Self-described as a “music project based in Stockholm”, ViVii consists of Emil and Caroline Jonsson alongside Anders Eckeborn, their skillful producer and third member. Late 80s vinyl records, indie-pop gems, old VHS cassettes, and even classical music are just some of the trio’s influences, all swirled into dreamy, luscious soundscapes.
First of all, how did you start making music? Tell us a bit more about yourself!
Emil Jonsson: Hi!
I and Caroline had a project and we had a show booked, we needed musicians to play with us. The first person we thought about was Anders because we knew him from way back and had. Always loved his guitar playing. As we started rehearsing a special bond was established. We connected in a weird way, and from that moment we’re inseparable.
Given the state of mainstream culture that permeates how we consume media, how would you introduce your activity to a stranger?
Well, we are three family-oriented humans that are trying to do this life the best we can. Work, kids, a dog, and finding time to make music.
We probably would tell that stranger to check us out on one of the streaming platforms or give them our insta…
It’s a good thing that we have people around us that know the culture of media, because the three of us kind of suck at it. (smile)
Take me through your sound design process. How was it for ‘Mondays’? Is it a quick process, or something you might obsess over and re-visit?
‘Mondays’ is written on Mondays only. It has been a special ride with this record. We have entered the studio doors on Mondays and felt an overwhelming feeling of wanting to create something new each time. The limitations of knowing that this is it, this is the day we got to make something has been good for us. But of course, we re-visit the songs to make them better, but not to the point where we go crazy. We’ve done that before, maybe because we had more time then.
What are your core motivations for music-making, and have they changed over the years as you’ve become more visible?
I think that it has always been the same. Making music is our way of feeling good, to express the current feeling that we are in. We all see it as very therapeutic and a very necessary need to function in our everyday life.
Life is music and music is life.
When you are not busy creating, which other artists do you follow or listen to?
That goes in periods of course but, we all love 60s pop music, German techno, classical music, Elvis Presley, Demi Roussos, Jon Hopkins to name a few.
What does it mean to play and live in the millennial generation of music artists? What do you borrow from those who came before you, and what do you do to push the genre forward?
It’s easier to get your music out there, but also harder to cut through because there is a lot to choose from. We love the 60s pop music scene so there is definitely a cup of something from that era. The idea of trying to push the envelope forward is not something we really think about, we just wanna try to make songs that are better than the one we made before.
What literary work – novel or poetry – do you think would fit the sound descriptions of ‘Mondays’? Can you give us a title and a reason?
”En främling” [“A stranger”] by Pär Lagerkvist, a Swedish author and poet one of our greatest. That poem has been with me for a long time because it resonates with the part of me that is looking for THE answer. But it also opened the door to being ok with not knowing THE answer. That’s why I think it fits ‘Mondays’. Being ok with not knowing. The last lines: ‘Who are you that fills my heart with your absence? / That fills the whole world with your absence?’
I propose to stay on topic, therefore, if you didn’t make music, in what artistic genre do you think you would be more suitable?
Pottery seems like a possibility somehow… That is something I’m definitely gonna try eventually, to make something out of basically nothing is always intriguing.
Does the conception come first or does the song evolve naturally – do you have a clear idea of what it will be before you start to make it?
From chords on an instrument to inner images that manifest into some sort of big-screen movie. That’s where it starts for me when the vibe is right. And then I try to give the “actors” the right or the wrong words to say to steer the feelings in the direction that I want. Maybe sounds weird but, that’s how it works for me.
When listeners make their way through your songs, what do you want to feel?
We want them to feel what ever they feel. That’s why I personally don’t wanna know what the writer had in mind for a song. I want it to be unexpected, and allow me to travel wherever it wants to go. Music has no rules.
In how much, do you feel, are creative decisions shaped by cultural differences – and in how much, vice versa, is the perception of sound influenced by cultural differences?
The first 10 years of my life are the foundation from where I draw a lot of moods and emotions from. And then some very important years when I lived in South Africa. It’s like a backpack stored over the years with a little bit of everything and I think shows off in the music.
A kaleidoscope of scales, rhythms, and sounds.
We are currently living through a very trying and charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period?
Don’t know if you can hear the reflection in our sound. But for us, I believe that the lack of time is the reflection that shines the brightest during this time period. Not being able to do whatever whenever we feel like it. But that limitation has also blossomed into our new album, ‘Mondays’.
What do you hope to do with your art in the future? I mean, do you have any special goals?
I mean these crazy times have really made us appreciate one another. We don’t know what tomorrow brings and that cliche rings more truthful then ever. A goal at the moment is that hopefully soon we can meet an audience and play our new songs for them. That would be sick!
All photos: Official band page