Icelandic singer-songwriter/producer Brynja has a raw, yet polished approach to her music. A blend of indie and soul with themes about the cycles of life – Brynja’s previous LP, Repeat is the perfect entrance into what she has to offer. Her most recent release, the music video for “Breathe” ft. Care, allows listeners to take a dive into her personality through its playful shots. We had the opportunity to speak with her about her music and what’s to come.
1. Welcome Brynja, so happy to be speaking with you today. When you are writing a new song, where do you draw inspiration from?
Likewise! I always draw inspiration from my emotions and personal life. Love, the old cliché, is an endless source of creativity.
For my album Repeat though I found a new source of inspiration; social issues. Equality and climate change. The album ended up being a mix of the personal and societal.
2. The “Breathe” music video is visually stunning. What was the inspiration behind the video?
Oh thank you! I had the pleasure of working with my friend Carlijn Andriessen on that one, she directed the video and performed the song’s chorus. I‘m in love with everything she creates.
In short, the song was written from a place of frustration towards the society we live in and the standards we have to live up to. We wanted to show both the city and nature and somehow we came up with the idea of walking this mirror around the city as a representation of how we all mirror each other and each other’s behaviors.
I think most of these ideas came up in conversation between me and Carlijn, but as the director she took the ideas and made them her own. She really put her mark on the video which I‘m super happy with.
A big shout out to the whole team, Carlijn Andriessen and Zino De Groot who filmed, edited and color graded.
3. The blending of indie sounds with an R&B feel is so beautiful. How did you find a sound that works best for you?
Love that question. I come from a background of folk/indie music so when I first started writing I was inspired by Emiliana Torrini, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver to name a few. After a while the guitar stopped being a source of inspiration and I didn‘t write as much as before.
When I started my studies in audio engineering I was surrounded by musicians from totally different backgrounds, some of the best friends I made there were rappers and producers. I started writing again and it was super refreshing to get back into making music from a different angle. It was exciting again. I‘d never written songs with other people before but I found so much joy in going to the studio with others. You never know exactly what to expect because what you make is a mix of your input and the other persons.
It was a time of experimenting and going out of my comfort zone. I was curious how my voice would fit into different genres and if I could make this new sound feel like me.
It‘s very important to me that my songs represent me, that they sound like me and feel like me. I‘m very lucky to have met LUVR who I pretty much wrote and produced the whole album with. Writing with him is the best. He‘s been producing a lot for rappers and trap artists but also has a soft spot for classical music, jazz and folk so developing Repeat‘s sound with him was incredible.
4. What’s been your favorite song to perform live?
I‘d have to say My Oh My. But there are songs on the album I‘ve never performed live! After my release concerts I might have a different answer for you.
5. Who is someone you’d love to collaborate with and why?
Maggie Rogers. Manifesting.
6. What are you looking forward to the most in 2023?
I‘m looking forward to Repeat‘s release concerts, 23/03/2023. Looking forward to bringing the songs to life and creating the visual world for it.
Be sure to follow Brynja on Instagram to stay up-to-date all her latest releases and upcoming shows.