• Behind the piano

    Behind the piano: Sleepy Songs

    Of course, I will have to start with interviewing myself to see if the questions will work!

    This should be interesting; and I’ll try to keep it short…

    What’s your real name?
    My name is Johan Eckman.

    Where are you from? And where do you live?
    I grew up in a small town called Arvika in Sweden. When I was around 20 I moved to my current city with is Malmö in the south of Sweden,

    How did you come up with your artist name?
    When I first started making piano music; I made it for the kids at work (I work as a preschool teacher for kids in the ages of 1-5). Usually we had some kind of calming music during nap time, but I wasn’t very happy with the old CDs my workplace provided. So I decided to make my own relaxing music. Sleepy Songs was the name I choose when I finally released those songs on Spotify and has stayed with me since.

    How long have you been playing the piano?
    I started playing the piano my second year of what we in Sweden call “gymnasiet”. I guess you could compare it to high school in America. I was about 16 years old. I’m actually more of a drummer…

    How long have you been making piano music?
    Since around 2011 when I started my first job as a preschool teacher.

    Tell me something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
    I guess it’s pretty common as a kid to think that rockstars and artists arn’t human. They’re something else. I started making music with my computer when I was around 14. Thats kind of how I learned to play instruments; by “composing”. That’s still how I learn and get better with my instruments; by composing. I don’t know that many songs by other composers…

    Have you made music in other genres before?
    I have made so much music in my days… From singer songwriter to Swedish schlager. When I was about 20 years old I got a publishing deal with a company that tried to pitch my “hit-songs” to Asian record companies. They didn’t succeed. I have made songs in pretty much every genre you could think of. I consider myself to be a better songwriter/producer than a piano player. I’ve also made a gold selling children’s music album called Prinsessans Rockband.

    What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
    Olafur Arnalds. He’s the only one I get back to every time.

    Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?

    There is three songs I always come back to. One of them is my own song 0334. Another one is Tomorrows song by Olafur Arnalds, and the third one is a song called Längtar, which is written by my buddy Dan Sigurdson for our band Broms Friskusen. 

    What song inspires you the most when you’re making music? Can you name just ONE song/composition?
    That would be Tomorrow’s song by Olafur Arnalds.

    Tell me something about you latest release.
    My latest release was the single Arvika (7th december 2018). During the summer vacation of 2018 I only brought with me my Maschine from Native Instruments and a tiny keyboard (only two octaves). I’ve has my Maschine for many years without knowing how to use it properly. I figured it was time. But I couldn’t do another one of my piano solo songs, so I decided to make something more electrical, but still with the piano as the main instrument. So down in the basement of my parents house in Arvika I made this song. When I got back to Malmö again, I decided to make a piano solo of the song as well, so this single contains two versions of the same song; one with electronics, and one with only the piano.

    What’s happening next? New releases etc.
    I have one single coming mid January, another single late February and a four track EP coming in March. At the moment I’m doing the last finished of another EP which hopefully will be released in May.

    Thank you for reading! I think it went pretty well, didn’t it?

    I’m not going to bother you with social and streaming links here. They can be found all over the place.

  • Behind the piano

    On Thursday…

    On Thursday I will post the first post in my blog series Behind the piano. It’s a really soft start since this first post is all about… me! Of course. 

    I have gathered a lot of interviews during the past weeks, and I’m more than excited about introducing all of these people to you! Some of them you might now already, and hopefully you’ll find a couple of new favorite piano players!

    See you Thursday!

  • Stories

    About the song: Arvika

    The summer of 2018 was a hot one here in Sweden. Probably one of the hottest ever, and definitely the hottest one I’ve ever experienced. I spend the four week summer vacation in my parents house, which is located in my hometown Arvika. 

    The summer before I have brought with me my keyboard so I could record piano and other things for an album with Rimstad Rockerz. This year, however, I wanted to challenge myself a bit. About seven years ago I bough myself a Maschine from Native instruments. I have used it a lot since then when making dance songs or hiphop-beats, but I haven’t really used all of its potential. So before the summer I decided that I was only gonna bring my laptop, my Maschine and a really tiny two octave keyboard. 

    The songs was written on the piano in my parents house, but was interlay recorded only using my Maschine and that tiny keyboard. The basement of thew house was pretty much the only place where the temperature wasn’t unbearably hot, so I spent a lot of time there. 

    And this song was the first one that came out. 

    The picture on the cover was taken a couple of years ago. It’s the night view over my hometown taken from Viksholmen; which is a place where I always end up after a night out in Arvika. It has this amazing view over the entire city. The picture is actually upside down; so the sky on the picture is actually the reflections in the lake (if that’s not obvious?). 

    Back in Malmö after the vacation I decided to make a solo piano recording of the song as well, which is the second track on the single. 

    I hope you enjoy it! I surely loved making it; and now I know better how to use my Maschine!

    If the playlist doesn’t work, you can use this link instead!

  • Stories

    0334

    The last song I want to talk about from the latest EP is 0334. 

    I don’t have much to say, even though it’s my personal favorite from the EP. 

    I wrote it late one night, feeling a bit sentimental and very grateful for having the best kids in the world. 0334 stands for the time my first son was born. 7th of march 03:34. 

    A while ago I made a little video for the song. Nothing fancy, just me playing around with the time lapse function on my GoPro camera. 

    You can watch it here!

    If you just want to listen to the song. Well, here it is!

  • Stories

    Day one & Day two

    So, here’s the next two songs from the latest EP. 

    Day one. 

    Day two. 

    These two songs were written I may when my band Rimstad Rockerz had an entire week with shows at Nydala theater in Malmö. Before every show we do there I usually have some of my piano music in the background before the show while people are taking their seats. When we did the same thing in February I played my song Years to come through the speakers, but you get pretty tired of hearing the same song over and over again for five days straight. 

    So, I decided to challenge myself (as I tend to do). 

    How about I write a new song every day, and play it in the backgrund the day after?

    Sounds good right?

    It was a pretty hectic week, so I only managed to write two new songs. Day one, and Day two. I repeated them for the next couple of days. 

    So, here they are!