Scandinavia’s sir Was has unveiled a new video for ‘Falcon’, taken from upcoming debut EP, Says Hi, due June 3rd via City Slang.
Filmed in Gothenburg and directed by Fredrik Egerstand – who also directed the video for ‘A Minor Life‘ – the film shows the singer/producer embark on a gloomy karaoke journey, “The TV was heavy but that’s what we do for the sake of art!
“It took me 15 fucking years to feel brave enough to do this!” Joel Wästberg, the Swedish producer behind the eccentric sir Was alias, confesses. “To reach the point where I could let myself do this was a long struggle. But once I felt less scared, it was kind of easy. It just came out, like: ‘This is the sound!’”
Wästberg grew up in the tiny village of Frillesås on the western coast of Sweden, an hour or so from Gothenburg, and began playing music at an early age. Inspired by Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, he studied jazz saxophone and flew around the world to perform with a variety of ensembles before developing an interest in pan-African rhythms, furthered by his travels through Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Stirred by the liberating philosophies of post-modern composers like John Cage and Morton Feldman, as well as the complexity and feeling of the music he was hearing – and playing with other musicians he met along the way – Wästberg began to question his musical identity.
Leaving his saxophone in Durban, he returned to Europe with his head overflowing with rhythm. “I’d learned I’d rather play a beat that makes people dance, than play a fancy solo.” Soon he was making a living from other musical adventures, including playing with Jose Gonzales, before finally striking out on his own.
What emerged, filtered through Wästberg’s love for hip hop, was as unrestrained and spirited as the music that inspired it, though trying to pin that down is as hard for Wästberg as it is for the listener, “Moondog, Bob Hund, My Bloody Valentine, D’Angelo, J Dilla, Thomas Mapfuno. Liturgy, The Beatles, Drake, Mahavishnu Orchestra… I don’t know. I listen to a lot of stuff!”
Some artists strive to push boundaries. sir Was seems blissfully unaware of them, as though they’d never existed in the first place.
Says Hi is set for release on June 3rd via City Slang.
31 – Monarch (BeatGeeks Night), Berlin, Germany
01 – The Old Blue Last (Free Tickets), London, UK