PREMIERE - Jackie Tech's New Single 'Picking Up'!
'Picking Up' With Jackie Tech
Jackie Tech is one of Sweden’s brightest new female talents. After her phenomenal debut single ‘You Can Have It All’ in 2016, Tech suffered from vocal nodules and disappeared into an enforced silence for several months. Late last year after a full recovery she made a hell of a comeback with the smooth soul funk of ‘Heart on Replay’, which had quite possibly the most delicious refrain ever heard in the history of pop. Now, Tech is poised to release her third single, the stripped back, synth pop gem ‘Picking Up’, premiering today on Women In Pop. We recently caught up with Jackie to find out more about her latest track and what’s been happening in her career.
Image: Gustav Arnetz
First things first – how are the vocal chords?!
(Laughs) It was actually this time last year time when I first started to feel there was a problem. It’s weird to think it was exactly a year ago. I’m a lot more careful with my vocals nowadays. When you’re about to lose something, you appreciate it so much more afterwards.
Your new single ‘Picking Up’ is out today. It’s fantastic, congratulations! What was the inspiration behind this song?
Yay, thank you! I was actually watching a movie and there was a scene between two characters and one of them said, “are you picking up what I’m putting down?” We don’t say that in Swedish because that wouldn’t work, it’s quite funny when you translate it. I love word play and since I’d never heard that phrase it kind of stuck with me and inspired me. I built the verse first and because the verse is very melodic and soulful I wanted a little bit more of a chant-like refrain. With my producer Middle Milk we fine-tuned a low-key kind of dark beat and then put a happy subject on top. That’s kind of how I work sometimes. I’ll hear a funny line in a movie or when people are talking or anywhere really, and then it’ll sort of marinate with me for sometimes a couple of months. And then when you have the right refrain you piece them together and it’s like they were always meant to be together!
Where did you record ‘Picking Up’?
We have a really nice home studio set up with a lot of good mics and all the necessary stuff that you need to do a really good recording. Middle Milk has also got a studio in Stockholm that we go to sometimes, but the thing is, you don’t actually need a big studio to get a really, really great sound nowadays. And as long as you’ve got good acoustics, a good mic, a good pre-amp, you’re pretty much set to go.
Was there a particular vibe or sound that you were going for with ‘Picking Up’?
I wanted to keep it a little bit more minimalistic than my previous singles. ‘You Can Have It All’ was such an epic song. Kind of larger than life. So for ‘Picking Up’ I wanted to keep it more minimalistic because the vocal was so demanding – Middle Milk and I agreed that the vocals should take centre stage this time and the production should be a little bit more laid back and buzzing.
Speaking of ‘You Can Have It All’, it recently ticked over 1 million plays on Spotify. How does that feel?
It feels great! There’s always anxiety releasing music – what if you get no clicks or what if it’s just mum listening? As a creator, the more people that listen to your music, it warms your heart. I wonder who all those people are – that’s usually what I think about when I look at those numbers and I hope that person was happy in that moment when they listened to it.
Recently you posted a video on Instagram where you flipped through a book that had all the lyrics to some of your songs in it. It was really cool – what is this book?!
It’s my book of treasures! When I’m writing, I always write by hand and I scribble and doodle and it’s always a mess when I write a song. I take it through three stages. I’ll scribble it down physically with a pen, then I’ll type it up on a computer in a word document. And then, once it’s passed through all of the stages and I’m happy and we’ve recorded the demo and the demo feels good, then it goes into that book of treasures. It’s always like this huge gratification when you’re able to put it into a fancy book. I do it for all of the songs that I’ve written. There are a couple of those books, the video was of the latest one – and it has some potential future singles in it!
What are your thoughts on the gender equality debate that’s happening in the music industry at the moment?
Well, I’m an outspoken feminist, it is such a huge part of who I am. In the music industry, I guess you are very exposed to gender inequality because music always reflects society. Making music, as a female artist, you’re always expected to do things in a certain way and I think that female role has been a lot more cut out for you in the past. But in the last two or three years, it feels like you can talk about it more. People understand it in a much better way. It’s good for everybody if we keep questioning gender roles and how big a part they are in everything that we do. For me, I’ve never felt that much of a girly girl or a boy-ey boy. I’ve always felt in between, and that reflects in my music as well. We just need to keep on having these conversations and making ourselves more aware of it - it is just going to do everybody good. In a society where a big portion of the population is suppressed, nobody will be happy. A population is always more happy when everybody is equal.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I always have to snap myself out of my Scandinavian bubble because there's so much good Scandinavian stuff coming out. So that’s what I’ve kind of been listening to for the previous couple of months. I’m also getting back into jazz, it’s something about spring in Sweden that always makes me want to listen to instrumental stuff. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Melody Gardot.
So after ‘Picking Up’ what’s next for Jackie Tech?
Just keep on releasing songs! That book of songs is quite full! I have a few lined up, if we can put it that way. After releasing 'Picking Up', I will be looking into making an EP and doing lots of other fun stuff.