A couple of weeks ago we had a chat on Zoom with the amazingly talented Icelandic artist Axel Flovent. At the time, he was just at the end of lock-down in Reykjavik and we took the opportunity to talk about his upcoming album amongst other things.
You are incredibly well travelled, having lived in Husavik in north Iceland, as well as Amsterdam, Brighton, and then back to Iceland now in Reykjavik.
Do you feel settled now or do you feel you might get itchy feet again to travel?
Yeah, I feel way more settled. Of course there is a lot of travelling with my work so I kind of feel like I am constantly travelling. It feels like the first time I have been forced to stay home and I am absolutely loving it.
I have been adjusting to every opportunity that comes along, there have been all the support tours recently and before that I did my album in London last summer so I feel like since I have moved back home I have hardly actually been home.
Now in the past two months I have loved being here and settled.
You are currently working on your next album – when might we expect its release and another single from it?
Well there will be a couple more (singles) – we were going to release the album in September but because of the virus and the fact we were trying to coordinate a tour around the album, we thought we would release a couple more singles and have the album come out in the beginning of next year.
Ian Gimble produced the album, he has worked with some amazing bands – what was it like working with him?
Yeah, it was my first time working with him. He is very professional, he has his way and his template of how he works – it is very fascinating to work with people who have been doing the same thing for a very long time.
If I am craving to produce something a little different it can be a struggle in the studio sometimes to get the idea across but overall it was quite amazing to get his world around my album and that is what I wanted for this album. I am really pleased with it.
With everything going on at the moment, how does it affect you creatively? Obviously the album is written now and ready to go but have have you found the ordeal a good time to write or the opposite?
I have definitely written more now than I have since I finished the album and over the past two months I been getting back to my writing. I have heard a lot about artists are struggling with the world on shut down but I have kind of no pressure that I usually have because the world is not moving the speed that it usually does and this has made things more quiet for me and allowed me some space to breathe.
Your most recent music videos have been directed by Clara Schicketanz – how did the pair of you meet and start working together?
Yeah, well, she is actually my girlfriend! So, she lives in Berlin and I always head over there after my tours to spend time with her and she comes over here to Reykjavik. She is a very creative person, she writes her own music, creates her own art, and when we started dating she started taking photos of me. From there we started working more together as it felt right to do – it all felt very natural. She is also responsible for all my album and single covers.
What are some of your favourite parts of Iceland to escape to?
I don’t travel a lot in Iceland to be honest – a lot of my family live in the east of Iceland which is an amazing place to go to. It is very quiet and peaceful over there and where I was inspired for some of my early releases such as my Forest Fires EP. I was working in the Easy over Summer and that is when I also wrote ‘Beach’ so that will always have a clear connection to me.
What have you been watching, listening to, reading recently – have you any recommendations (Movies, TV Shows, Books, Podcasts, etc)?
I have been binging a lot of TV shows which has really been my jam. I don’t tend to watch a lot of movies in general but every time I do watch an old movie I am like ‘Okay I need to watch more movies’ as there is such amazing classic movies that I have still never seen.
At the moment I have watching the new High Fidelity series which is amazing, I used to read a lot of Nick Hornby as a teenager and obviously the TV show is based on similar theme that I connected to but they have really modernised it too – its great!
I have also enjoyed Normal People, I really enjoyed this – it was like pure art. I loved the way it captures real emotions…it was something special.
Then there is also Ozark – which is a bit of mix but that is what I have been obessing about recently.
With movies I watched a series of movies with my brother which were the Unbreakable, Split, and Glass which were great!
Finally, what is your tip of the day?
Never make yourself feel like you are stuck in growing as a person and keep following your own needs and wishes – by doing that you can be there for other people. That’s kind of the meaning of my new release – how can you be there for someone if you are not there for yourself?
It is so easy to neglect; something that is cliche but it is so important.
We have shared a Spotify playlist below of the wonderful Axel for you to go and have a listen to – you can also follow him and find out more on his Facebook page Axel Flovent
Interview by: Alex Minnis