Trust me, I'm a musician.
Katarina Gunnerholm, born and raised in Stockholm, is a muso with a crush on Colin Firth. Her lyrics are sincere and her voice is pleasantly husky. Katarina Gunnerholm, aka K. Gun, embraces her audience with an infatuating smile and honest humour.
Two years ago Katarina moved to London to pursue her interest in song writing. Witty and never far from laughter, Katarina is determined, confident and very down to earth. Her ultimate goal is to become a financially independent songwriter and she is building a solid base at London's The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) to reach it.
Her single England was played on BBC Radio a few weeks back, she is releasing her first EP with the help of producer Nigel Stonier and was re-tweeted by British radio legend Bob Harris. Wolf chats with Katarina about her success, her music and keeping it real.
W: British songwriter Nicky Chinn praised your indie rock lyrics as “sensational” in the last Masterclass at ICMP, Wolf is impressed! Anyone else you've been excited to meet?
K: I know, I could not believe Nicky Chinn himself told me that. I was floating on a cloud that day, and still am! I got to hang out with Carl Barât at the NME awards last year, which was pretty awesome. I met some of the members of Pulp and English comedian Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh.
W: You sound like you're having a ball!
K: It is like an episode of Glee, but cooler. We study our lyrics, play our songs and break into four part versions of classic rock tunes on our lunch breaks. It is a pretty stereotypical environment where the guitar students are smelly boys with washed out Iron Maiden t-shirts and the song students are pretty girls with dreams of winning The X-factor. There are all kinds of people at ICMP which contributes to a very inspiring work environment.
But it's all kept in perspective, have stayed in close contact with my family and childhood friends in Stockholm.
That is key to staying sane and humble when being blessed with this experience. I do think it is important to enjoy yourself, though. There are so many wunderkinds out there and it takes a lot of hard work not to feel inadequate in such a though industry like music production. Rock school is preparing me well for all things unexpected.
W: Like how to produce, write, and play all the songs on your upcoming EP?
K: Yes, with a little help from producer Nigel Stonier my first EP will soon be available to buy. I wrote 100 songs last year so I thought it was time to put them on a CD before I forget about them. Four of my favourite songs will appear on the EP which is released at the end of May 2013.
W: What do you most look forward to on return trips to Stockholm?
K: I would eat Västerbotten cheese on dark rye and drink a big glass of delicious milk for breakfast. I would start my adventure with a meandering walk from Norrmalm to Södermalm, definitely the ultimate way to see as much as possible of the beautiful buildings. Drink in the classic architecture, Stockholm’s old town is amazing. Eat lunch at Mosebacke, best view in town, and go second hand shopping on Hornsgatan. Enjoy the cool atmosphere at Judith and Bertils Bar and go dancing at Strand. It is OK to pass out on a park bench after hours, Stockholm is really safe.
W: Where do you hang a warm summers day in Stockholm?
My ultimate favourite place to spend a summer is at my family’s summer house in the archipelago of Stockholm. There I do all things Swedish like going fishing or skinny dipping when no one is around, I sail and I listen to the radio and watch the seagulls float by while jamming on the old wooden jetty. This is where I want to write music and be inspired when I am a successful songwriter.
Words: Lisa Palm Lamerstedt