As an independent Swedish artist, COBRAH has begun to cultivate a landscape of music and visual art that puts freedom of creativity at its heart. Combining electropop dance music with visuals that dive deep into a fantasy gothic world, her creativity is represented in these broad strokes that are unique sonic and visual experiences. The new self titled EP explores that freedom that comes with music, dance and complete self-expression – the EP is out 12th May.
When did you begin to take an interest in art and music? Which artists caught your eye first?
I always had an interest in music, when I was a kid I took every opportunity to learn an instrument and I remember I had this inner drawing to be an artist. Not that there was anyone I specifically looked up to, but I remember being 5 years old and whenever people started talking about artists I started to feel sad that I wasn’t one already.
Could you tell us a bit about the new EP and what you were exploring and delving into for this particular project?
This is my party project, we started writing it the summer of 2020 and with everything shut down this was my way to keep the party going. On the ICON EP I really got into my upbringing and the trauma of being a teenager so for the new EP I wanted to write more about what my life has become since then. It’s also partly about longing for a post-pandemic life and indulging in that fantasy.
Your projects have continued to be these high-energy musical experiences, for example your new song GOOD PUSS has this really infectious beat and is perfect for a club environment. What draws you to this electronic dance soundscape?
I just love a good ass party to be honest, and dancing! When I started writing music, I first thought that I was going be like an indie-folk artist but I’m so drawn to the party and extroverted side of art that I just can’t help myself in the studio.
I read that you described being an artist as more than just creating music, but about ‘your whole output as a person’, I love that you embrace all the artistic elements of your work and not just the music alone. Why has this been so particularly vital to your craft?
I started thinking a lot about this when Spotify was really into making some songs major hits but then no one knew the artist. I thought about the artists we see as icons today. We never just think about “that one song” but we think of the person. Music is personal, so it’s been very important to me to not just focus on music but all of me, especially with the new EP.
You also have your own record label GAGBALL. Was it always your intention to be completely independent from an existing label?
No, not really, I just felt like nobody got what I was trying to do, especially in Sweden and I’m a doer. So, I just went ahead and over time I started working as a label! It has been a blessing to be able to grow my career so close to my fans and have the freedom to try out all my ideas.
DIP N DRIP is a song you’ve talked about as not being sexual, but actually about how tough it is to do what you are doing, especially as an independent artist. Could you tell us a bit about when sexuality does play a role in the music you make and the aesthetic behind your music?
I like to talk about sex in a playful way because sometimes you just want to have fun with your sexuality and not be so serious about it like with WET or GOOD PUSS, those are fun songs about enjoying your sexuality and I think playing with sexuality takes the pressure away of just being alive essentially!
You are heavily involved in the queer and fetish scenes in Stockholm, how did that influence you?
Heavily involved might be an overstatement, but the scene has definitely had a heavy impact on me. It comes down to the playfulness that I said earlier and aesthetic of the culture. If I wasn’t such a goth I’d probably be really into fantasy roleplaying too. But it excites me to be around people that really indulge themselves in a very playful but serious way. We’re just freaks who have this space where we’re accepted and I’m so drawn to it and the freedom.
I love the music videos I have seen from you so far, particularly the strangeness of your first single IDFKA, and the fact that you develop the concepts for the videos is really cool! When you write a song do you have a sense of what the visual will be like?
Sometimes I do see in my head how I’d make the visuals to elevate or make the song more understandable when I’m writing the song. I like to think of how the elements sound, not just what I’m singing about but more like “is this a metallic song or is this a rubbery song?” Everything is always about texture with me.
These cyberpunk, gothic, science fiction ideas really come out in the visuals and the soundscapes you produce, what attracted you to that technological and strange world?
I’ve never viewed myself as a tech girl but I just love expanding the barrier for what you can do in real life. I felt really limited only working with natural environments so that’s why I turned to the tech side. I also think we all need fantasy and dream worlds, that’s what a lot of my art is about, it’s creating this fantasy world where everything’s gooey, electric and sexy!
Since your music is so energetic, what kind of live experience could we expect from your concerts?
I live for live! There’s just nothing like it. I love a genuine live experience with lots of dancing, ass shaking and general silliness - I especially like to take a beer shower to cool off mid-show. When you play live, you only have this one unique experience with the fans and I truly want to make the most of it. The whole idea is that we party together!
There is such a sense of freedom in the way that you work as an artist, you have a vision for everything from the music to the costume and the artwork. What would you like to do next?
An album! I say this to everyone, but I’d love to work with a bigger team on an album. I’m longing so much to collaborate with other artists and creatives on a bigger piece of work so now I'm on the lookout to pick a team and truly get my music out there.
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