Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Sumie

Photo by Nina Wallén

Gothenburg native Sumie (Sandra Sumie Nagano) will release her self-titled debut record on December 3rd. Already releasing her lead single Show Talked Windows, Sumie gives us another breathtaking song off the forthcoming LP titled Speed Into. Delivering hair-raising vocals sung with sheer clarity, combined with an overall soft and elegant feel to the album, Sumie proves that sometimes less is indeed more. In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? asked Sumie about her trip to Iceland, other artists from Sweden, and her “haunting” music videos. Here is what she had to say:

AMBY: Hello Sumie, cheers for having a chat with AMBY. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

S: Hi, My name is Sumie Nagano, I live in a beautiful old harbour city called Gothenburg in Sweden, with a half a million other people ;-). So I guess it’s pretty small.

AMBY: Your self-titled debut LP is due for release on December 3rd. Which songs off the album are your favourite?

S: I think all of them have a certain personality in time or place, but I tend to “favorite” “Speed in to” and the last song off the album “Sailor Friends”.

AMBY: The video for Show Talked Windows has been noted as “haunting”. What inspired the visually beautiful film-clip?

S: The inspiration came from the directors Jens Klevje and Fabian Svensson. After they heard the song, they had a location and an idea of where they wanted to take it. I did trust them visually for their earlier work in doing great music videos in the past so I was basically acting on their scene. I’d love to say that the scenes were shot at an old submarine dock where they built a huge wooden guitar neck and made it float down a canal. They are both truly camera magicians.

AMBY: What’s the story behind Midnight Glories?

S: It’s a love story, and I want to let the listener to create their own imagination around it.

AMBY: You wrote how you performed for “birds, cameras, very cute kids, and in the beautiful Harpa Kaldalon”. What was the highlight of your trip to Iceland?

S: I believe all of them were so special and strange in a beautiful way, just the country is gorgeous on its own. Having a concert for thirty 5 year old kids though at the Alvar Altos Nordic House is just something my memory will hold on to forever. Seeing that many young kids silent for 30 minutes seemed like an impossible dream. But it was very lovely and very cute.

AMBY: Does hailing from Gothenburg have an influence on your music? And if so, how?

S: Gothenburg carries a great music scene and I’m pretty sure I have been influenced by listening or working with other artists here as well.

AMBY: Which other artists from Sweden should we keep our eyes on?

S: I saw “Kristoffer And The Harbour Heads” this summer and they were pretty amazing live, others like Tempel, Sea Lion, and Library Tapes are great artists too.

AMBY: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?

S: Mostly I find inspiration mostly in visual things and they braid into my personal life or moments. But it can also be fictional story or a personal story from a friend. I never rule anything out. If something affects me on a personal level enough then it’s inevitable it will come out somehow in a song at some point but there is no predicting how or when.

AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?

S: At this moment Samaris, Boards of Canada, Ballet School and Greg Haines are high on my list.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Sumie that nobody knows yet?

S: You’ll have to get to know me a bit better first ;-).


Thank you Sumie, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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