Rising Swedish artist Bishat released her new single ‘Unholy Romance’ this Valentine’s Day. This dark pop track about a destructive relationship made in collaboration Platinum-certified producer, XOV, is the perfect anti- Valentine’s this ‘romantic’ season.
Bishat talks to Essentially Pop about the inspiration behind the new single, working with XOV and the reason behind releasing it on Valentine’s Day.
EP: Your single ‘Unholy Romance’ is about a destructive/rash relationship, is it inspired by a personal experience or have you taken some amount of creative freedom with it?
B: I’ve definitely experienced that kind of relationship in my past, where I dove in at the deep end more or less knowing that it wasn’t going to end well. My mind at war with my emotions. I don’t regret it though it’s life in all its mess and glory.
EP: What was the songwriting process like? And what was it like working with Damian Ardestani?
B: We were in Damian’s studio on an island outside of Stockholm on a cold gloomy day and we just put down some chords and a pad and started to find the melodies we liked. It was pretty effortless. The lyrics took a minute and we were talking about life and Damian kind of dragged the story out of me and a few hours later it was all there. Pretty much the finished tune. It’s definitely the quickest I’ve ever worked. Sometimes simplicity is the best thing, say what you want to say dress it up in jeans and a white t-shirt and that’s it.
EP: How would you describe your sound? In what ways has it evolved?
B: R&B influenced electro pop or dark pop as I like to call it. It varies from track to track and I don’t feel as if I committed to a sound. But it all comes out of me so I guess that’s what ties it all together, my voice, my melodies and the sounds I like. I love pure top 40 pop and I also like to take things left of centre and more alternative so my music is a mix of that.
EP: You’ve been making music since you were 13. What do you think you’d do right now if you weren’t making music?
B: Hmm, I think I’d be in the music industry, management or PR helping the artist to build create their vision but I think that would leave me bitter if I what I really wanted to do was make music. I’ve also always been interested in medicine so doctor or pilot. I’ve been obsessed with aircraft since I was a child.
EP: Would you say your Ethiopian roots have found its way into your music and overall sound?
B: Not really but I mean it’s impossible to say what has influenced you. In ‘Unholy Romance’ though there’s a sample from last year when I was in Ethiopia. Outside my mom’s house, there’s a church and they call out the prayers through a megaphone so I recorded that and put in in the background for almost the entire song. You can properly hear it in the outro. So I got a piece of Ethiopia in there.
EP: Who would you describe as your musical influences or inspirations?
B: Growing up I listened to a lot of Max Martin/Cheiron Pop as well as my mom’s old soul and R&B records she had on vinyl and then when Alicia Keys dropped her debut album she became a huge influence. How she used the piano and made R&B and pop meet and produced her own records. Now there are a million things that inspire me. FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, sounds, conversations, anything and everything.
EP: The single was released on Valentine’s Day? Was that a conscious decision, given that the theme of it is exactly the opposite of what you’d want from a relationship?
B: Yeah I was a little bitter I think and that on-demand Valentine’s Day Romance thing is not really my idea of well romance so we put out a song for everyone who’s not all loved up and maybe tangled in a different kind of situation.
EP: What is the memorable moment in your career?
B: I think releasing my first song on my own myself after all these years of making music. I was just proud of myself for finally taking that step and then to see people responding well to it was even more euphoric than I could’ve imagined.
EP: What are your future ambitions? Is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?
B: I definitely want to get my music out to as many people as possible, go on a world tour, chart top 10 on billboard hot 100 and as far as sound goes I want to be fearless and just create whatever I feel like creating and take risks.
EP: Finally, what is one question that no one ever asks in an interview that you wish they asked?
B: That is a tricky one, maybe why you make music? I’ll have to think about that.
Listen to ‘Unholy Romance’: