Sanna Songbird

I sing stories. Special spots, intimate atmosphere, fairytale setting, small festival, outdoors in nature or for instance a little chapel – these are the surroundings in which my music blooms. I keep finding out more and more about who and what I truly am. Sharing my imperfect self with you is how I continue to learn how to express myself authentically in the world – hoping to add a little brightness to it.

Folk and country music played the soundtrack to my childhood. Acoustic, harmony. What people were singing always mattered at least as much to me as the way they sang it – I have always loved what words can do to me. Fierce storytellers like Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Joan Baez, Boudewijn de Groot, John Denver, CSNY… They made me fall in love with the profound simplicity of folk music: the well known three chords and the truth. At the very height of the Cold War, my parents were playing in a protest band, writing songs that infected me with a marked commitment to social and environmental issues, and a distinct intolerance for injustice. From a very young age, I sang along with everything I heard, first on gramophone, later on cd’s, and of course when my father played guitar.

What people were singing always mattered at least as much to me as the way they sang it – I have always loved what words can do to me.

At sixteen, I started playing guitar as well, to be able to accompany myself while singing. Hesitantly, now and then I wrote some lyrics and a melody – a capella tunes. Nobody ever heard them and they did not grow into actual songs. Rather, they were often expressions of my troubled mind, meant for no ears at all. My first start-to-finish song was I knew you all along (still without my guitar) when I had just turned 19. It would take me another five years to compose a song with my six-string. That song emerged after a close friend lost her beloved who took his own life. Born from the painful muddy depths of those days, Lost at all was the first track I wrote for Songbird. It was thus that I discovered the powerful way music transforms pain and trauma. Other songs soon followed – first Baby, then Real, and slowly the idea of making a record emerged.

I released Songbird independently in 2007. In the months that followed, I did a couple of gigs and even got some airplay at a few small radio stations. Nonetheless, my insecurity and lack of vision got the better of me and I stopped making music almost entirely. In 2011, I spent some time in the United States and there, I found my way back to singing and songwriting. Rasa’s Song was the first of a number of songs I wrote during that magical time. In 2012, I became a mother, and that led to yet another hiatus in my musical activity. This time, however, time spent not singing was spent reflecting on why I was not singing, while there is hardly anything in the world I love doing more. I started looking differently at my songs, and now I’m learning how to use my instruments in more versatile ways. There is much that I don’t know, but I do know that I want to sing. So that is what I do. I sing, I write, I blog – about life, love and pain.

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