I had the pleasure of meeting Sivert Høyem a few weeks back before he kicked of his sold out tour in Germany.
He was very candid and completely at ease talking about musical influences, "Lioness" and female artists. The former singer of Madrugada has a very sharp sense of humor and an ethereal energy which very few people possess. Sivert Høyem, like David Bowie and Iggy Pop, made Berlin his home for a number of years. He loves Depeche Mode and prefers Black Sabbath to any other band from that era. Live in concert, Høyem is mesmerizing and by far one of the best vocalists and most talented musicians out there.
His 6th solo album, "Lioness", vibrates with those deep and warm magical ingredients that are soul kindling. As stated on his website, "Lioness" is in many ways a nocturnal album; it evokes moods belonging to the night. Most of the album's ten tracks contain references to sleep, dreams or the night. "We're better when we're fast asleep", Høyem sings in the opening track "Sleepwalking Man". "My Thieving Heart" ˗ a duet with singer Marie Munroe ˗ starts with a heavy-eyed opening scene suggested by the lines "Walking up too soon/The pale blue light of your hotel room". And in the slightly Bowiesque "V - O - I - D" he sings, "Let me sleep and wake me never".
"Lioness " shows both musically and technically that Sivert Høyem has secured his place among the group of the greats, although my instinct tells me that his best creation has not come yet and I am looking very much forward to it.
Ernesta Redi: Which is your favorite Madrugada song?
Sivert Høyem: Honey Bee is the song I love the most from the Madrugada era
E.R. Who are the female artists that have inspired you the most?
S.H. Most of my favorite singers are women. I am a huge fan of female vocalists.
I love Nina Simone, Sandy Denny, Mahalia Jackson, Françoise Hardy.
The latter is a huge inspiration, I tried to get Françoise Hardy to sing on the Lioness album.
E.R. Which audience you enjoy the most?
S.H. The Greek audience is very special. They commit.
E.R. When will you have a US tour?
S.H. Madrugada always wanted to go tho the States. For me the US feels like coming home, It will be fantastic to sing there.
E.R. How long does it take to complete a song?
S.H. I write all the songs myself. It takes forever for me to finish a song. The songs have to make sense to me and I have to enjoy singing the words. It starts with a word or a phrase and from there it takes ages to complete.
E.R. How did you feel when you let go of the "Lioness" album?
S.H. It was natural and I was confident about the album. The reception has been really good and people are actually listening to it.