Interview: ShitKid

“I’ve always been wanting to make music,” Åsa Söderqvist enthuses. “I can’t really play any instruments or record. I didn’t know anything about them.” With two EPs already under her belt and a debut album about to see release, ShitKid is still something of a newcomer to the world of music. Fusing a lo-fi aesthetic with woozy melodies and bubbling pop hooks, the Swedish artist has been stirring up a sensation both sides of the channel.

“I had songs in my head, but I’d never been writing songs,” she recalls, “then I got a sound card, and I made that first thing.” Writing and recording her ideas alone in her room, Åsa crafts a brand of rock and roll that’s freewheeling in its nonchalance. “When I got the sound card it just made it simple,” Åsa describes. “I could loop all the stuff and make it really simple for myself. That’s what made me start.”

Debut single ‘Oh Please Be A Cocky Cool Kid’ is full of all the intoxication and allure of instant attraction, written when returning home from a party where she’d seen someone across the room and started crushing hard. “I usually just begin with playing a beat and start playing guitar to it, jamming,” Åsa explains. “Then if I like something I’ll record it.” Riffing off her emotions, ShitKid’s music conveys a very real sense of character.

“That’s a very quick process, I guess,” she continues. “Then I’ll find a theme for the lyrics to be about. I’ll kind of improvise it on the way.” In their improvisation, ShitKid’s songs arrive with a gloriously easygoing sense of attitude. Couple all of this with a penchant for all things lo-fi and the result is rock’n’roll at its rawest, and it’s most real.

“I’ve always wanted to do some sort of rock music,” Åsa states. “I didn’t know what to expect from it really.” Writing simply for the love of it, learning as she went, this lo-fi sound came about as much as a practicality as it did as a creative choice. “I only have my keyboard and my guitar, so that’s what I used,” she offers. “It wasn’t really something I chose too much. It was what I had around. But it kind of happened to be what I wanted it to be.”

With her talents improving and her passion growing, Åsa decided to look at releasing it. The first label on her wishlist? PNKSLM Recordings. “They were the first ones I sent music to,” she expresses. “They were kind of the only ones.” Famed for shining a light on some of the most riveting underground garage rock sensations (such as Angelic Milk, Magic Potion, and Thee MVPs, to name a few), the label was the perfect place for ShitKid to make her home.

“Luke [Reilly, label founder] wrote me back about an hour after I sent them,” Åsa laughs. While everything seemed to fall into place naturally, the nerves surrounding her first release wouldn’t quite stay away. “I made the EP, and then I just kind of tried to forget about it,” she admits. “I’d never done music and had people listen to it. I had to set a date for myself to put it out so that I couldn’t not put it out.”

Admitting “I knew I would probably get cold feet” (“which I did, but I put it out anyway,” she states with a grin), releasing her first music into the world is something Åsa describes as “a heart-racing thing to do.” Straight away she moved on to the next thing. “I put it out, and tried to forget about it,” she says. “It was still very much a big thing for me to do. Now that it’s gone so well, it feels much safer.”

With performances at The Great Escape and Roskilde festivals, as well as a string of dates across the UK and Europe ahead of her, the energy and excitement couldn’t be more natural. “It’s crazy!” she exclaims. “We’ve been headlining, which is really weird. It’s been really fun.” Commenting that it’s “crazy that it’s all gone so fast,” ShitKid is now hot on the heels of her debut LP, released to the world in June.

“It’s similar to my EPs but a bit more jolly,” Åsa carefully portrays. “It’s a bit more ‘doo-wap, ba da da’,” she sings, laughing. “It’s maybe a little bit more pop too, but it still has the same ingredients, the drum machine and the simple guitars and stuff.” Stating that “you can expect a rock’n’roll,” the album embodies ShitKid’s sense of character to a T.

“Hopefully it goes well,” she enthuses. “I want to play, and I want to keep playing everywhere!” she expresses. “I want to keep touring. I want to tour all the time.” Asked if there’s anything more she hopes to achieve with this project, Åsa pauses. “I would want to make all girls be able to go topless,” she affirms. “That would be my ambition.” Refusing to play by the rules, ShitKid is forging her own revolution – and this is just the beginning.

Taken from the June issue of Dork, out now. ShitKid’s debut album ‘Fish’ is out 2nd June.

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