How are you Tina?
I'm very well, thank you! And very, very busy - which is fantastic!
Let’s start with the new album. Since this is your first solo full length, what were some of the things you wanted the album to speak about you as an artist?
Well, In The Red is actually my third album as I've already released two acoustic-y albums in my home country, Denmark, but I was very aware of how I wanted to introduce myself to the rest of the world.
I wanted it to be a warm and welcoming album, more open and out-going than what I've done earlier. I chose producer Chris Potter because he normally works with lads' rock bands and I wanted to avoid sounding like "just another girl with a guitar" and hopefully achieve a more ambitious sound.
At the same time it was all-important to me that the intimacy of the songs and the vocals were kept and I think Chris managed to find a very good balance.
In the Red has a very strong album style feel to it, everything flows so well together. When you were writing for the album, were you viewing it as a collection of the material you have or did you view it more as a complete piece in the early stages?
The core of the album is a collage of songs written over a period of almost four difficult years after I've moved to London, however, just before we went in to the studio, when I had a very clear sense of the album I wanted to make, I wrote two or three songs that I felt the album needed to tie it together and to add a few extra colours. I love writing songs into a context - it's much easier in a way.
Are there certain musicians or genres of music that strongly influence your writing?
I grew up with Dylan and Donovan but in the past 5 years I've listened a lot more to bands like Coldplay and Radiohead - much more based around vibes and musical ideas. I'm kind of torn between the two: wanting to tell a story really simply and directly, just me and my guitar, but on the other hand wanting to create a much more interesting, layered soundscape. So I guess I'm somewhere in between?
How do you treat influences, do you like to openly embrace them in your music or try and keep a healthy distance from them?
I think the fact that I'm a girl who’s inspiration lies somewhere between Dylan and Coldplay makes it quite easy for me to steer clear of too much resemblance. I don't think about it when I write. I just sort of disappear in to a space in my head where conscious thoughts of influences don't exist.
How has response been to the album as compared to any expectations you may have had for it? Is there anything that has been particularly surprising as far as reviews go?
The response has been really good! I don't read too many reviews but the general response has been overwhelming! The surprise to me has been to see what a variety of people buy In The Red and come to my gigs - from very young to old. Men and women. That's a lovely feeling.
Would you mind telling our readers a little about "Room With A View" and the thoughts, ideas and inspirations that it stems from?
I had just moved to London when I wrote "Room With A View." I moved away from home to be a full-time songwriter, I wanted to push and test myself and thought a Big Lonely City would be the perfect challenge. I didn't really know anyone in London and my days were terribly long in the beginning. I'd go for walks, sit with my notebook in cafes and sit by my window in my unfurnished flat wondering what in God's name I was doing in London, thinking about everything I'd left behind.
Is there one particular song on the album that stands out to you as something really special to you?,/p>
"Room With A View" is also my favorite because it captures the vibe of a very difficult and very important time in my life. "Nobody's Man" as well means a lot to me. I wrote it on a tour of The States, in Boston, just after having been on stage. It was one of those rare songs that write itself really quickly.
Again it was sparked by this feeling of being far away from home, far away from my boyfriend at the time, who I was losing touch with because of my “geographically challenging" life style. This was my song to him, telling him not to expect me to be able to make him happy.
Your lyrics seem very intimate in my opinion. How personal do you allow your lyrics to get? Do you prefer to remove yourself from them somewhat or is everything permitted?
I can't write lyrics without putting a big part of myself in there but I do aim to write it in a way that I think others will be able to relate to. I try to be personal rather than private.
But I suppose everything is permitted. I don't have any problems with sharing personal stuff because I'm pretty sure we all go through the same things at one point or another in our lives.
Many artists view themselves as entertainers first. Do you see yourself more as an artist expressing herself or an entertainer?
I think that earlier I wrote songs to get things off my chest but now I write because I like to share music with people. I love performing; giving and receiving.
There's a magic that only exists when both the audience and the performer gives in. I think I find myself somewhere in between the two.
Thanks so much for your time. Do you have any parting thoughts you would like to leave our readers with?
Well, I'd like to say that I hope everyone will come and share an evening with me at one of my gigs! It's something I'm very much looking forward to, touring In The Red.