will help more people to find out about the music if we come here and promote.
Well, thank you so much for chatting with me. We definitely look forward to seeing you live soon.
Yeah, I hope I see you soon, thank you.
“BEAUTIES NEVER DIE”
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photos: Stian Anderson