Sweden’s Avante Black broke into the alt-pop scene last year with hit single ‘Drug Money’ to great success. Now she’s back for a festival run and her stellar new video for ‘Make A Mess’. We spoke to her about her inspirations, plans for the rest of the year, and how she got into music.
Your new video for ‘Make A Mess’ is seriously awesome with its superpower theme. Can you tell us how the idea behind it came about? And was it fun to film?
I had a photoshoot with my friend Olivia Richardson. She’s really good at doing cool edits, so I asked her to put laser eyes on me for a laugh. And then I thought it kinda suited the theme of being the person breaking up with someone. I wanted to take the edge off it a bit and therefore making myself into a laser-eyed Godzilla.
Your track ‘Drug Money’ is such a good alt-pop song. What’s the story behind it?
I was at a time where I felt I was just working and working and still I had no money as everything went on bills and rent. The song developed from that. It’s an issue that you can barely live even when working full time and trying to pursue anything else on top of that like music – it’s next to impossible! Selling drugs is bad and illegal, but what also should be illegal is low pay and high rent.
Congratulations on winning the Apply to Play competition to play at Bushstock Festival! How did it feel to win? And who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Couldn’t believe it! So so happy and excited to play. Really looking forward to seeing our friends Otzeki, they’re one of my favourite bands.
Have you always wanted to be a musician?
Not at all. I remember my Dad kept trying to make me play instruments, but I wasn’t interested. I was all about sports. I was a competition swimmer, then I did basketball and then got into skateboarding. I wanted to be a Lawyer and learn Chinese etc. But then I just started playing around on a guitar and got some tracks together. I’d play here and there, mainly covers, but after a
Not at all. I remember my Dad kept trying to make me play instruments, but I wasn’t interested. I was all about sports. I was a competition swimmer, then I did basketball and then got into skateboarding. I wanted to be a Lawyer and learn Chinese etc. But then I just started playing around on a guitar and got some tracks together. I’d play here and there, mainly covers, but after a while, I started feeling I was getting good at it. It’s taken me ages to find confidence and knowing where I wanted to take it. And I’m still developing with every song I write.
How was your move to London from Sweden?
So easy. I left probably two weeks after graduating and have never looked back. I love Sweden, but it’s a totally different place. As soon as I first came to London I felt that this was home.
Are there any artists who have inspired you?
The list goes on forever and changes depending on stages of my life. But to pick two I love Karin Dreijer aka Fever Ray. Her writing solo and in The Knife has always been a huge inspiration. I love the dark intimacy. And at the moment I’m obsessed with Frank Ocean. Think he might be the love of my life. The way he writes, the way he sings it just makes me wanna lock myself in a studio and create.
If you could play a cover of any song, what would it be and why?
I’d love to play From The Sun by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It’s one of those tracks you just close your eyes to, listen and it feels like your heart is screaming out in joy and pain.
What tracks have you got on your playlist right now?
Mood Indigo – Nina Simone
Why Do You Feel – Moodyman
No Waves – Fidlar
Turning On The Screw – Queens of the Stone Age
Have you got anything else in the line-up for the rest of the year?
Writing, recording and loads more gigs. Excited to play these shows!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Any good recommendations for pizza in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham??