Jenny Rossander – aka Lydmor – has her crowdsurfing debut and plays successfully at Spot Festival. Tatiana Tilly speaks with her about being addicted to the ‘adrenaline kick’, why you shouldn’t pity women, and the release of her next solo album.
Jenny Rossander sits in the grass in front of the Atlas venue the day after her concert. She is wearing a white dress with a print of black trees, which is actually exactly the same as she was wearing the night before, when she was performing just around the corner at Voxhall.
“I never tried crowdsurfing before, so it was really fun. But it was a quite gentle crowdsurf, though”, she tells and laughs.
The performance was firstly solo – as Lydmor – before, an hour in, she played with Bon Homme, who she has done some featuring songs with.
Rossander made her debut album “A Pile of Empty Tapes” under the name of Lydmor in 2012; later this year her new album will be released. On the side she has been collaborating with several artists, such as Bottled in England, Sort Sol, So-so Echo, Alle Farben, Amanda Palmer and, recently, the Belgian duo Arsenal Music in April. The latter band found her through a blog called ‘Good Because Danish’, which is made by a Polish woman named Arletta, who has a passion for Danish music. The same does Arsenal, who sent Rossander an email inviting her to work and perform with them.
“I didn’t know them before, but I just said yes. When I came to Belgian it then turned out to be an arena concert in front of 8000 people. I hadn’t expected that, so I asked ‘Oh, are you guys quite big here?’”, Rossander says.
The band had replied: “Well, yeah, we are kind of the biggest band in Belgium”.
Creating a connection
Besides just mere love of making music, playing concerts at home and abroad is really what motivates Jenny Rossander in her work.
“I don’t feel a need to become a huge star. I just want to be able to give concerts, that’s the most important thing for me. My dream scenario would be to drive around the world and give concerts every day”.
The number of people in the audience isn’t of great importance either. It can be extremely intense to perform before five people as well as 8000 people. And actually, she did both within the last year.
As part of a project called Trust Tour she travelled to four different countries and gave small private concerts in people’s own houses. She went around Denmark, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands, where she met many different fans closely.
“It’s the best way to travel, because you meet people and have something to give them. It’s been really great and I’ve learned a lot from it. Also, you have a different role when you are a foreign musician. Somehow it gives you more credibility, because someone actually paid for you to travel there”, Rossander says.
Playing in front of an audience is something that she is almost addicted to, because the connection you can create to strangers is so unique.
“You look these people into the eyes and communicate something. You stand there with all your emotions and then you realize than they have felt the same way. You can feel them. There’s something incredibly loving and overwhelming about that”.
Scared of the addiction
The experience of performing is so strong that Rossander even compares it to doing an extreme sport.
But the love of performing also scares her, because there’s something dangerous about living off getting attention. And the other part of the job is to sit by yourself and think and write about your own feelings, so there’s a risk that you will become self obsessed, she thinks.
“It becomes very attention seeking and focused on yourself. That scares me a lot, so I’ve started to think of music as a regular job. I’m providing a service to my audience and it’s not about me expressing myself but about creating a connection to other
More rowdy, more emotional
At the moment she is looking forward to releasing her new album soon. While the other projects have been collaborations, this album is a hundred per cent Lydmor.
She has focused more on the details in the music and sometimes she has spent half a day with her producer, working on one single sound the would only be played once in one number. But at the same time she gave herself great freedom in the melodic work, so
some songs are almost sounding industrial, while others have Drake-beats and some are more spherical.
“This is completely my own sound universe, more me. It’s more strange. And the lyrics are more rowdy. It’s drug and sex and alcohol. It’s very honest, very emotional”.
No need to pity women
Rossander seems to have a lot to say, not only in her lyrics, but also in the discussions about music in general. Recently there has been a lot of debate about whether women are being discriminated against in the music industry. Rossander has strong opinions on
“I think it’s degrading that people say you should feel sorry for us. It’s harming the respect around female musicians. There is nothing wrong about the situation in the industry. The only thing wrong is this pity”, she says.
In her opinion it’s not necessarily a problem that there aren’t as many female musicians as male. She believes that it’s a question of wanting it enough and being willing to take the risk of having an economically insecure life.
“I mean, it can be really shitty to make music. You’re broke all the time. The industry is narcissistic and a little bit alcoholic. I don’t know if you want to push someone into it, if they aren’t sure that they really want it. Then it’s better to do something else”.
Men aren’t as liberated
Saying this make the industry sound almost horrible, but actually she thinks the conditions for women in music are good.
“I never experienced being discriminated against because of my gender. Actually the contrary because we’re a minority, and it’s not bad to belong to a minority in an industry that revolves around attention”.
Therefore, Rossander is getting tired of the discussion, because she believes it’s counter-productive and disrespectful. Instead people should look at masculinity in music, because that’s an image that could be challenged.
“My friend (and the musician) Asbjørn just said in an interview that men aren’t very liberated, actually. And I really agree with that”
She thinks it’s a more valid criticism, because people in general react strongly if men try to play a little bit more around and experiment with their looks.
“Women can be like Mø, we can be street, but we can also be sweet and feminine. But men still have to be masculine in the traditional sense, and no one is really trying to push the limits there”.
Potential hit song
Outside on the grass it’s starting get cold and windy, and Jenny Rossander needs to call her manager, so she can change her outfit to something new. Walking along the venue she is stopped by a girl( a friend of a friend), by a fan who says thanks for the
concert and by someone from the industry who’s talking business.
It seems like 2014 will be a busy and promising year for Lydmor. In a review of the concert with Bon Homme, the journalist writes that her new song “So Cool” is “a potential hit song of dimensions”.
Pictures also by Tatiana Tilly