As the current divide between pop and all other genres grows increasingly blurred, here to smudge the line even more is Swedish trio NONONO. The band digs deep into the recesses of mind and sound to bring forth a bracing, breathy batch of songs that isn’t exactly electronic, or strictly dance or pop either. Whatever it is though, it’s definitely in vogue. Singer Stina Wäppling’s airy yet lucid delivery is captivating in and of itself; combined with producers Astma and Rocwell’s confident backing beats and instrumental leads – it is nothing short of golden. We can vouch for this too: we caught NONONO when they stopped by our neighborhood in L.A. for a show, just after their debut U.S. performances at CMJ. Live, the band’s subtle chemistry – both on and off stage – confirms they are a musical match made in heaven.
Before the show, we spoke with Wäppling about the challenges of being an emerging artist. Afterward, the band also indulged us in a game we titled “Yes or No? With NONONO.” Catch the interview and watch the video for NONONO’s single “Pumpin Blood,” below!
You’ve spoken about how, before you started making music with Tobias and Michel, you had a hard time being creative because of the demands of different producers. What kind of advice do you have for new artists and bands who find themselves in similar situations?
I think it’s just somewhere, you have to believe in yourself and try and stay true to what gets you inspired and what makes you happy. Because if the music doesn’t emerge from a real feeling of yours, then it’s never going to be something someone else is going to feel or experience. If you make music that you’re not feeling yourself then there’s no use making music. And don’t listen to people saying “Well, do another song like that” or “You should just do this.” You can never sort of steer what the music is going to be like so you just to have a really open mind. And whatever inspires you that day, like the mood you’re in, your grief, just go with that - don’t really plan.
So what do you do when you’re not feeling creative. How do you inspire yourself?
I just try and accept the days, ‘cause you’re not creative every day. So the days I’m not feeling creative I think, “I’m kind of just not writing music.” I go with it - and try not to get frustrated. If you have a bad day and you feel like nothing’s coming out, you’re just like “Well, it’s one of those days.” Because if you start getting frustrated with yourself, then you just make it into something that’s negative and the sort of pressure of “Oh we have to get this song out,” rather than just accept when it’s not happening.
Because negative energy doesn’t help at all. It’s good to just be like, “It’s okay. Today’s not happening, but another day.”
Yes or No? With NONONO
Country music: Yes
Sweater vests: (Wäppling) What is that? (Ones To Watch)They’re like sweaters with no sleeves. (Wäppling) Oh no. I don’t wear them.
Thanksgiving: We don’t have that in Sweden but it sounds very nice, so I’m gonna say yes.
Trap music: (Wäppling) What is that? (OTW) Have you heard of the “Harlem Shake?” It’s kind of like that. (Wäppling) Oh yeah. I like all sorts of music, so yes.
Chinese food: Yes
Jägermeister: (shakes head) Nooo.
Blind dates: Never been, but yes.
James Franco: Oh, yes
Tijuana: (Wäppling): Is that a place? (OTW): It’s a place in Mexico. (Wäppling): Then yeah, why not.
Twerking: Yes, I’ve twerked before. When I’m feeling it.
School: Yes I like school
[Photo: @party_sloth, Instagram]