Music / Her Own Persson


Cardigans front woman Nina Persson talks to Catherine Maguire about A Camp and a potential career in acting.

NINA PERSSON has been the face of the Cardigans for so long that it may be hard to believe that she has ventured out on her own. Her distinctive voice and catchy songwriting however, prove that she alone is a force to be reckoned with.

Persson decided to form A Camp to explore her creativity. “I wanted to try something different. By then I had spent seven or eight years of my life making music with them [the Cardigans] – I had become so musically creative that it wasn’t enough.”

She shares an artistic flare with fellow Swede Niclas Frisk and so they joined forces “to make some music and see where we ended up.” The self-titled debut was a folk infl uenced album, which when placed in the hands of Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, he could not refuse an invitation to rerecord, and then go on to produce the follow-up effort, Colonia.

The new album is a mix of genres including Sixties girl pop, Eighties punk and some Bowie thrown in for good measure. What was so inspirational about Sixties girl pop? “I thought that the vocals were awesome, they were a really big inspiration for me.”

The project features some very infl uential fi gures such as James Iha and Joan As Police Woman. However Persson never actively sought these musicians out. “Joan was the best person to do the strings and we worked a lot in James’ studio; it was very natural to ask him to come in and play his guitar on the record.”

But will A Camp draw Cardigans fans in or alienate them? “I’ve no idea, I think it is a little different than the Cardigans, obviously the singer is the same and I’m still me, I’m still writing the same way I usually do… A Camp is A Camp and I’m hoping that the Cardigans fans will support it as well.”

A chance to act came knocking at Persson’s door in 2005, and she came away from starring in Swedish fi lm Om Gud vill with a true appreciation for acting. “I really gained a whole new respect for actors after that because I realised that it is quite a skill.”

So will we be seeing Persson in any more fi lms? “If something came up and I felt that it was something that I could handle, it would make sense to use me… I don’t want to steal parts from good actors”.

As the new album is being released, there are a busy few months ahead for Persson, and she is optimistic about the future. “My hunger right now is to keep doing music that I feel proud of and touring and making records, because I love it and because it’s my job, and I don’t feel the need to prove myself at all.”

Armed with an attitude like that, she is well equipped to handle an industry as cut-throat as this.

A Camp plays The Academy on Wednesday, 29th April.