INTERVIEW // The story behind "Swayze" and exclusives from their journey this far

Photo: Tell her

Photo: Tell her

Last Thursday the Swedish band, I Am Karate, released the new single Swayze. We are big fans of this duo that delivers impeccable song, unique noises and dreamy synths. In this post, Erika and Marta share the story behind Swayze. More then that they share inspiring insights from what once started with rattling recordings on phones and lead to a contract at Universal. 

Marta and Erika first met in 2012 at a folk high school in Sweden. Erika studied Jazz and Marta studied songwriting, but this isn't where the real magic started. It began when the girls became classmates at the Royal Collage of Music in Stockholm a year later. 
During the first year, a random situation occurred that would lead to something much less casual. 

"I contacted Erika for a gig, my band couldn't participate so we decided to do something together instead. We ended up playing some covers using a loop machine and an iPad on stage. It was pretty simple but still very appreciated, it was something different." 

After the gig, Marta and Erika realized they had a special bond in music. Coming from different musical backgrounds, something new and interesting arose. They decided to explore this further by starting a collaboration 

"I remember in the beginning, when we recorded songs with our phone and sent that bad- quality material to different bookers. I can't believe they actually booked us after that." 

The duo realized that despite access to better technique, their unique sound had an ability to bleed through. The band then decided to invest some real effort into the project. Not only when producing music, but by doing everything from scratch while making music videos, press releases, and so on. 

"We wanted to be independent. It was a tough time but it lead to great attention from the music industry". 

In February 2015 the duo released their first EP called I Am Karate. Soon the song Bloom became really popular and spread among various music bloggers. 

"Bloom is a Spartan indie/house song. It's really cool with many special elements in it. The positive feedback that we got from that release made us realize that there was some true interest for what we were doing"  

One thing led to another, and in March this year the band ended up getting signed by Universal. Congratulations and well done!  

Photo: Julia Simonsson

Photo: Julia Simonsson

When we take part of I Am Karate playing outside on a late summer night in Stockholm, we feel inspired and empowered knowing about all the hard work put in to this achievement. When the band starts playing the new song Swayze, we feel like it expresses the evolvement into what has become a fragile and honest kind of artistry.  

The band tells us that the ideas behind the song actually came from a self- perceived situation. 

"I Was dating a guy, when he suddenly disappeared. I thought he was nice and that we had a good time. But then from nothing he went up in smoke. He had not died, that I know because I saw that he was active on Facebook. But it was just such a sick experience. When I told Erika about it, she introduced me to this ghosting- concept, you've been ghosted, she said." 

Although the band doesn't usually write about self- perceived experiences, at least not directly, the girls felt like this situation in itself was made to become a song.   

"I think all the songs you write works as an outlet for feelings and thoughts. Our other songs are not exactly self-perceived, that's what makes song is unique." 

As of today, the band is writing lots of new material. Erika and Marta are also working with different producers and have, for instance, written some material for the Swedish artist Ace Wilder. 

"Collaborating with others is rewarding. To try something else and challenge ourselves in creation. Because, being in a band is like being in a relationship, you have to meet others to find that new spark." 

We are looking forward to take part of I Am Karate's upcoming work. We sure hope this special relationship never ends, but keeps on evolving to inspire us and many others.  

We want to give a special thanks to Erika and Marta for sharing this really interesting and intimate story!