THREE ESSENTIALS YOU CAN’T SPEND A DAY WITHOUT:
2. Lip balm
HOW’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
I spend a lot of time on the road, I feel like I’m always traveling. There’s no typical day really. I spend a lot of the time in the studio, when I’m home, well I live in a small studio in LA so I’m not really much home unless I really have to relax. And I try to make time for my friends too.
THE FIRST TIME YOU REALISED YOU’LL BE A SINGER?
It’s hard to say, I don’t really remember at what age. But I always felt driven towards music. When I grew up, I realised that’s my purpose. It’s a connection that I cannot explain. I was then mentored by Prince and being around someone like him, that has really changed my life and also my confidence. I got validation from the highest level in the music, it really meant a lot and was a good boost to my confidence.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO FIND YOUR OWN VOICE AND IDENTITY IN MUSIC?
Yes it was a bit hard. I spent my childhood in Iran, teenage time in Sweden and here I am being grown up in LA. It’s like, you finally adopt to one country and their culture and it’s time to move. Then do the same thing all over again. But I had to, it was my calling. They’re not this ambitious in Sweden to understand this. When I was younger, I was quite naive as I always see the good in people. It’s how my family is. We always give. So when people told me they’re going to help me but in the end didn’t,… it has been a long journey for me to really find my own self and to trust myself. It took some time to build my strong personality yet stay myself. I think that happened when I move to the US. I found myself.
YOU’RE SINGING ON “I WANT YOU AROUND” ABOUT STEVIE WONDER. WHO ELSE INFLUENCES YOU? Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince. Also Brandy. I was listening to her album when I started to sing. Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill taught me a lot, too. I like strong people with great messages.
YOU TOUCH ON ALL STAGES OF LOVE; THE HONEYMOON, TOUGH TIMES, AND HEARTBREAK. WAS THAT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE?
Just about life and my life experience and also about my almost two years long relationship. I started to talk to people once the relationship ended. My life became fun and exciting again. Then other songs, I was writing about my life, for myself. I realised that I never put the same effort into visualising what I want from a relationship as I put into making music. So I sat and started working on that. I was always in bad and toxic relationships and this experience was also healing, on my way to find my real self.