Shine Bright Like a Diamond (Thug), “Keep an Eye” on Frida Sundemo

My three-and-a-half-year old never tries anything new. He’ll watch Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol on repeat, and most times, it’s the exact same episodes. Similarly, his food selection leaves a lot to be desired: chicken fingers and french fries or pizza. He plays with the same cars and trucks in the places, and listens to the same songs all day long. For me, however, I like to try new things. I’m also not a toddler. Anyway, discovering new musical acts and tracks, and getting excited about them before the world does is one of my favorite past times. Today, I’m shining the spotlight on two acts that should get your ears talking.

Cape Town’s Diamond Thug give off a real outer worldly vibe, and I’m not even sure what that means. Their music, a killer blend of rock, pop, electro, and aery, has the ability to actually feel something. And, in these days of over-communication, that’s really saying something. Thus far, the unsigned band has released four singles and a three-track acoustic EP. Their single “What I Think I Know” rightfully garnered some buzz, and a full-length album set for 2016 should keep it going. So, with that all being said, it’s time to get to know Chantel Van T, Danilo Queiros, Adrian Culhane and Ted Buxton. The band sat down for a chat and performed a track at Converse Rubber Tracks Boston . For those of you unfamiliar, this recording studio (there are others in other cities), provides top-notch equipment for bands across the globe to make music. The sound is perfection. The facility itself is nuts. A-Sides’ Boston correspondent JJ Adrian was there to capture Diamond Thug’s magic. Watch it.

“Slow Down”


Like Diamond Thug, there’s an ethereal feel in Frida Sundemo’s music. The Swedish eventual pop star has been getting considerable airplay lately on television. Her “Keep An Eye On Me” was featured on Greys Anatomy, and just last week her song “You” was heard on the Halloween episode of Scream Queens, a new series by Ryan Murphy and starring Emma Roberts and Yoplait champion Jamie Lee Curtis.

But there’s more to Sundemo than television placements. Her debut EP Indigo highlights her delicate, almost pillow-soft vocals matched with some deeply felt lyrics. Oh, and there’s also a clear electro-pop thing going on as well. As we await another EP, the singer/songwriter can next be seen in the film adaptation of John Niven’s novel Kill Your Friends. A-Sides recently chatted with her about just about everything. Read it below.

Your song “You” just appeared on Scream Queens. That show is so nuts, and your song is so beautiful. Quite a wonderful contrast…how’d it come about?
I think the contrast is part of the appeal actually, and I love it when music is used to show the different sides of emotions. I guess the guys behind the show love to get music early, so it seemed like a great way to debut a brand new song for me.

Your songs have appeared on other shows as well – do you instantly become a fan of the show shortly thereafter? If I had any musical talent, which I don’t, my answer would be an unqualified yes.
Haha…it means they must have good taste! Seriously though, yes most of the times actually. I find it quite easy to get interested in different things and having my music in a TV show definitely makes me wanna explore it further. It’s of course even cooler when you already are a fan of something – like Grey’s Anatomy in my case. I’m a medical student (on a break) and I love that show.

Med student, too? Man, I’m feeling inferior in every single way. Anyway, the music video for “You” is interesting in that you’re blurred but the words are as clear as day. Was that intentional? Too often, music videos focus on flash over the substance of a song.
I love contrasts in any ways – and how two opposites enhance each other’s expressions. This video might not be the most clear example of this but it helps the lyrics to pop out. And the blurry background gets to symbolize the surrounding world, when you’re very much into something. When your focus is crystal clear and everything else fades away. Or: we didn’t have any budget or time and just tried to make it look cool.

Scandinavian pop continuously breaks through in the states. Is there any rhyme or reason why?
At this time, I think the main reason is the success that our Scandinavian forerunners have had over there. We learn from very young that we’re “successful in music” which makes us believe in ourselves and our dreams. I truly believe in the limitless potential in every person, and it’s our responsibility to encourage each other to dare to believe in ourselves and what we’re longing for. How the story began – I don’t know. A bunch of talented people with super strong wills and brave minds I guess. And a bit of luck.

What can you tell us about your involvement in Kill Your Friends?
In the beginning of last year, I was talking to a friend about places and situations we couldn’t see ourselves in. I told him about my absolute none-existing talents in acting. One week after that I got an email from Warner Music UK who wanted to put one of my songs in this movie they were working on. They wanted to talk about some more details on the phone the day after. I was thrilled about the fact that I would get to have my own music in a movie like that. “Have you ever tried acting?” was the first question I got on the phone. I heard myself answering “No, but I would definitely give it a go”. I sent some videos to the director with me reading my lines (absolutely terrifying), we had a Skype meeting, and one month later, I found myself in London with my own trailer on set, runners and all those amazingly magical things I’d only see on TV before. I absolutely love finding myself ending up in unexpected places knowing that a series of events in my life led me there.

Amazing! Keeping with that last statement, what advice would you give to my 11-month-old son?
Chase setbacks in life. Know that your dreams can become true – they are placed in you for a reason. Pretend that your life is a movie. Love much. Support Sunderland AFC and eat a lot of Domino’s Pizza.

A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve” based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released — think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman: Jon Chattman’s music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Air Supply, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds and Bastille.

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