Cornelia Jakobs Online

Translated Interview with Dagens Industri: “I have always had a financial concern”

Cornelia Jakobsdotter Samuelsson is used to live on little money. She won Melodifestivalen with a simple stage decor, stage clothes from H&M and a ring she bought when she was six years old. She is competing in Eurovision Song Contest next week.

There are old radios in every room in your home, how come?

– It started during my fatigue depression, when I couldn’t be creative in the music because it was all about performance. My home has always looked like a bombshell, so I started visiting my local second hand store every day and fixed one small corner at a time. It opened a door that I’ll have to be careful with, because I’m crazy about second hand furniture. I want to say that I’ve got it under control, but it may also be my lack of money that has been the limitation. And radios are so beautiful. I’m now looking for an electronic organ, a Philicorda, but they’re very difficult to get hold of.

There is very little written about you apart from the Mello participation and that your father is Jakob Samuel from The Poodles. Do you feel that there are sides of you that are never allowed to come out?

– I have probably been quite shy in front of the public space and it probably came after the last time I was on Melodifestivalen. I was 19 then and everything was very controlled. It became uncomfortable, with many strong wills that wanted something from me.

Considering the history that you have quite recently had a fatigue depression, how was it like to throw yourself on the carousel again and now Eurovision?

– I’ve always had many, strong feelings, and it has many times gone into clinch with the outside world, so I have felt a lot of shame about it while growing up. But now I’ve an amazing psychologist. Among the first things he said was “Whatever you feel is okay”. For me it was almost a shock and I had to work on not pushing away the emotions but rather affirm them, because they tell me where my boundaries go. I had a lot of anxiety before Mello, but as soon as I got to the arena in the semi-finals it disappeared completely. I understood that there are other people who’re good at what I’m bad at – to plan the practical stuff.

Where does your glittery stage top with the long rhinestone straps come from?

– All the clothes on and off stage have come from my mom’s closet. She’s a pattern designer at H&M and can always buy home samples cheaply. It has saved me all my years as a stage artist, because I haven’t been able to afford to buy stage clothes. That top comes from a studio collection and is a few years old, but mom sewed on a little extra rhinestones and now it belongs with the song.

What do you have to take with you to Eurovision in Italy?

– My green ring that I bought when I was six years old in the Old Town, it was magical for me then. I found the ring a few months ago by coincidence and it’s a green dot – then I had already designed the stage number around a green dot, so it felt like the circle was closed.

The numbers in Melodifestivalen have very different budgets, was your spinning green dot expensive or cheap?

– I know I’ve a very cheap number in relation to other artists who have dancers and led effects. In any case, the dot will also go to Turin. We thought about making a bigger one, but someone smart on SVT thought about checking how big the doors to the arena are there and stated that we’ll just be able to get the dot we already have.

Do you notice the Mello victory financially?

– Yes, I’m completely broke because I suddenly have bigger expenses. But I see it as investing in something that will provide greater income in the long run. I have always had financial anxiety and periodically worked extra to get money, but now I’ll have to gig more, and I’m so happy about that.

Your face lit up when you said the word gig. You have played a lot live, what does that mean for you?

– It really is my happiness in life. I started playing live when I was very young and love to have my band and feel the energy with them.

Article by Annika Sandholm Hellner
Translated by
Photo by Jesper Frisk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *