“Energy is something I think about a lot,” chanteuse una schram, lowercase, please, says delicately over the phone. She’s currently in Bristol, starting a B.A. in music, and won’t be back in the country until just before her Airwaves debut this November. “Thinking about what type of energy someone has, what kind of energy someone is giving me, so it made sense to call the EP ‘energy.’”
And luckily for the young artist, it turned out to be a fitting title. Because if there’s anything una’s debut release has created, it’s energy—and perhaps a distaste for capital letters.
una grew up in downtown Reykjavík and started writing songs when she was but 10 years old. That said, she only began working seriously on her own material earlier this year, which culminated in the release of the EP in mid-May.
In the sea of Reykjavík rap and indie, una schram brought something new to the table: pop R&B. Her works pin powerful, rife-with-riffs vocals in the vein of Ariana Grande over lush, smooth, contemporary beats, ultimately creating a delicious melange of old and new. Her tunes are the type of tracks it’s almost impossible not to sway to.
“My music is happy, even though I’m sometimes talking about sad things,” una says. “It’s not dark, it’s light. It’s easy-going.” ‘energy’ isn’t a concept album in the traditional sense but there is a thematic thread, that of, “love, sass, and difficulties in life,” as una explains. “In most of the songs, I’m obviously singing about a love interest.”
bring your a-game
una’s excited to play her first Airwaves gig, but admits she sometimes finds the whole festival thing a bit stressful. “Weirdly enough, I’m not a huge festival fan,” she says. “I love playing them but it’s a bit overwhelming. There’s so much to see, so many people to meet, a lot of drinking. It gets a bit too much for me.”
Still, she’s majorly excited to see Mac DeMarco at this year’s iteration. “I love him and I have for a long time,” she laughs. “He’s very classic.”
Other than that, it’s the Icelandic artists una will be front and centre for. “Airwaves is where Icelandic artists bring their A-game,” she says, naming Matthildur as a particular favourite.
“I admit, I’ve been a bit of a bitch about Icelandic music,” she concedes. “I didn’t give it a chance, you know?”
“When I became an Icelandic artist, I realised so many people in the industry are doing amazing things. I was just too cool for school and didn’t open my eyes to it.” Thankfully she did, and hopes to collaborate with more artists in the future.
una schram dropped a new single today and will release one more in two weeks—the perfect buildup for Airwaves. She also hopes to have her debut album ready in early 2020. Until then, bump her EP on Spotify for a boost of ‘energy’—the five songs will get you higher than Nocco, we promise.
Info: Check out ‘Energy’ by una schram on Spotify. You can follow the singer on Facebook and Instagram and catch her live at Iceland Airwaves from November 6th to 9th. Read more Airwaves coverage here.
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Posted October 18, 2019