Featured Photo Credit by Eveline Johnsson (Edit by The Corlene Machine)
Music has always been a part of Paula Jivén’s evolving identity. Since taking up violin at age three, music has helped her navigate and capture the stories that form her. The Duality In Me, the debut EP from the Swedish artist highlights some of those stories.
Through 5 tracks, Jivén navigates and reconciles experiences with mental health, friends, and self-discovery to create what she considers, “a time capsule of my youth,”
We chatted with Jivén about the EP, her single, “Breaking Up With A Friend,” and more!
What inspired your new single, “Breaking Up with A Friend”?
I wrote ‘Breaking Up With A Friend’ after a fallout with a close friend. It was the first time that had happened to me, and I was very frustrated that there wasn’t any song about it or even anyone talking about it! I thought, there’s so much music about romantic breakups, so there should be a track about this experience as well. That’s why the title is so straightforward. It’s like, if you’re breaking up with a friend, here’s a song for you.
What was the writing process like?
For me, it’s always important to consider the angle of writing. Half of the process is figuring out what you want to say, but then you need to know, ‘What am I saying?’ I didn’t want the track to explain why it was a bad friendship or portray the friend as a bad person, because that’s not true. I found it important in creating something empowering, something that anyone who’s going through a friendship-breakup can listen to and feel less alone.
Do you ever get stuck in the writing process? Do you ever look to things like nature or your surroundings to get out of a rut?
I really never get stuck! But I can be so slow. It usually takes me a couple hours to write lyrics and then I’m always searching pinterest to find pictures I can associate with the song. I enjoy spending time in nature, but that’s more to cleanse my head and relax rather than to search for creativity.
How did the process of writing your first EP looked? Has the way you write changed or shifted at all in the process?
I didn’t really have a specific body of music in mind when I wrote the songs for the EP. The songs are a collection of pieces I wrote over the course of a year, five tracks out of the 70-something songs I wrote during that period. I think I ended up picking these tracks because they meant the most and said the most. And they sound really good!
I think when I compare that era of writing to what I’m writing today, the main difference is that back then I wrote mainly about my experiences and the experiences of my closest circle. Whereas today, I guess I spend more time capturing my society rather than myself in it, if that makes sense?
Looking at your music video for “Breaking Up With A Friend” you have a lot of imaginative visual concepts you want to express. Do you ever see yourself directing your own videos someday?
I think that would be so cool! But I also enjoy collaborating with people who have perfected directing as their craft. Same with production, I could absolutely find myself producing myself at some point, but there’s something I enjoy in perfecting a few things and let friends take over where I need help.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Breaking Up with a Friend,” what do you imagine it looking like?
I’m always listening to my own music on my way to school when I need to get in a good mindset since I’m always so grumpy in the morning haha. But I’d say, anytime you want to get in a good mood!
What would you want people who are just discovering your music to know about you when they hear your EP?
I would want them to know that this music is for anyone who needs it. It’s yours!
What can fans look forward to next?
I’m putting together my live show at the moment, so hopefully you can see me live sometime soon! I’m so excited to come out and play my stuff.
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
I want to say something about positivity and self love. But honestly, the message that’s driving my project is sustainability. Partly to have a sustainable relationship with ourselves, but also in regards to climate change. I think we need to think more about sustainability to get somewhere and I want to be part of amplifying that message.