When Katy Perry and Lorde are united in praise of your first two singles, you know you’re probably doing something right. The recognition still baffles Swedish musician Pauline Skott – but for anyone who’s been charting her rise since debut single ‘Porcelain’ dropped in June 2016, the attention heading her way is no surprise.
You grew up in a small village just outside Stockholm. What music were you taking in at that time?
“Half of the village would play the violin, and I did that as well. But I grew up mainly listening to video game music. I was very inspired by the game Final Fantasy even though I didn’t actually play it, I’d just listen to friends playing. That kind of music can transport you to being in the desert or on the ocean on a pirate ship, even if you never played it. Being moved like that is important to me.”
Being a professional songwriter was initially your aim, so what pushed you into the limelight to start performing your songs?
“I would write songs that I thought I could pitch to some artists but eventually I realised that some of the songs were just too weird for other people. So I wanted the songs to live and I didn’t just want to put them on a shelf to collect dust. Plus as a songwriter, you have to be prepared to let the artist do his or her thing with the song, and you need to let go of control of them which is really hard – but as an artist I don’t have to, which I love.”
New single ‘Glitter & Gloss’ features elements of electro, folk and pop – how have you found juggling all of that in a single song?
“It might sound cheesy, but you really have to stay true to your guts. For example if the song needs a really heavy beat, even if it doesn’t work for your image or whatever – you just need to do what’s best for the song. When I’m writing my songs I want to go on a treasure hunt and discover new elements, not be safe and just try to explore a little bit.”
Katy Perry and Lorde have both tweeted approval of your early singles ‘Porcelain’ and ‘Wolf’. Do we smell a collaboration?
“I would love to write for Katy, that would be really cool but I don’t know if I’m that good at her kind of music. A combo of them both would be best of both worlds. I still don’t have a clue how it all happened, I almost get suspicious that someone set it up…”
Buy: New single ‘Glitter & Gloss’ is out now
Live: London, Omeara (March 7)
Strange But True: Contrary to early reports, Skott wasn’t raised in a ‘forest commune’ but a place comparative to a small village. “I was trying to use fancy words in my second language” she says of the miscommunication.
For Fans Of: Grimes, London Grammar
Best Track: ‘Wolf ‘, Driving piano and Skott’s sublime falsetto vocals turn this into a tightly-spun folk wonder
Like This? Try This! Lorde – ‘Pure Heroine’, The New Zealander’s 2014 debut was packed with forward thinking electro-pop bangers and suitably made her one of the most in-demand musicians in the game at age 16.