What is your name?
My real name is Christina Wehage. My artist name is Be The Bear.
What is your genre of music?
Hard to say… it kind of changes on a song by song basis, but Alt Pop seems fair?
Give us a little bio about you.
I grew up on the west coast in Sweden and spent a lot of time on my own, wandering in nature. Music has always been a huge part of my life, but it was only when I was about 14 I started writing proper songs, not just improvising for hours without saving anything. I studied literature at University, lived in the UK for a while, and I was in several bands before I decided to do my own thing.
What made you go in to music?
It happened organically. I remember the first time I was asked to sing in public, in school, and people were really surprised that I could sing, and kids from other classes came in from the corridor to see who it was. Until that day it never really occurred to me that I might be able to take it more seriously. Once I’d started writing actual songs and recording them on my phone, it was a natural step to want to learn how to produce and record them.
You are the founder of Loud Attic Records, how did it come about?
The name comes from my recording studio in Gothenburg. It’s literally a converted attic space in a creative building in the heart of the city. Together with my close friend and colleague UnneLiljeblad (mix engineer and producer) I built a recording studio, with one room for mixing, two for recording and a huge raw attic space where we rehearsed. Having a recording studio meant we started working with local talents. Sometimes you come across people with such potential, you’ve got to work with them. So we started our own label.
You are also set to release your new single ‘Mermaid’, tell us more about the single.
I wrote the song when a close friend of mine was in a psychiatric hospital. Visitors were only allowed for short periods of time, and I really wanted to be there, so it was frustrating and I was having trouble sleeping. One night when I couldn’t sleep I got up and picked up my guitar, and I just started singing the first verse, it all came in one go. It was my declaration of love, my way of being there from a distance.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect?
Yes! It’s still early days, I’ve written most of the songs on piano, and each song is asking for it’s own thing, so we’ll see what it ends up becoming. I want to be in the moment with this one and let it grow organically. The most important thing of all, is that it’s honest, and heartfelt.
What else can we expect in 2019?
You can expect a couple more singles before the debut album.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Absolutely, if we’re a good match! I love working with other artists and producers, it’s always different every time and you learn so much about yourself and the writing process. For collaborations you can contact me directly, on the website or through social media.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I play the guitar and piano, badly. Haha. It’s enough to write my songs, and gives me a good excuse to work with talented musicians.
Who are your influences?
Wow, so many. I listen to everything from classical music to pure commercial pop. At the moment I’m really into Tom Odell, Florence & the Machine, Kishi Bashi, Christine and the Queens. Growing up I was mostly into the British music scene, listening to everything from Radiohead to Kate Bush.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I write about things that matter to me; my friends, my lovers, my family. Sometimes I get inspired by a film or a book I’m reading, and it will give me an idea that I can spin off. It’s all a way to process whatever I’m going through at the moment. So all of my songs are really personal and about real people and experiences.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 years?
I have no idea – but definitely still writing songs. I want to be completely independent and not rely on anyone else to release my music and keep growing as an artist. So that’s what I’m focusing on.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I love being outdoors, and I love traveling. I write, read, paint, spend time with my family and friends.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t let the bastards get you down! Haha.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be as brutally honest as you can, always listen to your gut feeling, and follow your own vision.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“There is no past or future, except as memory or anticipation in your mind” – Eckhart Tolle
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Oh! Good question. The archipelago – definitely! I love going out to the islands outside of Gothenburg, especially if you take the ferry back in the evening, and lie down on one of the benches on the rooftop, watching the stars
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
– An awesome outfit, to get me into character – something unique that makes me feel larger than life.
– Be on stage for a couple minutes before the show to ground myself.
– Don’t rehearse the day before, so I feel mentally “fresh” on the day.
– Connect and get eye contact with as many people as possible in the audience – they are all that matters.
– ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!