Ariel Zedric: Could you talk a little about the inspiration behind your EP AMWIN in Wonderland?
AMWIN: Life. This EP lets you into the mind of a young woman in a world that’s often upside down. On one side, it’s super fucking happy and amazing, on the other side, it’s super fucking sad and pissed off. Too many emotions to count. After hours of blood, sweat, and tears, we were able to take all of those feelings and transform them into my debut EP.
How is AMWIN in Wonderland similar and different from your previous tracks?
It’s similar because it’s just all me. It’s different because, as a whole, the EP shows a more vulnerable side of me and shows new sides to the soundscape I’m playing around in. The project really just wraps everything up.
Do you have a favourite track on AMWIN in Wonderland? Or is that like asking you to choose a favourite child?
Honestly, I can’t choose. I feel like all the songs together create the world I’m in, and none of the songs on their own would be the same without the others. Although, I have a special place in my heart for “Dua Lipa”. Mainly because I found it so LIBERATING to make a song that’s just straight up about wanting to be around someone. No compromising. No playing it cool. Just straight “I love you, I love you, I love you. Please don’t break my fragile heart”. Since it’s something I haven’t dared to do before, in a song or in life, it’s scary to be vulnerable and not put up a front. That’s why I have a little extra love for that song.
Are there parts of your childhood or culture that you pull from for inspiration? How so?
Everything I’ve ever experienced is something I bring into my music. Swedish culture has a tendency to place everyone in boxes, so I wanted to do something that challenged that. I want those who listen to my music to feel free to express themselves and break out of the external narrative that was assigned to them.
What’s it like being a female in the music industry?
Pretty much like being a female in the world, I guess. I don’t know anything different. In some ways, I often have to work a bit harder, since I feel like the expectations the world places on women are greater than the ones placed on men. I feel like, as women, we are often expected to be “perfect” (I honestly hate the concept of perfection) to a much higher extent than men are, which is something I’m trying to work against. Just showing my flaws or weaknesses through my lyrics and musical expression is my own conscious way of challenging all of that.
I’ve also chosen to take a lot of responsibility regarding everything I do. I want to be a part of the full process, which leads to higher expectations and accountability, but I’m good with that. I’m happy to actually have the opportunity to have a say in everything I do. I’ve also chosen to surround myself by a lot of talented and driven women, who give me a lot of empowerment and support. I love being a female in this industry and in this world, along with everything that comes with it.
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the music industry?
Myself. It’s easy to be really hard on yourself and set limits on what you’re capable of. But I am capable, and I’ve really just been focusing on allowing myself to be experimental and playful with everything I do, which has been my biggest challenge. But I’ve accepted the challenge and I’m enjoying it.
Have you ever doubted pursuing music? What inspired you to keep pushing?
What moment in your career so far has left you the most satisfied or proud?
This EP. It’s the result of the long process of finding myself as an artist and a writer. It’s my first project that I’m releasing, and it feels like a great start to this ride. There have been a lot of ups and downs working on it, but I guess that’s a part of it. I’ve constantly gone between being super inspired and excited to write, to being frustrated and sometimes even scared. Writing music is the most intimidating thing I’ve ever done. I’ve had a lot of fun pushing the boundaries of what’s okay and what’s not. This also includes not sticking to one genre or sound and creating music that I genuinely just fuck with. I’m proud that I have grown enough to challenge myself to do just that.
You recently walked in Stockholm Fashion Week, congrats! What was that like? Would you do it again?
Thank you! I actually just walked again for FW19. It was a lot of fun, especially since I walked for a very dear friend of mine (who’s also my stylist, Selam Fessahaye). She is such a talented creator, and just witnessing her vision come alive and being able to be a small part of the process was very inspiring and a great honour.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
The people I have around me are my biggest inspiration, and they’re where I go to recharge. I’m often struck by such huge admiration for my friends and family. Being surrounded by beautiful energy is everything to me.
I also get inspiration from watching movies as well, everything from old James Dean movies to Pulp Fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Disney movies. I just love to dive into new worlds and not leave for a couple of hours, or days. And yeah, I also have a huge obsession with Kurt Cobain.
What would you say is your overall message in your music?
I’m not interested in others’ opinions of me, and I want those who listen to my music to feel the same. I might not always have the exact same message with every song I perform, but it feels very important for me to let all sides of myself and my emotions have a platform. That includes the emotions and thoughts that can sometimes be uncomfortable because I think my listeners will be able to relate to them. Daring to show your imperfections is, to me, a sign of strength. Being a strong, powerful, and independent woman doesn’t exclude being soft, vulnerable, and fragile. It’s actually the other way around.
If you could give young aspiring artists one piece of advice, what would it be?
I think not to limit yourself too much by your own thoughts, people are going to try to do that job for you anyway. In this world, you just need to be your own hype-man and try to embrace all of your wishes and feelings without judgment. Get to know yourself, define what you want, and find your way with that. I’m not one to give advice, I’m still figuring it out. But I feel like that is the best start. Also, surround yourself with people who truly believe in you and your vision. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
Any last thoughts?
Listen to my EP, I think you’ll love it. But if not, that’s cool too. Just have a listen.