Swedish artist and songwriter Love Truls has released his debut EP, Kantande Wanai. Japanese for "it isn't easy," Kantande Wanai is a lush collection of tracks exploring genre-bending sounds, but sharing a common thread of textured instrumentals and mature, insightful songwriting — a milestone moment for the 18-year-old. Describing the EP, Love Truls notes, "They are six somewhat different tracks that I have gathered along the way. Some of them were written when I was 15 or 16 years old, and others more recently. I guess that they all somehow try to express the life of a teenager in this generation — maybe not in a straightforward way, but they’re mostly all about drugs, love, and mental illness. Also, the refusal to face the music — pun intended — and surrender to the dull side of being an adult." Alongside the EP comes new single, "Tell Her," a slow-burning ballad blending echos of chamber pop, elegant strings, and earnest vocal melodies, of which Truls adds: "'Tell Her' started with just a nativistic guitar line and vocals; it has transformed and grown ever since it was written in 2018. It definitely has some classical music influences, and I wanted it to be powerful, which Röda Paradise really helped with, being able to take in real strings and shit. Shoutout Röda Paradise!"
We talked to Love Truls to find out more about his debut EP, finding international fame, and what's next for him. Check out our interview below.
What do you find to be your favorite part of creating music? What’s your process like?
I’d say my favorite part of creating music is the exploring of different sounds and trying new things. Usually whenever I start a new project, I have a very clear idea of what sound I’m going for. Basically, I start off searching for a nice synth and then a top line on top of that and then I’ll look for some drums.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration in different places. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk around the inner city where I live to find inspiration and other times it just comes to me wherever I am.
How would you describe your songs to those just discovering your music?
I’d describe my songs as a bit “dream pop,” but also influenced by psychedelic sounds and lyrics.
What was it like being on the cover of Spotify's Oyster playlist?
When I first saw myself in the cover of Oyster I was like “What the Fanta?!” It was incredible to see that because it was like getting some real for the first time. I was incredibly honored.
What inspired your EP? Why the Japanese title?
My main inspiration for this EP was growing up, more or less. I was going through some stuff in my early teenage years and a lot of my songs are inspired by the things I thought about at those times. I came up with the title Kantade Wanai when I was looking up the phrase “it’s not easy” in different languages on google. When I tried it in Japanese I saw the word spelled out in the description for how to pronounce it and it spelled out "kantande wanai."
What message do you want fans to take away from your EP?
Usually I like to keep my songs and lyrics sort of open for interpretation. They’re almost never about one specific thing and I think people will be able to take a lot of different messages from the EP.
What’s next for you as an artist?
Hopefully I’ll be able to get out on stage and play live soon enough — and I’m looking forward towards making a full album after this next release!
Check out Love Truls' new EP, Kantade Wanai, below. Let us know what you think!