It’s probably a sign of the uncertainty of the times that nostalgia for ’90s and ’00s sounds is rife in recent pop. Erika de Casier’s 2019 album Essentials struck a chord with listeners on a similar basis, the unapologetically wistful R&B-inspired vocals framed by a palette drawn from garage, G-Funk, house and other just-about-vintage styles. But the Aarhus artist’s growing catalogue plays that game with significantly more warmth, unaffectedly lo-fi style and artistry than most. De Casier made her first musical outings under the auspices of Denmark’s Regelbau collective, runs her own Independent Jeep label and cycles everywhere – and that down-to-Earth, resourceful charm shines through in her musical choices. Her second album Sensational is out now on the 4AD label and FM had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with her to discuss it…
What was your earliest dabbling in music?
“When I first began it was this shitty PC and I downloaded this programme no-one knows, Magix. I don’t know if it’s still alive. I didn’t have a Mac or Garageband. I just put these pre-made loops together and recorded rain sounds and put it all in there. Very, very low-key. But my interest grew because I was spending a lot of hours in this programme. I Googled “electronic music course” and this school came up. A school you had to move to, outside of the city, a four-month course. Very intense. When I started that, there were people who were already good at what they did and I was a little bit intimidated by that. But I learned very quickly and I was very interested in what I learnt. It was the first time I learned about different gear. I got my first soundcard. I gradually found what fit me.”
You said you have gone back to do your Masters during lockdown…
“It was cool because I got to finish my album as part of my study. I just love learning and experimenting. I love the feedback – it’s a gift. As is being able to up my skills in that area.”
You’re on your second album. Have you found that your writing process has changed, or are you in the same routine?
“I think setup-wise, it’s basically the same. Writing-wise, I have developed as a human being. I’ve tried to make my lyrics more universal. Everyone experiences some things at some points in their lives. Because I’ve been working with the same person as on Essentials, not much changed apart from my state of mind.”
You said that when you started Essentials you were in experimental mode. Did the very specific sounds you lean towards come organically or did you have to research?
“It was very natural. I grew up with this music. I’m naturally drawn to the sounds I know and love. Sounds that bring up a nice emotion in me.”
Part of the current trend for the sounds heard in Essentials could be seen as people revisiting what they liked growing up. Was that the same for you?
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