What does it mean to be a genius? Merriam-Webster dictionary would define the famously used word for excellence as “an attendant spirit of a person or place”. What is your definition of genius? Throughout our lives, there have been various social stigmas and assumptions of what makes someone truly a genius. I would ask you reader, what is intelligence? These definitions stemmed and formed from past understandings can’t be that tied down in the past, that these terms do not progress and form a wide selection of interpretation. For some people, being heavily involved with music, may not be a person that is worthy of the genius title. There is indeed such a thing as musical intelligence! Musical genius is definitely a fathomable entity. There is indeed true skill and devotion toward the creation of music, and music that people connect to is the work of a pure genius. Swedish electro-pop artist “Fever Ray” aspires us and transcends a whole new understanding of the word genius.
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Fever Ray sticks “The Knife” into Electro-pop!
Born Karin Dreijer and raised in the mid-70s of Gothenburg, Sweden the talented musician began their musical awakening by playing guitar at just 10 years old. Leaving their pursuit of web design paired with the guitar infused upbringing Dreijer founded the 1994 indie rock band, “Honey Is Cool”, later moving to Stockholm in 1998. But the music bug didn’t bite too far from the musical skin. That following year, Older brother, Olof Dreijer established the intense electronic music family duo “The Knife”. The band received wild international success after their release of the single “Heartbeats” from their second 2003 album “Deep Cuts”. The family band performed alongside artists such as “Planningtorock”, and “Mt Sims”. The year 2013 produced the fourth and final studio album “Shaking the Habitual”.
Listen to “Heartbeats” by “The Knife” Now!
In the midst of “The Knife” and their abundant global takeover, Dreijer released their solo album under the alias “Fever Ray”. Through the Avant Garde world of experimental music, you may be familiar with the musician’s song “If I Had a Heart” released in 2008. From television series such as “Breaking Bad” and Canadian- Irish historical drama “Vikings” the song has made a staple for all things electro-pop. According to Wikipedia, electro-pop is a popular music genre that combines pop essentials and electronic infusions. With a major theme of synth-pop, the genre made its rebirth prominently in the 2000s. “Fever Ray” performed an amazing set at the 2010 Coachella Festival with amazing reviews. Along with the popular festival, “Fever Ray” established a global following performing at various festivals in places such as London, Berlin, and The Netherlands. “Fever Ray” also began dabbling in film scoring. From composing the soundtrack to “Dirty Diaries” to projects such as the adaptation of the 1968 horror film “Hour of the Wolf”, the musician stops at nothing for musical domination. Based on the violence surrounding homosexuality and colonial issues, Fever Ray wrote and produced “Vahak” a theater play in 2016. The following year, the artist released their second studio album “Plunge”, winning “Producer of the Year” at the 2018 Swedish Grammy for the monumental project.
“When I grow up. I want to be a forester. Run through the moss on high heels. That’s what I’ll do. Throwing out a boomerang. Waiting for it to come back to me”.
There is this idea amongst different forms of communities, that we must abide by the rules and life expectations of our counterparts. There is this social pressure to stick to the status quo and to walk off the steady path, is blasphemy. But this notion is so boring and non-fulfilling. I tremble at the thought of living a regular life in which my various surroundings agree or deem what is prosperous or acceptable. The second track of “Fever Ray” self-titled album, “When I Grow Up” circles around this notion of non-conformity and the ability to live a life of one’s own.
Listen to “When I Grow Up by Fever Ray Now!
In the subtle land of mind and emotion, there is a crossfire that begins when both energies form together in a powerful nature. To consider that the heart has a mind of its own is a testimonial statement. Many people discover how the heartbeats in different ways and what necessary emotional protein it needs to remain a sustainable organ. The thick and translucent fog of emotion comes together in the mystical track “If I Had a Heart”. With a traditional folk sound mixed with a heavy influence of Icelandic artist “Bjork”, “Fever Ray” captures love’s intensity through song and smooth movement. This track has a sense of urgency, which should be met and presented with a discussion such as this one. This track is by far my favorite of this dynamic artist.
Listen to “If I Had A Heart” by Fever Ray Now!
Through various genres, music can teach us that something or someone can have genius quality in many forms. It can’t be defined by what we deem is a socially acceptable definition. When we do this, we allow others and or things to be selected as less or outside of the social hemisphere of intelligence or creativity. I believe that “genius” traits are found in everyone, it just takes a certain person or something to tap into it efficiently. Through the music world, musical geniuses shine brightly toward the people that need to hear it the most. “Fever Ray” shines like no other!
Photo: Shutterstock / Photomontage by: Martina Advaney
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