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Friday, September 12, 2014

Songs of the week!

I've been toying with the idea of creating my own little music list for every week to release on Fridays. Just for fun! 

Music is my greatest passion, and to ask me what my favorite song is or artist or more to the point, which opera is my favorite is the same as asking a mother which one of her children she favors the most. 
The list will contain ALL genres. Classical, Opera, Hip hop, rock, punk... whatever I want to include that I've been listening to a lot during the week.

I occasionally have these weird moments where I try to create a list of my all time favorite artists, I even have a music journal. (You can buy them and they are made specifically for documenting music, concerts, artist, lists, play lists everything you can imagine documenting about music!) It always ends up being a clutter and there's no way I could ever publish it. 

I like a lot of music, but I don't like everything that exists. Sometimes if I end up mentioning 20 or maybe 50 artist I really like people just label it as "everything". I do not like everything. Although I have a lot of music yet to discover, there is still a lot of shit out there that I want nothing to do with. 

I would just like to mention that these songs aren't necessarily on a play list that I copy-pasted. I have a good memory, especially for music and it helps me remember specific days if I remember the music I listened to on a particular day. So I just picked the ones that I really love, that I've listened to this week and that popped into my head. Sometimes I just get this feeling "I really need to listen to that song today!" I wake up with music in my head. 
I listen to music even when I don't have music on...

So without any further a dew, here is my top ten songs of the week in no particular order:

1. Criminal World - David Bowie 

2. All about that bass - Meghan Trainor

3. Come and get your love - Redbone

4. It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing - Duke Ellington

5. Soft and Wet - Prince

6. Cry me a river - Ella Fitzgerald

7. Stardust - Frank Sinatra
8. How come you don't call me - Prince
9. Rocket - Beyonce

10. Cat People (Putting out the fire) - David Bowie

BONUS! Because I listened to these today and they are so good:
11. I know you know - Esperanza Spalding

  12. Black Gold - Esperanza Spalding



Have a groovy weekend!
xx Erika Grace

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Getting back into the swing of things!



When I was learning and rehearsing Poppea this spring, I sometimes got so tired of singing the same things over and over again that I'd stop and sing something else, even though I knew I still needed to practice Poppea, as it was so hard to learn in the first place. 

I'd sing a little Mozart, Puccini (I’m working on my first Puccini aria as a little "project", if you will, with my teacher) and Grieg. But I couldn’t do it. They were all placed in this uncomfortable tessitura and I just couldn’t sing them. So finally I just said to my self "Fuck it!" 

I thought, I'll just focus on Poppea and by the time I’ve learned the music and finished my performances, that tessitura will no longer be a challenge.

And so it became. Suddenly all the soubrette Mozart arias lay comfortably in my voice. Because I took the time to just focus on one thing, instead of trying to impress and not be singing anything well, my voice has developed.  I know, I know it's all in our minds, but it's also about being smart when you're a young. Take the smart and easy route, don't make it harder than it already is. 
That is why this summer I haven’t booked any singing gigs. I didn’t audition for any roles in little productions, even if they could have given me a small income over the summer. I'm invited to several wedding celebrations and I haven’t offered to sing, because I want to focus on getting my entire range stabilized. I'm almost "there" and I don’t want to mess up all the hard work I've put into my technique. 

I promised some more personal pictures over the summer, but I was unfortunate with the blogging from my iPad, so I'll be sharing some holiday pictures now instead. 
First up are images of Avignon where I spent two weeks of my holiday. The first images are of the beautiful Pope's Palace followed by images from the quaint little shops and beautiful atmosphere of the little town and finally images of Le Pont de Avingon ,The Avingon Bridge.












































xx Erika Grace

All pictures by Erika Grace

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A quarter of a century....

Written on my birthday, 28th of July 2014.

Today I turn 25 years old. That’s a quarter of a century, makes a girl think!

It’s scary thinking how fast my early twenties have gone, I don’t even know what I’ve done all that time. I moved away from home and I’ve been studying opera for 4 years… now I’m waiting to start studying languages at the university of Stockholm. I’m just studying and studying, but when will I ever be done? In many ways I thought I'd be somewhere else now, but I am happy to be just where I am!

I am grateful! There are so many young people in the world that never make it to this age and do not have the opportunities that I have been given in my life. I feel truly lucky to have lived this long and come this far in life. I only have gratitude towards life. I’m alive and that is more than enough!

Thank you to my family and all my amazing friends! Without each of you I would not be the same person I am today. Unfortunately all my favorite people a scattered around the world, but here are some pictures of the friends I got to celebrate with!
These people bring so much joy and laughter into my life and we take care of each other! They are the best girls (and boy!) to trash men with and laugh at and with! Love you girls! And Mr. Photographer (not pictured!) you are amazing, thank you for taking these pictures!!!!!
They will forever be beautiful memories of my 25th birthday!



















So much love to you all!

xx Erika Grace

Pictures by Åke Cappelin

Friday, June 20, 2014

FLASHBACK PART II



Klassisk Sång continues...


In "Klassisk Sång" we got to participate as the chorus of Hansel and Gretle, but we were all eager for our own roles. They made us paint our lips this big to look a little whimsical.








Stockholm Operastudio year 1












Stockholm Operastudio year 2









 There are more pictures to come from the last production of "L'incoronazione di Poppea", but the photographer is on vacation...so something to look forward to. 

Aw, all the memories these pictures bring. Makes me want to cry. Or eat.

For those of you curious about the school I've been attending check out their website here. They accept international students as well. For the main site to see all the different courses they offer visit kulturama.se

xx Erika Grace

Photo: Emelie Kroon, Thore Kennestad (borrowed from Kulturama's homepage), Francisco Vastenman