Swedish Pop & R&B singer Bishat is currently finishing up an EP due out later this year. After a time of depression she has turned to find joy in her music again. Her first single of the new EP will be out this spring.
After some time away from music, how does it feel being back on the music scene?
It feels incredibly exciting and only a little terrifying. It’s been a whole journey the past few years on a personal level and that has really affected my music. My songs are very much a reflection on where I am at any given time. I can’t wait to share this whole other side of me. It feels like a re-birth.
What have you discovered about yourself with your new music?
There was definitely a lot more darkness in my previous songs. It’s still there brooding in the background, but now I've found this calm, this lightness to my existence. Which in turn has made my music brighter. Turns out I’m not such a moody bi*ch after all (laughs). There is more love, gratitude and more freedom in both my music and myself.
Have you found any new sound in the studio?
There's a lot more guitar based songs coming out. I used to be a sucker for the piano basically since Alicia Keys “Songs in A-minor” came out but you know a little guitar goes a long way.
What unreleased track are you most looking forward to on the new album?
“Problems” for sure. It's a different type of love song about the fact that we’ve all got our struggles and flaws. A relationship, however, can still be solid if we acknowledge our problems. Not to mention, work on them and give them space to breathe. You can't “fix” people, you can only work on yourself. “We’re not out here counting problems, always find a way to solve them”.
Have you found any new creative outlet or hobby during the past year?
Does keeping plants alive count as a hobby? If so yes. They’ve been subjected to lots of singing and probably too much attention but most of them are alive and I couldn’t be prouder. I started learning spanish (some very niche sentences like este cinturón es muy barato meaning this belt is very cheap). Shout out Duolingo. I’ve also started playing the guitar. Maybe I should put them together…
How do you self-care?
I’m naturally a people pleaser and an emotional sponge, which has some serious consequences to my wellbeing. I have to check myself. I’m much better at protecting my boundaries these days. I’ve learnt how to say no to things and to do that straight away. Before, I end up having to lay on the couch and having anxiety all day about over-committing or doing something I really don’t want to do. Say no and say it early on. Also minimizing stimulation. I’m an expert at doing a trillion things at once, doing just one thing at a time is great for me and making sure I get good sleep. In addition, long walks in nature really grounds me, but then again wine with my girls and talking trash on occasion does wonders for the soul too. It’s the balance for me.
What is your perspective and advice for self-care?
Screaming in nature.. Is there anything better?? Hard to do in a big city, I'm always worried someone is gonna think something terrible is happening. So occasionally, I just take a walk and if I'm really frustrated I kick a rock or something. The internet is full of ideas on how to self-care from shallow to deep and all the above are great if they do something for you. What I think is the most important thing, is to stop and actually check in with yourself and what you need, usually it’s all there.
What would you recommend our readers to do?
I would deeply recommend therapy to everyone as well as regular exercise. Those two things alone have really changed my life and I'm only annoyed sometimes that I didn’t figure that out earlier. It’s not like no one told me I just had to actually commit to it. I guess that’s part of it though, there’s a time and place for everything.. And that time is now lol. Don’t wait! Also journaling. I’ve done this on and off since I was about 7 years old and I looooove going back to read things. It’s a great way to understand your feelings. Putting my thoughts down on paper is a great way for me to look at them objectively and get a sense of clarity.
And recommendations for how to get more energy?
Sleep? I don’t know, exercise and do things that bring you joy. And live where there’s sun.. I got 2 out of 3.
I love reading and writing, but It’s sometimes difficult for me to find the peace and patience to read. But, I've been obsessed with this swedish writer Karin Smirnoff. Her trilogy “Jag for ner till bror” has had me walking around with a book in my hand almost every waking moment. I didn’t put that book down. Just started “Dina händer var fulla av liv” by Suad Ali. On my bedside table you’ll always find the poetry collections “Bone” by Yrsa Daley-Ward & “Salt” by Nayyirah Waheed, absolute modern classics to me.
What is your hope for the future?
On a personal level I want to pick up the pace and release more music and you know hopefully play a live show again. Globally I feel like the music scene is pretty vibrant right now, people are hungry and it shows. There’s more up close and personal music side by side with dance floor bangers everyone is ready to get down and dirty to, like a global pressure cooker I only think is gonna be good for music. “More music, more life” to quote Drake.