A producer, song-writer and multi instrumentalist in her own right, Menke creates her own soulful world with small gestures. She plays piano, guitar, banjo, cello, vibraphone, but also more unconventional instruments such as lyre and wine glasses. Her debut single “Moln“ is a perfect case in point, with a gentle electric guitar intertwining the swirling strings, drums, glass and vibraphone with a bow, as her angelic vocal envelopes the song. The song’s official video is embedded below.
— — —
SunCity Paradise: Kicking it off with Sweden, what really stands out and makes it special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor to get a real sense of the country?
Menke: What makes Sweden the most special to me is the melancholia, also the soft atmosphere and the harsh cold. The shifting of the light through the seasons from bright all day in the summer to pitch black dark in the winter too. I think the northern of Sweden is really beautiful, but if you go there you might think that there’s no one living in this part of the country. It’s a lot of wild nature that I really appreciate. Stockholm is also beautiful. I think that most of Sweden and its nature really speaks for itself.
SCP: What was your first real exposure to music? How did you get inspired to create your own and eventually pursue it as a career?
M: I never really thought I would be pursuing music as my career. It just grew on me during the years and all of a sudden I was hocked. I was in high school when I started writing my first own songs. I found the thrill of sitting up all night; writing and recording music while everybody else were asleep. It became my secret hideaway. I get inspired by a lot of things. It can be everything from art and philosophy to other musician. Two of my favorite bands/musicians are Sigur Ros and Joanna Newsom.
SCP: To create music, and traveling to promote it, must be such a feeling. What’s the most impactful and meaningful part you cherish about it? Does the travel help inspirationally?
M: Traveling with your music is wonderful. It gets you to connect with people all around the world in a completely different way. Sure everybody can listen to the music on their computers and other devices, but to preform live in different places gives you a whole different tool to be able to touch and move people, and to really make them feel something. That is very inspirational, for sure.
SCP: You just released your song “Moln” in November. What was your overall vision or goal for this release? How has it been received by your fans since it dropped?
M: I didn’t have that high expectations about it. I had been working on this song for a long time and was very happy to finally be able to show it to the world. The response has been incredible. I’m overwhelmed by all the support and kind words.
SCP: What’s one stark difference between traveling as an artist versus personal travel?
M: The most significant difference for me is the tempo. Traveling while working I enjoy a high tempo with lots to do, just keeping the pace and workflow up. When I’m traveling in my free time I like to pull away, take it easy, slow down and try to restore some energy.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
M: I have two favorite places that I go to as often I can. One of them is an island on the northern Norwegian coast to the Atlantic. It’s a very small island and it rains almost all the time. I’ve spent all my childhood summers there. The other place is a secret hideaway in Sicily. Friends of ours have a biodynamic olive and lemon agriculture near the beach there.
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
M: Traveling with music is a great tool to immediately bond and connect with people in different ages, from different places and with different backgrounds. It’s an essential and wonderful thing about music. As a musician, it’s a worthwhile opportunity to connect with other people that way. Music really brings people together.
SCP: Everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three destinations, either work or pleasure, that you need to see? Why?
M: I’m half Norwegian, but I haven’t really been traveling around as a tourist in Norway. I always go to the same places where I have my family. So, I would really like to take a longer trip around in Norway, maybe up to Svalbard. Another place I would like to visit is Japan, mostly because it’s so different from here. A third place would probably be to go back to [that Norwegian] island again, to hike in the nature there was a really overwhelming experience for me. And, I feel I need to do it again sometime soon.