‘Let’s not live in London’
Swedish Singer Camilla Griehsel has been pouring her soul into a piece of art she has carried with her for more than 5 years. She says it has served as a form of therapy during a time in which she lost both her husband and her mother.
About 20 years ago, Camilla, her 3 children, and her husband, the late singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe, landed in Schull, West Cork, and never looked back.
Next Friday 28 April, the former member of One 2 Many and founding member of Dogtail Soup, will release her new studio album ‘Mamasongue: Source’.
Originally from Stockholm, Camilla has over 30 years of professional experience, from pop to avant-garde opera and traditional jazz, to South American folk.
On her upcoming release, Camilla says she is drawn to the “universal emotions in performance” through which she travels from culture to culture, finding parallels in the “way music resolves into nurture, love and joy”.
Camilla told the Cork Independent: “Myself and my husband were signed to the same record company. We met and fell in love and had 3 kids, and I said before we had any children, let's not live in London, but 3 children later we were still there, so Ireland became the country of desire.
“Our careers took a different shape from that moment on, the both of us, we ended up in the same band, Dogtail Soup. We were really in the right place.
“I had only been to Ireland once before, and that was to Inishbofin, it was our manager's 40th birthday and we decided to rent a house there, that's a long time ago now, and I just fell in love and felt so connected to the place.
“It was like a homecoming nearly, so we started talking about moving from London and it became an easy choice.”
Having spent more than 2 decades in the Rebel County, Camilla now sports a wonderfully delicate county Cork accent and says she sees more differences than similarities between Sweden and Ireland.
“Nature is the thing, even though it's completely different, the beauty of the nature here is as intoxicating as it is in Sweden for me, I love the forests and all the lakes.
“Swedish people are wonderful in the summer, they're very open and outgoing, but we have such long winters. In the winter, people are very quiet, and in the summer, everything opens up, but still, people are very reserved, whereas here in Ireland, it's very different, you know, you can talk to people that you meet on the street. I can't think of anything I'd like to do more than connect with people. In Sweden, you don't talk to people you don't know.
“In London, you know, you start to feel very stretched because it's so busy, you feel stretched, kind of horizontally, whereas here, I feel like I'm stretching more vertically, you know, when you have your feet in the ground, and you have the openness? I look out at the horizon and the islands near Schull and it's just incredible. London kind of stretched me horizontally, so it was amazing to come back and feel the earth under your feet.”
Camilla, who is no stranger to the studio and all that goes with it, says she thrives when the pressure is on, and that practice is king when it comes to capturing the essential emotion of a piece like ‘Mamasongue: Source’.
“I started developing this during a master’s degree in Cork School of Music in 2016. In a way, it's been brewing all my life. I've come to a point in my life where I can let go of loads of things and do things with conviction.
“It's kind of become my therapy I suppose, I mean, a lot of things have happened, a lot of people have died, my husband and my mother, a very short period in between, there was a lot going on, so it's actually been a real outlet for my grief as well. To be able to sing and put my energy into something that is creative and might help other People to grieve or feel something, it feels like a creative way to honour and love those people.”
Camilla will premiere her latest version of ‘Mamasongue’ on 28 April at Ballydehob Jazz Festival 2023, which will coincide with the release of the recorded version of the show.
For more information and booking, visit ballydehobjazzfestival.org.