Schön! Magazine has been a fan of Swedish star Karin Park since she burst onto the music scene in 2003. Her beautiful 6 ft self was seen gracing the glossy pages of Schön! Issue 19, and we have been following her ever-evolving music career since. With Karin’s new, dramatic and stimulating material opening the way into 2014, Schön! is proud to present Karin’s newest single, Shine. With model height and killer looks, Karin Park is an artist who beckons your attention before she even starts singing. Schön! caught up with the hypnotic star to find out what inspired her new single, Shine, available here, and to discover what the future holds for the “Black Sheep of Pop.”
Your style of music has been described in various ways. Everyone seems to different ways of labelling your sound. How would you explain the sound of Shine?
To me, the song is very personal and it’s more about the feeling the song gives me rather than the sound and what other artists it sounds like. Shine is more laid back and warm. It’s quite erotic in a way.
You grew up in the woods of Dalarna. In Shine you mention being “lost in the forest”- how autobiographical is the song?
Being “lost in the forest” is a metaphor for feeling confused with no sense of direction. Metaphors like that come easier when you have the woods right outside your house [laughs]. But no matter where we live we are all a bit lost in the forest some times.
With Shine there is a juxtaposition of comforting lyrics, and slightly more unsettling noises, carefully selected disturbing sounds. How do you want your audience to react to the song?
A song needs both beauty and ugliness to be complete in my opinion. To my ears, at least, there are very little disturbing sounds in this song. It all depends what your point of reference are. But yes, there is always more than one side to my songs. How do I want people to react? When people tell me they’ve made love to my music, I always feel extra happy! Could this be that kind of song maybe?
What inspired you for your 2012 album Highwire Poetry?
When writing Highwire Poetry, I came from a place of emotional chaos. That said, there is always an emotional chaos in me, to a certain extent. But I can hear almost a sense of panic in my voice on some of the songs, when I listen back now. The urgency to set things straight in my mind and understand all of it is very present on this record. I’d like to think I’m better at living with the demons now.
Your music seems to get more and more experimental, and ventures into different musical territories in your newest work. How did you go about writing Highwire Poetry?
I explore music like I explore life. I don’t want to stay in one place for too long. But I know what I like and am quite specific about it, so I know where I’m heading. Sometimes though, I get taken by surprise and things take a bit of a new direction. I’m not a genre, I’m a living and breathing artist. So I just went ahead and wrote what I felt like, but musically I focused a lot on the challenge of making melodies over raw beats and chords (that sounded quite disconnected on their own) but together, combined with the melody and lyrics, it all became a simple pop song.
There is no doubt you have model looks and height. Do you think your unique look has helped your career and opened up new opportunities to you?
Honestly, I think I could have made it easier for myself by trying to look a bit more like Lana Del Rey. Some people, especially macho men, find me a little intimidating and are not used to women who look like they could eat them for breakfast.
But I end up working with relaxed people who have confidence and the strength to not let me fuck around. I like that. And I like my look. That in itself makes me more successful.
How do you cope with the pressure to keep improving and achieving in your music career?
I feel more pressure from the media, as a woman, to keep looking young and beautiful, than from my audience and myself, to keep improving my career. Improving my music and learning new things is my biggest joy and I want to do it all the time. Trying to stay young and beautiful is boring and seems like a complete waste of time. It should really be irrelevant to my musical career, but of course it’s not so I try to eat some ‘Spirulina’ products and have a facial scrub occasionally.
You have already achieved a lot in your career, so what are your goals for the future? What can we expect from you next?
I really just want to have fun and make stuff happen! I’ve done some pretty weird career moves, such as performing my songs on ice instruments on the top of a Norwegian mountain in the middle of the night. I’ve made music videos in my living room, jammed with people from all over the world and played support for David Bowie. But there is still a lot more to explore and a lot more fun to be had.
Words / Loo Loo Rose
Shine is released today, 24th February, via iTunes & Beatport through State Of The Eye Recordings.
This Karin Park editorial and video has been produced by
Talent / Karin Park
Creative Director / Raoul Keil
Photographer / Thomas Knights
Styling / Marianna Frannais
Hair / Adam Szabó
Make Up / Yin Lee
Retouch Portrait / Studio Navona
Retouch Side Shot / OK BANANAS! Retouching
Video Editor / Manuel Molla
Fashion Assistants / Alice Chan, Giulia Massarenti, Ria Polychroniadou
Photography Assistant / Thibault La Droitte