Classically trained cellist turned pop artist, HILDUR, an Icelandic artist with a ton of talent recently released her single, “1993.” Realizing that she was finally was living out her dream from when she was just a kid, the song takes us through her journey so far and her personal life. HILDUR is a natural when it comes to songwriting and has spent years honing in on her craft, even teaching workshops to other songwriters along the way. With new music coming out in the near future and traveling coming up, we can expect a lot of great things from HILDUR.
Cliché: Your latest single, “1993,” was inspired by your realization that you were living out the dreams that you had when you were five years old. What else can you tell me about that song?
HILDUR: This song feels like a fast autobiography, from when I was 5 until today, about the journey from having a dream and my way towards that life. It was not an easy road, so the song talks about the fallbacks and self doubt on the way. I would say it’s one of my most personal songs and the lyrics actually have a bunch of hints about my life. You can find my birthday spelled out there, the sport I used to train is mentioned and then some of my biggest insecurities. But I feel like it’s a very hopeful song too.
You started out as a classical cellist, what got you into the singing and songwriting side of things?
I feel like expression and creating something new has always been a part of me. Whether it was drawing, writing stories, crafts or melodies – it all started at a very early age. My dream to stand on stage and write my own songs, always felt just an inevitable part of it. I remember creating melodies since I was playing the cello but the first actual song I remember writing was from when I was 15 year old and I had taught myself how to play guitar. I have always had fascination for lyrics and stories and I guess I just had the urge to try it out from my point of view.
How does your songwriting process work, you’ve said that you are “fascinated” with what makes a melody catchy, is that usually where you start with your songs?
Most of the time it starts with a melodic idea or a concept or a word. But I’ve realized that often the best ideas come when you’re not trying. So when ideas hit when I’m outside walking or washing the dishes or being somewhere in a completely different place, I always record a voice memo and many songs have started from there.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
I love Nao, Emelie Nicolas, Seinabo Sey, Kehlani, Highasakite, Broods – and the list goes on!
You’ve talked about taking the time to really find the sound that you wanted your music to have and not rushing the process. What is it about the style of music that you chose that you feel allows you to express yourself more than any other style would?
This is a tough one, as I feel like you’re always evolving as a human being and thus as an artist too. I always try to write music in the mood I feel like at the time. The good thing though about being a songwriter that writes for others too is that you can use those moments, too.
I see that you’ve taught some songwriting workshops. What advice do you give to people learning how to write or honing in on their craft?
Most important thing is that creativity is a muscle that you need to train. Don’t expect your first song to be great. Even though you’ve been playing an instrument for a long time – songwriting is a different craft and needs repetition. Write the bad songs too, get them out of your system and you learn something about yourself or songwriting new every time you write a song. Write with others and absorb, quickest way of learning is from other great writers.
What are you looking forward to in the near future and what can listeners expect?
I’ve got a bunch of traveling coming up; London, Sierra Leone and Chicago, I love how music takes me places. Listeners can stay tuned for more songs coming very soon, and I would say you’re in for a treat!
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An Interview with Classically Trained Cellist Turned Pop Artist HILDUR: Featured Image Credit: Vaka Njáls