Astrid Cordes is a rising artist in the Pop and Indie Pop music genres and comes from the energetic city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Astrid has made a name for herself on the Danish music scene since 2014, as one of two vocalists in the duo Shy Shy Shy.
What first got you into music? And who inspired you?
I grew up in a house with a piano and the radio constantly playing classical music, so I don’t have any recollection of “starting”. My uncle has a video of me doing an improve set on a homemade drum kit made out of pot and pans while I’m singing my heart out in a homemade language from when I was four. So it’s just always been a part of my life.
However, I didn’t start writing my own songs before I was in my early 20s. It never really made sense to me to write my own stuff when there were already so many amazing songs out there to sing. Until that one day… I met a guy who I developed a huge crush on. The problem was that I already had a boyfriend. I was super ashamed of my feelings and felt guilty as hell, so I didn’t feel like I could share it with anybody. I sat down on my piano and a song just kind of poured out of me. Furthermore, I suddenly understood that music could be a way of processing my emotions and experiences and I’ve been doing it ever since.
How would you describe the music that you typically create? Tell us about the creative process…
I’ve always enjoined a good old well written song, that can be played on nothing but a piano or an acoustic guitar and still sound amazing. I easily tap into that classic singer/songwriting way of thinking about making music. I often compare myself to a polaroid photographer. I see my songs as snapshots of my life and my lyrics are often very descriptive and illustrative. I like to zoom in on a situation that in itself isn’t necessarily very poetic but still somehow holds the essence of something that I’m going through or am focused on at the time. For me the story almost always comes first. I write music to communicate something. When the story is in place I try to translate it into melodies, rhythms and chord progressions to embody the feeling living in me.
Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction, or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?
My music is very linked to my personal life, so when something has happened in my life, you can almost always detect it in my music. I spent five years in my old band Shy shy shy, where Simon and I wrote everything together, so that of course influenced me a lot too.
Having been in other projects (Shy Shy Shy), in your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What is the secret to making yourself noticed?
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If I had a good answer for that I’d be a much bigger star 😉 But I will tell you that one of the most eye opening moments in my career was when Shy shy shy released a record that nobody listened to. At that time we’d had quite a bit of success – heavy rotation on national radio and playing around Europe and at the most prestigious festival in Denmark – Roskilde Festival. We spend so much time on that record and on how to make it a success, worrying a lot about what people would think of it. So much so that it became more about what other people liked then what we liked. Then when it didn’t get the attention we had hoped for, we were left with no recognition and a record that we didn’t feel that strongly about. I thought a lot about quitting music at that time but instead I came to the conclusion that my music should always and only cater to my taste. That way the music will at least be important to one person – me.
If you could pass on a nugget of wisdom to the next musical generation, what would it be?
It would be to make music that you like yourself. If you wouldn’t wanna listen to a record or go see a show with your own band, then you’re doing it wrong.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I can fold my tongue so it looks like a leaf from a maple tree.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Hmm… That’s a difficult question.. Maybe ‘Do You Realize??’ by The Flaming Lips? My life is kind of chaotic these years, juggling motherhood and a career as a more or less independent artist, while trying to be a decent human being at the same time. I think it’s such a beautiful song and when I listen to it, it reminds me to try and get as much out of life as I possibly can and just lean into the chaos.
What was the last TV series you watched?
I’m watching ‘Insecure’ on Netflix at the moment. It’s set in Inglewood, LA which is a very different environment to where I live in Copenhagen and at the same time it’s just a coming of age series for adults trying to figure out their life, which I really can relate to.
What makes you nostalgic?
My moms beach house by The Western Sea. I spent all my summers there as a kid eating strawberries with milk and cream, chasing grasshoppers and playing in the sand dunes on the beach. I love the rough nature and the quietness up there. It’s very different from my neighborhood Nørrebro in Copenhagen.
If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
Spanish I think. I love how they roll their r’s. Danish is only spoken by 6 million people so I’d really like to know a third language that would allow me to communicate with more people.
With the release of ‘Baby’s Still Asleep’, Astrid is ready to share the final part of her widely renowned EP-trilogy. The lead single, ‘Surrender’, is a euphoric alternative pop-journey into the acceptance of reality and a both chaotic yet amazing new life.
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