In about a week’s time, FJØRA will be dropping Watercolor. Excited to say the least, she noted that she will then be “promoting the shit out of it!” Rightfully so, she’s worked hard on it and has already released a batch of singles to give listeners a taste. Plus she even let us know that she’ll have another EP on the way soon enough. We talked about the singles relative status, her musical genetics, and dove into her life as an NYU student and film score buff.
Kendra: Do you feel in your heart you would’ve found music even if you didn’t have it bred into your genetics and upbringing?
FJØRA: Yes, I do feel that no matter what my upbringing could’ve been, I would have still had an intense passion for music. Music is not only a “career aspiration” or even hobby of mine but a source of comfort and sanctuary…it’s the thing I always turn to in order to get me through the day.
Kendra: When you first did get into music you were really heavy into film scoring. First off, what score was the first to spark your interest in that? And second, what recent film do you feel your debut Watercolor would be perfect for?
FJØRA: I would have to say that there are many film scores that sparked my interest in movie music composition, however, there is one in particular that I heard at a very young age which acted as a sort of catalyst for this passion. Ennio Morricone, the great, prolific Italian composer, scored the film Cinema Paradiso – a film narrating the relationship between a young boy, Salvatore Di Vita, and an older gentleman film projectionist, Alfredo, in the appreciation of an old Sicilian cinema house. The music accompanying this film is beautiful, heartbreaking, and nostalgic of a time that, despite never having lived through, I found myself yearning for. Even though I was just a child, this score struck a deep chord within me and triggered my unwavering love for film music.
I feel that in present day, my debut EP Watercolor, would most likely fit within films which highlight 80’s and 90’s time periods, as well as younger, more youthful narratives. Examples in my mind would be contemporary pieces like Perks of Being A Wallflower or TV shows such as Stranger Things…or even more comedic pieces like Glow or The Bling Ring.
Kendra: Are you the type of person who believes our astrological signs have meaning? Only asking based on your previous single, “Zodiac.”
FJØRA: I don’t think I’ve really ever seriously thought about astrological signs and their meaning before if I’m being completely honest…it’s not that I don’t believe necessarily, so much as I just feel that we as humans have a say in our futures.
One of my favorite quotes is a William Jennings Bryant phrase, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.” That being said, I do believe that there are some unexplainable things that happen in life, where perhaps the stars have aligned causing some oddity to occur. My single, “Zodiac,” speaks to this merging of worlds – the unexplainable turns that affect emotion, and the exploration of, for lack of a better term, one’s “inner creep.”
Kendra: Right now you’ve got your third single from Watercolor out. When lining all the songs up like siblings, what role does “Shallow” play on the record; oldest, middle child, baby, stepchild?
FJØRA: Hmmm…this is an interesting question. Well, I suppose if I were to line up all the songs currently released (“Wild Animal,” “Zodiac,” and “Shallow”) as well as their other “siblings” apart of Watercolor, I would deem “Shallow” more of a younger child. Not necessarily the baby of the family, but definitely the more youthful, slightly immature, and wilder one. “Shallow” pretty much gets away with anything in the fam, enjoys eating pizza for breakfast after a late night out, and doesn’t take much responsibility. They’re just looking to have a good time, you know?
Kendra: When listening to the EP back, do you feel it has more of a Toronto sound, or does it better represent your new home in New York City?
FJØRA: Well, when I listen to Watercolor, I actually feel like it has a bit more of a Nashville pop sound. The reason I say this is simply because I was living in Nashville during the time of its initial conception and creation. All the talented producers and writers I worked with on it live in Nashville, and although there are other culminating sounds and influences that found their way into the tracks, I do believe it to be a true representation of the pop Nashville sound of that time.
Kendra: Which speaking of, you’re there at NYU studying music. How much of an advantage is it, in your personal opinion, to actually go to school and learn about music rather than just being a musician without the formal education?
FJØRA: Yes, I am at NYU grad school! I do think there’s something to be said for attending a school such as NYU to study and pursue music at a higher education level. I’ve always been academically inclined (I’m a huge, huge nerd), so I feel very comfortable in school settings. I’m extremely fortunate to have attended universities in my life which cater towards a strong music education, surrounded by professors and peers who have definitely helped shape my journey.
However, I don’t believe that there is only one right way or one specific path to take in order to pursue your musical goals and dreams. In fact, I actually found myself having learned the most about the music industry the past year that I was not in school – it was the “hands-on” and actual “doing it” approach which led me to realizations and lessons I don’t think I would or could have acquired in an institution. Some things can’t be taught in school. It’s a concept that I’ve learned recently…sometimes the best lessons are the ones we can’t simply label in a classroom, or read out of a book. Experience is the master professor.
Kendra: Usually, I ask for songs for a mixtape, which makes sense…but if you had to make a mixtape of film scores that really capture the beauty of the art, what five movies would be on there?
FJØRA: There are so many great film movies to choose from! But here are some top five films I would endorse: Cinema Paradiso, Shawshank Redemption, Schindler’s List, Raging Bull, and Edward Scissorhands. But there are literally so many more out there!