All it took was one spin of Skott's debut creation, "Porcelain," to catch on to her beautifully ethereal voice and experimental, yet comfortably inviting, pop sensibilities. With early support from tastemakers Lorde and Katy Perry, the young lady who grew up in a remote Scandinavian village is making major strides across the pond and beyond.
We had the chance to catch up with Skott right as she touched down in Austin, TX, for the annual SXSW Festival. As she took in all the sights and sounds surrounding her first-ever shows in the states, Skott shared more about her humble beginnings, her love for video games and art, as well as her plans after the tour. Read more below, and dive in to the rest of Skott's music here.
Photo: Skott outside Moonshine in Austin, TX
Ones To Watch: Thanks for meeting me! Is this your first SXSW?
Skott: Definitely, I haven't even been an artist a year. I'm so happy to be here. I didn't expect this a year ago.
Ones To Watch: How does it feel to be playing your first-ever U.S. shows at SXSW?
Skott: I mean, it's a bit unreal. I left my winter jacket at home in Sweden and packed shorts, and I was real excited. I haven't seen the sun in a while, and then we got caught in the snowstorm in New York on the way here. So that threw me off a bit, of course. I so badly wanted to come here [Austin], but now I'm finally here, and I really like it so far.
Ones To Watch: Nice, welcome! So going back to the start…How did you go from being raised in a small Scandinavian village to discovering your talent?
Skott: This village is a bit special because it's very traditional, and it has its own customs and its own language. I would say that almost half of the population played the violin. I've been playing the violin since I was 4 years old. And folk music happened so naturally for me cause I was raised with folk music.
And then when I became a teenager, I started getting into video game and computer game music. I would pretend that I composed music for games, so I would imagine a situation or world where, for example, I'm on a draft in the middle of the ocean. What soundtrack would it be?
It wasn't until I was 15 that I started to get more into pop. That's about the time I decided I want to sing. So to get from the village to the Stockholm music industry was a big step. I applied for a school, like a producer and songwriter school.
I got in and that's where it all began because I
got all the connections there. Otherwise, it would've been really hard to come
from such a small place and have no connections, you know? You have to network
to get into the music industry. It's quite tough if you don't know anyone.
Ones To Watch: Nice! And your lyrics are quite interesting too. Where do they come from?
Skott: Thank you so much! I'm really happy to hear that cause I find lyrics to be the hardest part when I write often. I did write a few poems, as well, growing up.
Most often it comes from personal experiences or sometimes it's me imagining it from another person's perspective, or a friend. I observe, and I write about it. But the thing is, I have to really feel what I'm singing about and writing about, otherwise it doesn't work. I really need to have empathy with that person.
Ones To Watch: Makes sense! So your tour is coming up. Are there any particular cities or dates you're most excited for?
Skott: I'm excited about everything. I had barely been traveling at all a year ago because I was afraid of flying.
Ones To Watch: What's the live setup like?
Skott: I have my band with me, and we're four people on stage, so drums, synths, and guitarist.
Ones To Watch: Can't wait to see it! So your songs have been getting lots of attention– Lorde tweeted about "Porcelain," and Katy Perry about "Wollf." Do you feel pressure to be more pop-y or will you keep experimenting?
Skott: Definitely will stay how it was; I just try to just write what I feel, always. But it was like, how did my song even reach their ears? That was like mind-blowing. And they actually took time and made an effort to tweet about it, as well. Because of that, a lot more people found my music, which is amazing. I'm really thankful to them.
Ones To Watch: Your artwork is actually very
intricate and beautiful–do you create everything yourself?
Skott: I make it with two friends. I do the rough design because I do like to paint, and I've always been into drawing. Then my friend Albert draws it after me showing what I want. So it's a team effort by me and these two guys, Albert and Peter.
Ones To Watch: We know you're an avid gamer–what are your favorite video games?
Skott: I've always been a Zelda fan. A big Zelda fan. I just recently discovered Don't Starve–that's a really fun game. And now when we were stuck in New York, me and the band were playing Ancient Empires together. So it's awesome.
Ones To Watch: Awesome. Who are your top Ones To Watch artists right now?
Ones To Watch: Who are your favorite artists in general?
Skott: I love Susanne Sundfør. She's one of the artists that I can like type in and just listen to song after song. "Delirious" is really good. Besides that, yeah, I've been in my cave.
Ones To Watch: Cool. So any plans after the tour?
Skott: I have a lot of songs that are finished. So I'm just waiting for that moment when they're ready to come out. Then I'm going to keep doing shows and keep writing as often as I can.
Ones To Watch: And until then, we'll be listening to the other songs on repeat.
Skott: Aw, thank you. That makes me so happy.