Swedish acoustic/electronic duo Hearts & Colors, or Philip Tillstrom and Nicolai Kjellberg as they are known to their friends, are fresh off releasing two new singles in Waterbed and Lying to Myself as Stephen Wright caught up with them for Nerve Media.
The pair have a bit of history with Bournemouth as well, but before discussing that, let’s find out the thoughts and ideas behind their unique creative processes.
Thanks for agreeing to talk with us. As artists who have made a name for yourselves partly through covering other people’s music, do you have plans for covering any popular artist’s tracks in the future, or doing any other collabs?
We’ll definitely keep doing covers from time to time of songs that we’re diggin’ at the moment, but lately we’ve had a lot of focus on our original stuff so we can merge from cover act to independent artist.
How do you choose which songs to cover?
It mostly starts with us discovering new music that we like or us trying to revive an old piece. Mostly it’s important for us that the melodies in the song are harmony friendly so that we can do our thang. Not all songs work for us the way they were originally composed, so most of the time we try to change it up a little bit.
How does Sweden influence your music?
We have a lot of great musicians and songwriters in Sweden and many from different kinds of backgrounds. So every and each individual that we work with when creating music often bring something different and interesting to the table. We also love writing out in the Swedish nature under a blue sky surrounded by forest. That’s where the vibes comes from – most of the times!
Did Avicii have an influence on your careers?
We think that Avicii had a massive influence on pretty much anyone doing pop music and especially from our generation. We’ve grown up partying and hangin’ out to his music. We also did a couple of covers of his songs that got a wide spread so in a way he has definitely even boosted our careers.
Your most popular song is a remix of Lighthouse with Andrelli. How did Andrelli go about remixing it with you? Were you worried about how much the song would be changed?
This remix started with Andrelli sending us a rough idea of what he wanted the song to sound like. We really liked the “drop melody” and the vibe of it so we went into the studio together to finish the song and the end result is what we ended up with at the end of the day. We were of course a little bit worried because at the time we were just an acoustic duo but we also felt like the EDM sound wouldn’t collide with ours because a lot of other acts were doing remixes so it felt right and vibey.
Having written many of your tracks in Bournemouth, why do you love writing songs here?
First of all we’ve got some friends over there that we love creating music with – shoutout to Red Triangle! And also the scenery and the feel of the area is amazing, so we love coming there from time to time to get away from the city lights. It’s an inspiring place.
Finally, who’s more important to Sweden – Abba or Zlatan?
I guess for us, since we’re doing music, we’d say Abba. They’ve got songs for all different kinds of moods so they’re always relevant somehow.
To hear more from Hearts & Colors, check out the Spotify playlist below.