This is me PART I
Both young artists from Sweden, AmberValent and Alton shape the experience of their music through their live performances and the creation of self-confident stage personas. Enter their new universes formed from inspiration sprung out of persistent work.
The Swedish singer, producer and club promoter AmberValent describes her own musical past in the underground hip-hop duo ANAYE (formed with MayDar) as highly energetic, with a punk-rock drive that came from them just doing without thinking. The focus was on sparkling live experiences and on the intense work ethic that the two of them shared. Now that Amber has broken through as a solo act, her focus has shifted. The ethic and energy might still be present, but AmberValent’s live shows are purposefully not as explosive as ANAYE’s.
The most important thing for Amber when it comes to other artists is energy and openness. Included in the creation of a supermodel-of-the-world type, stage-owning, self-confident side of oneself might be the use of fashion. “That is extremely important to me. It might come from my interest in film and video, this creating of a world that the ‘experiencer’ can leap into and live in. I am inspired by people like Prince, Betty Davis and David Bowie in how unapologetic their expression was and that they dared to experiment. I love what Jean-Paul Gaultier did in The Fifth Element – there were so many iconic looks and scenes in that film.
“I don’t have a specific person who inspires me right now. Because of the internet, I get inspiration from all the corners of the world, which is cool, since it hasn’t always been a certainty that anything other than the western world has been brought forward in the media. Now everyone can represent themselves using their own conditions.”
Indeed, social media has given the world a chance to speak up and be noticed, though the west is still most heavily represented. Artists as well as private individuals can shape the perception of themselves – whether this is a good or bad change is up to each of us to decide.
Amber’s interest in fashion and make-up started early and she mentions Whyred as one of her favourite stores when she was younger. She loves Scandinavian design and says that her outfit when she is serving “business-executive realness” includes a Whyred mesh top. Her style has changed over the years, but the consistent energy in her fashion sense is a love for vintage and the deconstruction of garments. “My favourite thing is to raid my relatives’ wardrobes for pieces of gold – it’s the best,” she says. In a postmodern world, that is the way fashion and other culture moves forward: through seeing and living with days past; cutting and pasting things to make them fit for today, we make something that can be viewed as new. Amber’s musical taste can easily be compared with her liking of deconstructed vintage clothing, since she lists hardstyle music as a favourite nest, as well as funk forefathers Parliament-Funkadelic. All the musical styles she enjoys influence her work: “I look forward to what it can evolve into and to what my lyrics will sound like once I’ve matured.”
Her music can be experienced in Swedish and English, sometimes in the same song. It means her work can be perceived in different ways, depending on where in the world she sings them. “My ‘Swenglish’ songs definitely work best [in Sweden], but I play a lot abroad and then it’s nice to have a repertoire in English, too. I really love when songs are bilingual, because multi-culturalism is so sexy.”
AmberValent´s influential mix: