Cornelia Jakobs Online

CJO exclusive interview with Cornelia (Video + Article)

Cornelia Jakobs Online got to speak with Cornelia backstage before her concert at the festival Putte i Parken in Karlstad, Sweden on July 1, 2022. Thank you Cornelia and Jubel for this opportunity.

You have released your own songs as a solo artist since 2018, but which song would you call your favorite and how did the writing process go with that song?

– Such a hard question! My favorite song that I’ve released… in many ways “Hold Me Closer” is a favorite but if I have to choose one besides it, I’d have to say “Locked Into You”, which is one of my favorites. I wonder if it’s because it’s something about that one that gives me a summer and idyllic kind of vibe. I wrote it with a guy called Emil Gustafsson, an ex of mine whom I co-write it with. It came very naturally and he was very good at playing his guitar. I’m pretty sure it came together in, like, the living room. It started there and then we worked on it continually in a studio but it’s something that happened very naturally.

You often mention that “Hold Me Closer” is based on something that happened to you and that “Dream Away” is about a close friend of yours. Do you always write about personal feelings/experiences in your songs?

– Absolutely! It’s either something I’ve experienced myself or that someone I know has experienced. It’s always something that has come to me throughout life. So, absolutely, it’s easier that way! I have a hard time writing or I feel the need to always know the direction or be aware of why I’m writing a certain thing to be able to actually finish the song.

– So yeah, it needs to be something I feel strongly about when I’m writing it.

Your participation in Eurovision has given you the opportunity to go on tour, which is something you have mentioned you love to do. But what is your favorite song to perform live?

– Such a good question! Maybe “Weight of the World” is one of my favorites to play live because there’s such a journey happening throughout the song. It starts off very minimalistic and soft, and then it accelerates during the song. It’s very fun because it’s such a dynamic thing, very high and low. Big and small. So I’d say that’s a favorite of mine.

Speaking of Eurovision, many fans loved the cover videos you recorded with Sam Ryder. Are there any plans to make music collaborations with Sam or another Eurovision artist in the future?

– I would’ve loved to collaborate with another artist, generally I enjoy it more if it happens more naturally. So if you were to meet this person where you feel like “we had a good flow together” and liked each other, and that it comes from the creative process and it comes from a conversation about “should we do this together?” rather than if it were the label telling me “you should do a collab with this artist” and just getting put together with some artist feels unnatural. It doesn’t feel as enjoyable to me in that case!

– But for example, with Sam we said that he is supposed to be coming to Sweden quite soon and it would’ve been fun to write together, and I’m sure I’ll be doing something with Sam. I’m sure it’ll happen with somebody else as well because I really enjoy working with other artists as long as it feels genuine and natural.

We’ll keep talking about Eurovision, is there any funny behind-the-scenes anecdote from Eurovision that you would like to share?

– Let me think! We were quite separated from the other artists because of the pandemic, so there wasn’t very much interaction going on between us. Such a shame I can’t tell you any fun gossip!

– The funniest thing I could tell you was that, well, it wasn’t even that funny but Chanel was a really funny and lovable person.

– But there wasn’t much interesting happening, everyone was so focused and mostly just thinking about their own performances, it’s such a special situation. Everyone is in their own bubble, you don’t really have a lot of time nor energy to mingle with the rest of the artists.

You have received a lot of love and compliments for your music videos considering how well-made and unique they are. You have created those together with your friend Celia, but how did you meet?

– How fun! Because Celia is over there but you already knew that. It was so random, it was a friend of mine who had spoken to someone from Gothenburg, this was almost 6 years ago, who was in contact with a booking company stationed in China. This was really random! Right when Martina and I had decided to quit Stockholm Syndrome, someone came asking if I’d like to tour China. I was like uh yes, so cool?! But I was wondering how and if it was supposed to be with a band or not. They informed me that it was a huge tour and they wanted a solo artist with two dancers. A friend of mine was also an artist so it was pretty much that they wanted two acts with two dancers each. I was like, that’s so random but I thought it would be a fun experience. Then my friend Roshi, who was the other artist involved, told me she had two dancers for me and Celia was one of them.

– We started rehearsing like crazy for this tour and they always wanted more material, telling us to record it a certain way and you have to film this and it has to include this many songs. We thought they were asking for a lot and it was rather odd, but I guess we had to if that’s what it takes to go on this tour. It was also quite well paid! We thought that was quite nice!

– Months passed and after a while I asked Roshi for the number of the person from Gothenburg that she was in contact with because I felt something was off. I called him up and I asked him why they needed this much material, and started questioning. He told me that they needed the material in order to promote the tour. I was like, wait a second. Promote the tour? They told us that this was a booked tour already. So I asked him if there even was a tour to begin with and he told me no. I was like, oh my god oh my god.

– We had put so much time into this and we had promised and informed people about what the deal was. And then the tour doesn’t even exist? I was wondering how I’m even gonna tell my dancers who had worked night and day, and had deadlines that didn’t even exist anymore. It was so chaotic and I had to tell Celia and Emilia whom we had worked with night and day, I’m sorry but this is a bluff. They were like, no way! No one had gotten paid at that point and luckily they were the sweetest people who were so understanding about it and knew it wasn’t my fault.

– But I noticed that Celia and I clicked during the rehearsal for this “fake” tour. So after or during that, I wrote “Late Night Stories” and had this vision of a music video idea one night. I couldn’t sleep all night because I was thinking about this barn and how I wanted it to be red and include organisms, and realized how I had to do this with Celia. I called Celia the next day and we created this as our first project together, this was four or five years ago. Since then we have loved to create together! I was really happy she wanted to work with me even though I had misled her for so many weeks. I felt so guilty for not having looked up the tour before. That’s how we met!

