Jonna Lee will bring the evolution of her ten-year creative career to a new peak with the release of her maiden ionnalee offering, the album EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN, on 16 february 2018 via To whom it may concern. a studio album and, in due order, a standalone filmic counterpart (co-created with cinematographer John Strandh, in alliance with fashion and art trail-blazers COMME des GARÇONS). this is the most ambitious project which the Stockholm-based master of audiovisual artistry has embarked on.
Reflecting on her own perspective, ionnalee says: “I’ve been evaluating the role that’s cut out for me by society in general and the music business in particular, as to how I should look and behave, both as a woman and as an artist.” In shaping the record, ionnalee has been preoccupied with the experience of societal pressures on women, such as the inescapable normative push to become a mother, pitted against the professional pull of meeting the audience’s expectations of her as an artist.
“We live in a time where anyone can do anything”, ionnalee says, reflecting on the ever-growing prevalence of the audiovisual format. “It can be beautiful, when it’s done purely in pursuit of creative motifs, but in many situations it is only really done because of the current perception that just being a musician is no longer enough and the music has to be dressed to the nines in order to be heard. My visuals have always been part of my creation and, yet - frustratingly - they are still often being perceived strictly as a promotional tool.”
“I’ve had to push myself to learn how to not only be a good creative mind, but also a good technical producer, to be able to make things sound like they sounded in my head.” In terms of the arrangements and the record’s sound: “I drew from my background in sacral choir singing and merged it with my other great loves, industrial and spectral synths and old school hip hop beats. I wanted it to be an album to grieve to but there is a fairness and innocence to the sound, which makes it hopeful in midst of the darkness. Producing this work is a proud moment for me as a musician.”
“I would like to view this as the beginning of the rest of my career. I want to grow my audience in my way, without compromising and without having to turn myself inside out. There’s a bigger, more personal weight for me with this record and much, much more at stake.”