OTW #498: Beatrice Eli

Scandi-pop with a dark, R&B heart...
Beatrice Eli

“I want to be the badass daughter of Jackie Brown,” proclaims Stockholm’s Beatrice Eli. “She’s über confident,” Eli continues, outlining her admiration for the iconic character of Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 movie. “I love the way she talks, the way she walks – and even when she is really scared, she is still so in control.” 

Clash ponders whether the last remark reveals an insight into the mind of the Swedish singer-songwriter. After the recent release of an excellent debut EP, ‘It’s Over’, the world (or at least a hipster-flask full of bloggerati) seem to have got scarily excited about Eli’s dark, elegant electronic pop.

Eli began writing songs when she was 16 after a childhood spent listening to a lot of “Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder and Leonard Cohen,” and lists Alicia Keys’ ‘Songs In A Minor’, No Doubt’s ‘Tragic Kingdom’ and Janet Jackson’s ‘Velvet Rope’ as the albums that defined her teenage years.

She eventually hooked up with hot production duo Astma and Rocwell, who produced two tracks on her EP. “They are great, analogue synth nerds, which I love, and they also helped me develop as a singer and a songwriter,” Beatrice reveals about the collaboration.

Previously, she had spent many months fiddling around in studios trying to define her ‘sound’. “Finding your sound is a bit like relationships,” Eli admits, “you need to try a couple out to know what you like.”

While its title track and ‘The Conqueror’ are ice-cool slabs of Scandinavian pop, perhaps the EP’s standout moment is the downbeat ballad, ‘Definite Mistake’. The openly interpretable lyric paints a visceral portrait of a cheating ex-boyfriend. Clash asks if the man in question is aware of his lyrical immortality.

“Nope, this person doesn't know,” Beatrice divulges with a steely glint. “But, I do tend to write from mine or my friends’ personal experiences. So, people better be careful how they treat me and my friends or else I might curse you out in a song.” Clash makes a mental note to be very nice to Beatrice and her chums.

Aside from character-assassinating errant partners, Eli is currently recording a debut album with Swedish hip-hop producer Saska Becker and also Daniel Ledinsky, who has previously worked with the likes of Cee Lo Green.

When Clash enquires as to what we can expect from the album, Beatrice turns into her own strapline-writing machine: “It's pop – in a soulful, electronic hip-hop dress.”

And one size will be the perfect fit for all.

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Where: Stockholm

What: Pop in a soulful, electronic hip-hop dress.

Get 3 Songs: ‘It’s Over’, ‘The Conqueror’, ‘Definite Mistake’.

Unique Fact: Beatrice claims to have “an amazing voice recognition skill”. She describes herself as a “human Shazam” who can recognise the voices of all manner of folk.

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Words: John Freeman

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