Living in Amsterdam but originally from Stoke Newington, Szjerdene is a name that you need to get onto.
Admittedly it was only early this year I became acquainted with her after hearing her feature on the emotionally stirring Closure by that most mercurial of UK producers Lapalux. While of courser Lapalux’s production was seamless (I am a great fan) it was Szjerdene’s vocals which managed to transmit that need to bring ‘closure’ to a relationship that was intense.
While my introduction was only recent Szjerdene has been plying her trade fora number of years. Her own ep Patchwork came out a few years back and pointed to an incredible talent but her touring commitments with another great producer Bonobo saw her own material take a back seat.
Now however her focus returns to her solo pursuits starting with the intense Are You Here complete with a soaring chorus and that electronica sound which plucks at your emotional strings.
Flavour caught up with the singer song writer to talk about; moving to Amsterdam, creativity and working with Bonobo.
How did you get into music and has it always been the passion?
I have always enjoyed singing and performing but consciously decided to make a go of things from when I was 17. I met Yasmin Baker (pianist) at an audition and Brendan Grieve (bassist) at University and put together a band. We played a lot of pubs and clubs in London and it was really my first experience of writing and performing with like-minded musicians who are also still my closest friends! They made it fun and in turn we accomplished so much together in the early stages of becoming professional musicians.
You moved to Amsterdam creatively how has that had a positive effect on you?
Living in Amsterdam is an amazing opportunity to slowly discover who I am and to focus on who I would like to become. I live in a creative community called Heesterveld and it is filled with residents from different disciplines. This energy is really motivating and also calming to return to each time I travel for work. Having understanding neighbours that don’t mind me singing at the top of my lungs is really handy!
Before we get onto your single you have worked with Bonobo and Lapalux-amazing experiences I am sure?
It’s always a great feeling when an established act wants to work with you. When Bonobo reached out I wasn’t very familiar with his work so it was a real pleasure to organically learn about his huge contribution to electronic music. Working with Lapalux was also a very liberating project where we combined our ideas to create something I’m extremely proud of. They are both very interesting people that I’ve enjoyed getting to know both personally and professionally.They have enabled me to find my musical feet and also feel confident in my contributions. Not only are they amazingly talented… they’re just plain fun to work with! This allowed the process to be creatively developmental but also a great experience to be a part of.
Tell me a bit about the new track Are You Here.
Working with Glen Nicholls aka Atatika is like musical alchemy. He completely understands the sound scape and dimension that my voice travels through. I had no doubt, after collaborating on my ep Blue Lullaby eight years ago, that I wanted to recreate something timeless with him. Writing Are You Here was the perfect opportunity to purposely get lost in his palette of sound once again and I really love what we were able to come up with.
Lastly, what’s in the diary?
I’m excited to get my live show up and running as well as releasing music videos for the singles I’m working on! I can’t wait to be back on stage telling stories and sharing unique moments with amazing people around the world!