The question many have wondered is how tall are you?

– That’s so funny! Are you kidding me?

We were like “she’s 160cm”, “no she’s 164”, “NO, SHE’S 160”. Us fans had a discussion about this for an hour last weekend.

– What did you guys guess?

Interviewer 2: I said 161cm.

– And you guessed?

Interviewer 1: 162cm.

– I am actually 163,5cm.

Interviewer 2: And a half!

– That’s important! In my passport I’m pretty sure it says that I am 164cm because I straightened up a little extra during. But I’m not 164cm, I really am 163,5cm. You guys are so funny for having discussed this!

There’s a website where it says you are 168cm and we were like “nope!”

– No no! Nope nope! I’m quite short. That’s so funny and random! I would’ve never guessed so many people were curious about this.

Many have noticed that you have tattooed some text on the side of your body. Would you like to tell us what it says and how many tattoos you have in total? Do they also have any special meanings you would like to share?

– Absolutely! Such good questions!

It’s actually from the fans!

– My god, such good questions you guys have come up with! It’s so sweet of you guys for doing this. It’s so fun!

Interviewer 1: Such a good idea!

– Very good idea! So fun! It’s good that you are doing this since you are aware of the fact that I’m not very good at telling you guys stuff.

– Yeah, so I have four tattoos! First of all we have this sun God and it’s like a symbol for my dear mother who is the sun in my life. And here’s a cross for my grandpa who was a priest and also because I love crosses! I think it’s the most beautiful symbol. It’s not because I’m very religious/christian. I haven’t really figured out what I believe in, I know I believe in something but I haven’t figured it out just yet. But anyway, my grandpa was a priest and he’s no longer alive but it’s dedicated to him.

– Then I have a feather here, it was the first one I ever did and now I’m like “eh, I could’ve skipped that one!” but it’s there now. I know back then when I was 19 I saw it as a symbol for freedom or something like that. But I think it was more because I thought it was a pretty feather.

– But this one is lyrics, or a chorus from one of my dad’s songs. It’s one of my favorites that he did when the band was active! They released a lot of albums and there is this one song called Love Is All, and I think it’s so beautiful and has such beautiful lyrics. So I took the entire chorus and he got so touched. I thought that was so beautiful. Let me see if I can remember it in my head, because it’s almost impossible to read it there.

“No truth, no religion
No oath you are given
No oath you are given
No knowledge of history
Can seem to reveal our mystery
No faith and no writing
No law and no fighting
No decree and no hidden sign
Can make us deny We are one and love is all”

– So it has a very beautiful meaning behind it, like it’s about how it doesn’t matter what we believe in or where we come from or who we are, we are all the same. We are one and love is all. It’s such beautiful lyrics with the dark and rock sound to it, it’s a bit more subtle than the rest of The Poodles’ songs which can be more hard rock whilst this one is more cinematic which I like. It’s really nice!

Finally we want to ask if you have any hidden talent?

– They are asking if I have any hidden talents!

David: Hidden talent? You have a lot of talents!

– Aw, that’s so sweet of you.

– Celia! What hidden talents would you say I have?

Balthazar: Secondhand shopping!

– Secondhand shopping is what you’d say then, yeah?

– Right! That’s a good one brother, Balthazar says secondhand shopping.

– What does Celia think? Something people don’t know I have a talent for!

Celia: There are so many! No but you have a lot of them, I can’t come up with one right now.

– No, exactly. So maybe they weren’t that strong after all then.. It’s definitely not keeping the place tidy at home.

Celia: No no no! But one hidden talent or “hidden”, you are a hoarder.

– Haha, you think? I don’t know if I’d say it’s a talent to be a hoarder.

Celia: You have a talent for saving things that are good, most of the time it’s not things that are bad.

– If you were to talk to Isa about hidden talents, whom David and I wrote the song with (“Hold Me Closer”), she’d tell you that I am a hoarder but in a bad way. While Celia thinks I’m a hoarder in a good way! And I’d have to agree with Celia, I think it’s good to save some things because when you least expect it there comes a time when you need it. For example, the shorts-dress that I wore on Allsång på Skansen, it’s been in my closet for 4-5 years, and I’ve never worn it. I’ve been close to throwing it away. But I felt maybe a time will come where I’ll wanna wear it and would you look at that! So yeah, maybe that’s a decent hidden talent. But ugh!

Celia: But can you do any tricks?

– I can do a cartwheel and stuff!

Celia: You can do a backflip from…

– I can do a backflip from piers! I’m a bit acrobatic because of my past in gymnastics.

– I’m super good at giving massages, I am! What’s that look you’re giving me? Have I ever massaged you, Celia?

– I’m incredibly good at giving massages.

– David agrees! Celia you can go home.

– Nope, I have no other talents! That’s it… giving massages and hoarding, I guess… doing some cartwheels. Hm, no, I can’t think of anything.

– I am really good at making sandwiches and salads! I can make some eventful salads.

Interviewer 2: I love salads!

– Yes! You know, it’s supposed to be a lot of different things. I’m good at putting together fun combinations. That’s all I can think of.

By: Sabina Nilsson Åkö/CJO and Christina Gaharia
Translation: Christina Gaharia, Alana Cornéer & Sabina Nilsson Åkö/CJO

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