Can you tell us about your new album?

It’s called Adi Shakti and it’s a continuum of my second album The Papillon from 2022, which was based on the process of having searched for, finding and then losing my Indian biological mother.

While working on The Papillon I got to know my mother here in Sweden was severe ill and in June 2022 she also passed away. Suddenly two strong bonds of mine ceased to exist. Somehow with this, a possibility came to find pieces inside of me, never yet discovered. During this time, I found comfort in a poem by Rumi

”Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field, I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down on that grass the world is too full to talk about” – Rumi

Later also the hindu mantra Adi Shakti came to me. Adi Shakti means ”Primal Power” and connects us to the vast and infinite divine source inside. The mantra is feminin to its aspect and when chanting the words, it merges us into the life giving motherly-energy, that creates all things. I feel the mantra and the poem harmonize well together, as they are both implying there’s a place beyond all our knowing, where a new world is available.

So my new album is about all this above and the songs are about releasing from anything that is standing in the way of true connection and expressing yourself with clear guidance from with in. For me as a woman that has meant to fully embrace the feminine energy inside to balance out the masculine energy in the world. On this album I composed two of the songs with London based innovative guitarist Rob Luft, who was introduced to me by my friend and brilliant drummer Jon Fält. On bass the lovely anchor Magnus Bergström joined in. We made the recording in Jon’s studio, standing in a half circle with my song booth in the middle, all in the same room. We did one or two takes on each song. We hadn’t really rehearsed. I had sent them some audio files of me singing and playing Rhodes piano and in the studio we just played it through. I make music through deep connection and intuition; all the musicians are aware of this also and can easily tap into this space. It all became so free and beautiful sounding I think! I am so happy for this loving, present, responsive and playful constellation! Some of the songs on Adi Shakti are compositions I started to write as early as 2016 and who I before felt were too private sing or too difficult to finish lyric or music wise. But after my mother died in 2022 it was as if I had to let go of many things to break new ground in life.

 What other projects are you currently involved in?

Right now I am also preparing and writing on a theatre play together with a director here in Sweden about my unique life experience including the loss of my two mothers. It will premier in November 2024 and I’ll be playing it in the beginning of 2025. It will be like a very focused concert with written texts/monolog and visuals baked into it. I will also make a tour in the fall in schools together with Swedish harpist Stina Hellberg Agback on the theme Non Violent communication and improvisation.

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I actually don’t listen to music that often by myself, since my head is often thinking about new compositions of mine which take a lot of energy.. Some times though in the car, I am listening and exploring music together with my 12 year old son It’s really fun to hear what he likes and thinks about music. We both enjoy old school Rap music like Hip Hop Horray by Naughty by nature and there is some Swedish rappers as well like Mapei and Silvana Imam we listen to. We also like classical music and his favourite is the Habanera by Bizet so that one I have heard soooo many times now 🙂 BUT, when I get to choose for myself, I usually go between listening to different kind of Brazilian music like Elis and Tom, Edu lobo.. and Vanessa da Mata is a favourite. I of course listen to Michael Jackson who is my BIG TIME childhood idol, music from the films by Hayo Miyazaki.. I love that music.. amazing Keith Jarrett.., everything with Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell of course..! And I have a favourite song / performance that’s on YouTube by Daniel Lanois where he plays his song The Maker with Brian Blade..LOVE that! Also I love so much to sing along to mantras by Snatam Kaur, that I do a lot when I cook dinner.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

SO so difficult to choose., but for now I will say it’s maybe a draw between Off The wall with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Blue by Joni Mitchell. Michael Jacksons Of The Wall album just matches my energy so good, like the intro to ”Working day and night”! Love to jump and dace around to that song! Thats why he was my complete idol from 10 years old, I could and still can, reach into my own energy through him. The album by Stevie is so amazingly soulful.. I feel like I am floating when I listen to that album.. like if anything is possible.. such an emotional album on so many levels. Joni Mitchells Blue I feel so much emotion from so I have to listen to it in small doses.. but the depth in me is truly touched by that music and I like that. It’s like I am having a meeting with my heart. Often I get inspired by small segment in a song and can listen to one chord or a particular sound over and over again..

Who has caught you attention recently that we should be listening out for?

Actually it’s a not a musician but a painter called Charlie French who has caught my attention recently and inspires me! He is a person with down syndrom and paint so beautifully and have a VERY HAPPY VIBE going on!

Music wise I can take the opportunity to tell you about Swedish singer Sara Aldén. She mostly sings standards, and she has something of her own to say when she sings them.

The new album from Vidya, Adi Shakti is released on 17th May, 2024