Elle Exxe - Sweden Tour September 2018
I had a lot of fun in Sweden. Not a lot of sleep, but a lot of fun. I met a lot of nice people, bumped into someone I knew from university, and launched Underdog Media on my 27th birthday, on a bus from Stockholm to Örebro after staying up until 4am the night before double-checking every link and detail of the site and showreel.
Every day was a case of shooting that day’s events, whilst also trying to keep on top of the editing of the images and video from the day before.
Andy, Elle’s drummer, and I caught a 4am flight from Heathrow to Stockholm, on a plane that was pretty much empty, and hit the ground running with meeting Elle, and her manager Umong, at the airport. Off we went into Stockholm for a day of meetings, the first performance at a Tidal-sponsored event - Jay-Z wasn’t there, but he personally apologised to me and promised to make it up to me next time I popped by to see him and Bey for some triangle-sliced sandwiches.
After the gig, Andy and I hung out before getting a birthday Burger King for me, and heading back to the hotel, where I worked on the site and performance’s images.
The following day, we got an 8.30am bus to Örebro ready for day one of the Live at Heart festival. Between telling everyone that it was my birthday as a running joke amongst Team Elle Exxe, there was a lot of “hi” and feeling bad that I knew not a single word of Swedish other than “thank you”, which I butchered every time I said it - “tack”.
I’d be lying if I said that I could recount all my time in Örebro, between late nights of hanging out with new friends and watching other acts, and the early mornings of going out and about to see what Live at Heart had set up around the city - everything became a blur.
Other than hanging out with Andy and Umong some more, which I’ve done a lot this summer whilst working on other things, it was great to finally sit and talk to Elle about herself, her career, her music, and her inspirations. I’ve known her for over three years now, and we’ve never had chance to just sit and bullshit about whatever’s going on around us.
Whether that was sitting in some coffee shop in Sweden, both working on our laptops and sharing in frustrations of being creative, or talking favourite movies crammed in the back of a Volvo with all the kit and luggage whilst coming up with the dumbest things for her Instagram. Elle isn’t just a musician/singer/songwriter, she’s a creative, she sees all the different areas that she can make things in and it stands out.
One thing that clicked for me was that in the year from the last time I’d seen her perform - VFest 2017 - I felt that it’d become less of her saying “Elle Exxe?” and more “Elle Exxe!” That’s not to say that she wasn’t confident onstage, she’s always been the same ball of energy launching around whatever raised platform she’s performing on, but something just seems to have clicked into place with her new music. None of which is released now, but they’re all bangers in my personal opinion.
I’m excited to see what she’s got up her sleeves for her 2019. Shoutout to Elle, Umong, and Andy for bringing me along for the adventure. I met a lot of great people, and laughed a lot of dumb things, and said the majority of those dumb things. I don’t think there could’ve been a better way of turning 27.