Name: Madelene Eliasson aka LonelyTwin

Nationality: Swedish

Occupation: Singer, songwriter, producer
Current Release: LonelyTwin's "Thinking of a Place" is out now. It's the latest single off her upcoming new full-length This End Had No Beginning, slated for release on July 7th 2022 via Ultra.

If you enjoyed this interview with LonelyTwin and would like to keep up to date with her work, visit her on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?

Usually when I can’t get something out of my head, or when I have a feeling that I can’t get rid of. When I manage to write something about it, it then makes it way easier to process.

My songs are mostly about relationships or other people in my life but sometimes other things come into play.

For you to get started, do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called a 'visualization' of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

Most of the time I have very little idea of what I’m going to make. I just have a feeling that I have to make something.

I can have a topic or a couple of lines in mind or sometimes I don’t even have that. I just have a feeling.

Is there a preparation phase for your process? Do you require your tools to be laid out in a particular way, for example, do you need to do 'research' or create 'early versions'?

I usually just need my studio to be tidy and that’s enough for me. (laughs)

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?

I think lighting can be important. But mostly for me it’s about feeling like I have the space and that I’m by myself (if I’m not writing with someone else, of course). It needs to feel kind of quiet.

What do you start with? How difficult is that first line of text, the first note?

I start with the mood. Either a vibe sonically or just the right chords. Then melody (with maybe some words) and then lyrics.

I usually just have to get those first lines right and then the rest goes kind of easy. But getting the right concept can be really hard.

When do the lyrics enter the picture? Where do they come from? Do lyrics need to grow together with the music or can they emerge from a place of their own?

For me, the lyrics really have to fit the melodies and the vibe. If you pick a topic or words that don’t go with the music, it can really sound off.

Usually the music says something in itself when you start it off so you just have to find the words that really brings it to life.

What makes lyrics good in your opinion? What are your own ambitions and challenges in this regard?

Honesty. That’s it for me.

Writing what you might have trouble saying in real life is always a good thing I think. People usually resonate with that.
Many writers have claimed that as soon as they enter into the process, certain aspects of the narrative are out of their hands. Do you like to keep strict control over the process or is there a sense of following things where they lead you?

I definitely like to follow as it goes. Creativity has a life of its own and it’s fun to just see where that takes you.

Since I work so much by myself I think I have to do that too to so that everything doesn’t end up sounding too similar.

Often, while writing, new ideas and alternative roads will open themselves up, pulling and pushing the creator in a different direction. Does this happen to you, too, and how do you deal with it? What do you do with these ideas?

I try to visit new roads but if they end up taking me too far from where I want the project to be I have to not get too attached to them. Which can be really hard.

Sometimes you make something that you love but you have to leave it cause it doesn’t fit with everything else. But maybe you can save it for another day or something else, you never know!

There are many descriptions of the creative state. How would you describe it for you personally? Is there an element of spirituality to what you do?

I think it’s 50/50. It’s a lot of hard work that you just have to push through but then there are definitely those moments when you feel like it’s magic. Like that song you're making already existed and you just collected it from the sky or something.

Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite. What marks the end of the process? How do you finish a work?

That’s a hard one! For me I just decide that it’s done. Even if it ”might not be,” because you can never know for sure.

Also, I’m always more scared I’m overworking something then underworking something cause there’s always magic in a demo. But you can lose that magic if you overwork a song.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you're satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practise?

I usually make a demo and then leave it lying for weeks, sometimes months. And then ones I know that I'll want to put out if finish it.

I try to get as far as I can in that moment of writing though just because I know that this is my process. My best ideas come in that moment.

What's your take on the role and importance of production, including mixing and mastering for you personally? How involved do you get in this?

I produce all of my music myself and sometimes I have co-producers so that’s a huge part for me. A lot of the emotions I want to convey are in the productions.

And then I’ve had the same guy, Miles Walker, mix most of my music cause I know that he’s amazing and he gets it.

After finishing a piece or album and releasing something into the world, there can be a sense of emptiness. Can you relate to this – and how do you return to the state of creativity after experiencing it?

This is my first album I’m putting out so I don’t really know yet!

But I bet there is. You’ve worked on something for so long and all of a sudden you have to move on from it. I think working on the next album right away could help though.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you personally feel as though writing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

Music has an incredible way of moving people and for me it’s hard to find that in anything else. I can find pieces of that feeling from other things like baking a cake or talking a walk somewhere beautiful but nothing does it like music. Reading a GREAT book is the closest I get I think.