INTERVIEW: Deborah Henriksson
1. How would you classify your music?
A mix of folk and pop, sometimes dreamy, sometimes upbeat. Sometimes simple and sometimes lush. Voice always in center focus, with the musical arrangements built around the voice in layers so that the more you listen the more you hear going on musically. This keeps the music fresh each time you go to listen.
2. Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Leontyne Price, Maria Callas.
3. What do you want fans to take away from your music?
I want them to feel good or be moved depending on the mood of the song.
4. How’s the music scene in your locale?
Sweden is big on main stream pop music. Since I am not main stream pop I find alternative venues, explore different kinds of audiences!
5. What is the best concert you have been to?
Now that’s a tough question! I think I was perhaps most entranced by seeing RIVERDANCE, which is more performance than concert, but that is what really grabbed me: the fantastic Celtic live band, the fantastic rhythmic and at the same time graceful Irish dancing, and then of course the beautiful singing … all written by Bill Whelan. All about the experience of LIFE, the joy and the sorrow and the FUN.
6. What do you like most about playing live?
I love connecting with the audience, in particular that feeling when they listen so intently that it feels like time stands still and the very air vibrates from their listening… when we are all caught up in the moment so that we are in mindfulness together…
7. Is there a song on your latest CD release that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
My latest CD was Near and Far and right now I would say that BREAKERS’ ROAR is my favorite. It’s such a hopeful lyric – about leaving your tears behind – and you can actually feel the crash of the breakers in the chorus, particularly at the end. It is an energetic ”high” to sing with the crash of the waves in the accompaniament… But of course since I have just released LET GO as a single, it stands out as a personal favorite as well! It’s a slightly different vibe than I have had before, more purely pop. Musically very positive /feelgood and addresses the interesting theme of letting go that which no longer serves…
8. How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
I am always finding new ways to sing, with each song I write and record… It’s like having to reinvent the sound – as well as what it is you want to ”say” – depending on each song…and what’s going on life at the time too… During this past year I have also come to treasure more and more what singing means to me in my life – what do I want to do but also what do I not want to do ???? Breathing deeply when you sing makes you feel good inside
9. If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
I would love to have dinner with Maria Callas! I wrote her a letter to which she replied very personally, not long before she died. She has always been an inspiration to me, in my youth but also throughout my life, even though I do not sing classical music. She gave all to her singing, she worked immeasurably hard, took chances, stood up for herself in her career, she ”owned” her power. No matter what other people said to her she followed her own path. I so completely admire that, she dared to live all the way, for better or for worse, in her joy but also in her sorrow.
10. What’s next for you?
In the next three months I have a few more songs to record and release. I expect to continue making new friends for my songs via radio and streaming but I am also booking alternative live venues in Scandinavia – exploring where the softer/contemplative music I have in my catalog can be used for experiencing mindfulness in live venues. You never know what surprises life has in store when you follow your heart!