Swedish singer, producer, composer and sexual assault survivor, Jenny Wilson, has a story to tell with her latest EP and it is an emotional rollercoaster of liberation.
Jenny Wilson is a Swedish quadruple threat; she is a talented singer, songwriter, producer and composer. Beyond these formidable musical capacities, you better believe she has stories to tell. Follow her powerful journey through a harrowing recount of her own individual experience with an instance of horrifying sexual assault. Her bravery in recounting her tale is an important step in the right direction as far as encouraging women (and men) to speak up about traumatic events in life that can change the trajectory of your life.
Take as many lessons as you can from Jenny Wilson – either from her relatable internal struggles in the aftermath of the event itself, or her powerful renewal of strength up until the end. Her recount spans two bodies of work, both written around the same time: Exorcism, last year, which shared the painful details of the rape itself and now Trauma, an expansion of these ideas with a broader scope in actualization, having enlisted her impressive electronic compositions to full symphony.
We spoke with Jenny about her intense relationship with music, creating art out of trauma and her opinion on the current state for women when it comes to cases of sexual assault. You can support this brave woman warrior by catching her at SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark next month.
First of all, what is your personal background? What brought you to where you are now?
I was born 1975 in the south part of Sweden. I grew up there, on the country side, with my two sisters and parents. When I was about to turn 18, I moved to Malmö and started my first (and only) band, First Floor Power.
How would you describe your personal relationship to music? (Either consuming or creating?)
Music is my elixir of life. I couldn’t live without it, even if I appreciate silence a lot too. Music is my tool to express myself. Music is the pill that makes me braver, the poetry that takes me higher, the comfort I can’t find anywhere else.
Your latest two works are an intimate revisiting of your own trauma with sexual assault. What was the process like, making this into music?
I was working parallel with EXORCISM and TRAUMA. I buried myself in work, so to speak. TRAUMA was much more of a big and complicated process. It took a long, long time to make that album since it’s pretty huge to work with a symphony orchestra; we took it many rounds before it became what it is today.
It was horrifying and painful to write so open and explicitly about such difficult things. But it was also wonderful to do it – to lift something that is so shameful to talk about, and make something beautiful out of it.
Was it important for you to be a “one woman show” for this album?
This is actually my first album ever, where I co-worked in a broader and deeper way than before. I was producing together with Johannes Berglund and collaborated with Hans Ek, who transcribed my electronic compositions to full symphonic compositions. But the singing, the writing, the full idea couldn’t come from anyone than me.
What was your expectation going in to the whole thing? Did it change at all as you went along?
It was changing so many times during the pretty out-stretched process. I took it in many directions, I tried many ideas that didn’t work out for this project. But all the work we did turned this album into a gem, diamond hard…
When it came down to it, were there any tracks that were perhaps more difficult to get through than others?
By far most difficult track to write, record and work on, was HÄNDELSEFÖRLOPPET. I can’t even listen to it because it’s so upsetting…
What are your thoughts on the current state for women, when it comes to victims of sexual assault and speaking up?
Well… Some things have changed since the #metoo movement… For example, we have a new law here in Sweden: Samtyckeslagen. That is one step in the right direction. But at the same time, I know that there are still so, so, so many things that have to change in the very fundaments of our society to stop men (mostly men) from raping. As long as men still rape, we have fundamentally problems, right?
What is your best advice to people who’ve had similar experiences – or just girls and women in general?
I don’t give any advices, because one experience is not necessarily like another. But for me, it helped to talk about it. With friends, with family, with the people who cares about me. That gave me the strength to also write about it, make art out of it.