Nordique recently spoke to Elin Isacsson Schiller, a Swedish artist living in Copenhagen who has recently started a new solo project, Femme Fôret. We were delighted to find out more about Elin and her love of music, as well as her passion for vegan food!
Describe your new project Femme Fôret:
The music of Femme Fôret is really diverse - I think of it as a cross genre project. The tracks that have been uploaded on soundcloud so far are inspired by spoken word, but there are also some melody based songs, and also some entirely instrumental ones. I’d say the music is from a darker and kind of dense sound universe than my other projects.
Femme Fôret Soundcloud:
What was your inspiration of starting this new solo project?
The inspiration for the project started at Københavns Akademi for musik, dans og teater (Copenhagen Academy of music, dance and theatre), where I spent a year in 2015/2016. I was encouraged to develop a character, with the intention of eventually merging my persona and musical traits into her.
What do you want to say with your music?
The basic intent of Femme Fôret is to have an outlet for feelings I had regarding my body and the boundaries and internal/ external attitudes towards it. I want the listener to feel empowered but also to question certain societal behaviours and sayings.
You are also involved in another music project, Week Affair. Can you tell us a bit more about this project and who is also involved?
Femme Fôret is one of the four pillars of the music collective Week Affair. I co-founded this together with Minna, Soy and Yör & U, which are the solo projects of three inspiring women I’ve met here in Copenhagen. Week Affair is meant to function as a platform where we perform, write and produce both together and individually.
Week Affair Soundcloud:
Tell us a bit more about where you are from and where you used to live?
I grew up in a rural area of Sweden, just an hour away from the Norwegian border. My whole childhood was spent in the idyllic forests of Dalsland, it was all very Astrid Lindgren [the writer of Swedish classic character Pippi Longstocking and her adventures]. No matter how much I love living in the city I will always have a huge need for nature. Eventually I ended up in Gothenburg where I had met husband and we lived there for six years before moving to Copenhagen.
Why did you decide to move to Denmark?
My best friend is Danish and we’ve travelled back and forth to visit each other since the early 2000s. I think the idea of living in Copenhagen had existed for years and then in 2014 my husband and I decided to take the leap and just try it out for some time.
What do you love most about living in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen has a vibe about it. There’s always something happening and it’s mostly in a very down to earth way. The Danes are super creative and tasteful when it comes the home-made, rustic and upcycled. I’ve worked in bars and cafés where the actual builder has been a regular or one of the employees. It’s amazing and creates such a great inspiring atmosphere.
I’ve also been lucky enough to make friends with people who want change within the Danish political system and people from very different backgrounds. My favourite area is Nørrebro, where there are people from all over the world and so much art. I think Copenhagen really feels like home to me. I feel free riding my bike around, I love speaking the language and there are just so many possibilities that I don’t feel as worried about taking.
How has your move changed you and what is the difference in living in Copenhagen vs Gothenburg?
I’ve become a more relaxed person here. The fact that I bike instead of sitting on a tram makes me stress a lot less. There is also much cheaper yoga here and I’ve been doing that a lot, which really helps with the relaxing part! The cultural life here is more accessible, for me at least. I feel there are more venues and I imagine it’s because the Danes aren’t so picky.
They have a strong grass root movement and an open attitude towards volunteer work, which make things happen quickly. You can experience this at huge events like Roskilde Festival and Distortion but also at local happenings.
I haven’t really had the same experience in Gothenburg. For me Copenhagen is the middle step between Gothenburg and Berlin
As well as music, food is a is a big part of Elin's life. She is a vegan, and often promotes and discusses eating options for fellow vegans in her adopted city.
How long have you been Vegan and why?
I stumbled upon to the Food For Thought Podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau when I was looking to get inspired in my vegetarian cooking. I had been a vegetarian for four years at the time and I listened to many episodes with interest. The podcast was about veganism but didn’t look to shame or hate on omnivores or vegetarians and that was what kept me listening. Within a few weeks I felt like I knew too much to go on like I had before. This is now four years ago and I now have an on-going ambition of a cruelty-free life. There are so many important reasons why we all should think and act more vegan.
What have been the benefits for you with changing to a Vegan diet?
I’ve become a lot more mindful of what I put in my mouth and how it fuels me. And I don’t have to desensitise myself when I see animals, which I’ve had to before. I was taught not to think about the violence that awaits these creatures, so of course I didn’t have a problem eating the end result of it. I feel great knowing that I don’t contribute to the cruelty anymore. Plus, my palette has changed. There are so many delicious foods out there that are plant based which I never used to eat and now I adore it.
How Vegan friendly is Copenhagen?
Two years ago there was a handful places in Copenhagen where you could get a decent plant based meal. I’d say things have really changed lately.
Which is your favourite Vegan food places in Copenhagen and why? (Any favourite dishes/treats?)
I eat at Harbo Bar a lot. It’s a brunch place in the day and bar in the evening. They have great pancakes, salads, spreads and treats for “fika”. They have great coffee too. This place is small and the chef is great. A lot of my friends come there and it feels a bit like home.
If I ever want vegan burgers with sweet potato fries I go to Green Burger. They’re all plant based, home made and they give generous portions. And when it comes to really treating myself I go to Nicecream. They have the most delicious coconut milkshakes I’ve ever tried. In general, everything I’ve had there tastes amazing. Or I go to an organic bakery called Naturbageriet. They have vegan cinnamon buns, croissants and cookies.
Who inspires you and why?
People who are fearless of being themselves, who follow their dreams and who live according to their own values, inspire me. We are so confined by fear some times. It’s so refreshing to see people work for what they truly want and achieving it, in spite of social norms or expectations.
What is your future plans/dreams?
My dream and future plan is to stay involved with music and creativity. I don’t have dreams about going solo and making it big time on my own. I dream more about the shared experience of writing and creating with other artists. I guess I dream about staying open to where things take me. The only real plan I have is not to give up on creativity – ever.
Photographer: Viktoria Spasova