It was never meant to be this way. Swedish-born Ottilia Zimmerman Kjulsten initially had no desires to become involved in music, but a trip to London helped turn her life upside down.
“I think my plan was to become a lawyer and then learn Chinese,” she explains. “But I got a scholarship to go to London when I was 16, and I just sang for fun, doing covers in bars and stuff. And then it just became a bit more serious.”
Drawing like-minds together around her, the project gradually fused into its current form - Avante Black. Glistening pop that retains remarkable fluidity, each song has a viscous quality, billowing out into fresh avenues.
“I think I’m quite a late bloomer when it comes to these things,” she says. “I do like to try a lot of different things out, and just be open for whatever I’m doing, really. Discovering new things everyday.”
“A song just kind of develops when it’s done. You know what you’ve done, if you like it or not, and then go with it. It’s never really clear-cut. It’s like a labyrinth, really.”
Working on her debut album, rebellious new alt-pop cut ‘Drug Money’ is online now and it sparkles with fresh energy. Musing on the ways her friends manage to keep themselves afloat in London, it continually pushes against the barriers placed in its way.
“I think it’s always a struggle,” she notes, when the conversation veers towards London life. “I think 90% of the time it’s a struggle, but the 10% where everything goes your way is always worth it, and you just forget all the hard times that you had getting there. And then you just start again.”
“It’s challenging. London is challenging you everyday… but I think that’s a good thing because it makes you improve and it makes you fight a lot more for it, rather than everything being handed to you.”
Often working spontaneously, the Swedish talent draws enormous inspiration from her surroundings. With Spring blooming across the capital, it seems that this is a potent time to be in Avant Black’s orbit. “I’m finding Spring to be a really good time for writing,” she muses. “As soon as the weather is changing it seems to be something that really triggers creativity.”
Able to slow down and smell the flowers, Avant Black’s refreshing rebel pop attitude is fast coming into bloom.
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Photo Credit: Olivia Richardson