daniel bellqvist from eskobar is a charismatic and stylish lead singer. and it is my personal belief that his band, esbobar, is one of the most under-rated bands out there. their melodious indie pop should be on heavy rotation all over the world. i have their whole discography on my ipod and i have listened to everything over and over again.
through the power of internets, i contacted daniel and asked him for an interview for littleaesthete.com. he was kind and graciously took the time. here is what we came up with:
i must start by asking about eskobar’s new album. as a long time fan, i can’t wait to hear it!
well, we’ve been working on it for about 2 years and we’re very proud of what we’ve managed to produce. we’ve worked with a new producer named oscar harryson. it was very interesting because he usually produces hip-hop so his ideas felt very fresh to us. it’s quite a diverse album, production – and song-wise.
at the moment we (by we, i mean our french manager) are looking for the best partners to work with around the world to release our album.
may i ask what have you been doing during the 6-year hiatus?
well, apart from recording the new album, i’ve been finding myself again after i quit alcohol. i’ve been reading a lot and found a new better way of life. and new ways to look at the world. for a few years after the last album, i didn’t really feel like writing songs but fortunately the urge came back.
soon, your band will be 20 years old. how have things changed?
in the beginning, we had a lot of specific goals like: going on tour, reaching no. 1 on the swedish charts, being played on the radio, playing the biggest stage on the biggest swedish festival, have our videos on mtv, etc. and we fulfilled them all.
now, my only real goal in music is to express myself directly from the soul, with as little interference from my mind as possible. and that’s quite a challenge because one’s ego/mind shouts while the soul whispers. sorry for getting little deep, hehe.
i’ve also learned that inspiration is not something you have to wait for. it will come rather quickly if you just start writing.
do you have a short list for dream collaborations?
i don’t actually. it used to include björk and a few others but now i don’t really think about it anymore. i believe whoever is supposed to work with us will come around.
you have a blog, red carpet rockstar, on elle.se. you are really interested in fashion. and you actually attended several shows during the recent stockholm fashion week. tell me everything about it!
yes, i’ve had a passion for fashion my whole life. and since i’m always looking for new fashion i like on the web and collect photos, etc., my wife suggested i should start a blog. so i did. and after a month or two, it was picked up by elle magazine sweden and i’m so happy about that. i’m the only male blogger there and maybe i have a different angle on fashion because of it.
stockholm fashion week was fun to experience. the thing with swedish designers is that they are very modern, futuristic and clean in their design and my taste is the exact opposite. i love flamboyant excess like roberto cavalli and balmain, my two favorite brands in womenswear.
i don’t know what my fashion future will be but i’m excited to see where it takes me and i’m open to expand in whichever way my soul points me.
you have a clean and stable life: 8 years sober, a new raw diet and a loving family. is this the rock star 2.0?
haha! well, it might be rockstar grown up? it was definitely fun to be an irresponsible youngster in music, but eventually that party lifestyle just leads to pain and it did for me so i quit.
my life has never been better than now. i’m truly happy with both the music and the fashion business and my family. i never go to clubs, bars or parties anymore. i love staying at home with my wife and our furry four-legged daughter, dahlia. yes, she’s a dog.
you are quite active online. does it come naturally?
yeah, i’m very active and it’s a lot of fun but i only do what i enjoy. i don’t do things just because you’re supposed to. i’m still not active on twitter or instagram and that might be because i don’t feel the need to post about my latest meal, etc. probably since i’d never read about that on someone else’s blog/stream either.
what are your top 5 new music discoveries?
well, i don’t actually actively look for new music since i quit djaying a few years ago. so these days i just hear what happens to come my way through the tv-shows i watch or what friends listen to or create.
before i quit djaying, i was heavily into balkan beats and stuff like fanfare ciocarlia, mahala rai banda, la brass banda, shazalakazoo, etc.
funny! the first two bands you mentioned are romanian, just like me!
yes, I love those romanian bands and i’ve actually seen fanfare ciocarlia live and they were amazing. i think both of those bands are such amazing musicians and i LOVE the energy and joy of their music. i used to play it all the time as a dj and i also made a bootleg mash-up of one of their songs.
please tell us your favourite places in stockholm.
my favorite place in stockholm is my apartment.
and the second favorite place is doggy islands where we go with our dog every saturday morning where she can run free and play with lots of other dogs.
it’s situated by a castle called drottningsholms slott a bit outside of the city.
we live on the south side of the city called södermalm and it’s always been sort of a cultural place where lots of musicians, artists, designers etc live and it’s by far the best place to be in stockholm.
tack, daniel, for a very cool and open interview! lots of luck with all your undertakings!
photo credits: eskobar, daniel bellqvist