Photo Credit: Kine Kolstad
While many agree Sandra Kolstad is the queen slaying the electronic pop scene, she admits humbly, “I am no royalist.” We’ll agree to disagree because one listen of her latest single, “Halflife,” will have you leaning towards the royal realm. Like the soundtrack to a modern dance performance, “Halflife” is just the start of what’s to come when Sandra Kolstad drops her new album, Burning Love. Before that comes in the new year, get to know more about what went into her upcoming release, experimentation, and more.
Kendra: A classically trained pianist who is owning the electronic scene. Do you feel your years on the piano bench prepared you for this new scene you’re in or was it like learning music all over again when you started making electronic music?
Sandra Kolstad: To me, music is music, somehow. Whether I play it on a piano or a synthesizer or sing a cappella or make beats. It’s the same force. My years on the piano bench gave me a deep understanding of some aspects of music which I wouldn’t necessarily have encountered elsewhere. It also gave me discipline!
Kendra: “Halflife” is one of the most vibrant tracks I’ve come across all year. I couldn’t stop moving. Which is likely due to you noting that your current album, Burning Love, is showcasing your happier side. Was the change in emotion from San Silva more about wanting to explore something new musically, or was it inspired by your life?
Sandra Kolstad: Thank you!! I’m so happy to hear that. Speaking of happy, Burning Love isn’t necessarily happier than what I made before. Some of the record is actually about much darker stuff than I have approached earlier. At least if you think about the subject of the record, traumatic relationships. The manner in which I approached it has been different, freer, and with a different urge to let the music live it’s own life. No matter what the subject of the songs are. Hopefully, that has allowed a certain energy to flow freely through the material!
Kendra: Back to “Halflife,” it covers the paradoxes of life and being stuck in the middle of things. When was the last time you found yourself in that situation, stuck in between?
Sandra Kolstad: Hehe, it’s not very long ago. In some sense, I think we are all caught in paradoxes every day. In a very existential way, we are all the time because the premise of being is alive is we are bound to die. And the search for meaning within that can sometimes be hard. At the end of the day, there’s meaning, part of the human condition is that we are able to construct meaning, for instance by making art and relations. There’s a big liberating potential in facing the paradoxes we live in and make conscious decisions concerning how we live with them.
Kendra: Burning Love is also more experimental. Was there anything you wanted to experiment with that you didn’t get a chance to this time around?
Sandra Kolstad: Yes, totally. And luckily! If the day comes that there is nothing more I want to experiment with, and I feel done with experimenting, my days as an artist are over. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, it is no human right making art. There are infinite other ways to live and experiment and search for meaning.
Kendra: Dagsavisen dubbed you the “Electronic Pop Queen.” If your Electro-Kingdom had a theme song – what would it be and why? Could be a song of your own or someone else’s.
Sandra Kolstad: To be quite honest I am no royalist. I am a firm believer in utopia. So maybe I would choose “Mango Corner,” a song from my previous record San Silva. Which is a hymn to Utopia?
Kendra: Now that 2018 is almost over, are you already making big plans for 2019?
Sandra Kolstad: I guess the answer is yes since my new record Burning Love will be released in 2019. I am also part of a theatre play as both composer and actor, which I am very excited about.