“Stress and lack of sleep are not ideal for my creativity,” explains Malin Linnéa, a Swedish talent now at home in the vibrant landscapes of Ciudad de México. Malin’s character, as reflected in her music and thoughts, is one of balance and authenticity, eschewing the cringe for the credible, the predictable for the profound. “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” she notes, emphasizing the importance of clarity and the courage to reveal one’s true self.
Her new two-part EP, Fate & Fiction, is a dive into deep, driving beats wrapped in atmospheric soundscapes. The EP unfolds as a mosaic of Malin’s love for contrasting elements—dark with light, the masculine with the feminine, balancing rawness with beauty, all culminating in a sound that is both timeless and refreshingly contemporary.
In our interview, we talk about the inspirations behind her latest EP, the challenge of staying creative amidst the chaos of a touring lifestyle, and the personal mantras that guide her craft.
Photo Courtesy of Malin Linnéa
Hello Malin, great to have you! Can you give us a snapshot of the main inspiration behind your latest EP, Fate & Fiction?
Hi, thanks so much for having me! For this particular EP I really wanted to make at least one vocal track but I’ve found it quite challenging in the past to make one that I really love. Vocals can quite easily feel a bit cringe if not done correctly. I originally sang on Fate & Fiction myself but as I was finishing it last year I met Sage in Mexico and I thought her soulful and deep jazz style voice worked much better for it.
Your EP title, Fate & Fiction, is captivating. Does it hint at any underlying themes or stories in the music?
That phrase was part of the original lyrics but as I handed them over to Sage she changed them around. I then ended up chopping her lyrics to make them better fit into the development of the track so her original storytelling is also slightly shifted. However I do actually appreciate when lyrics are somewhat ambiguous as that allows the listeners to interpret them in their own way.
Your genre-fluid approach seems to challenge the status quo and provoke thoughts on musical categorization; how has this approach been received by your peers in the industry, and do you see it influencing a shift towards more openness in genre Perceptions?
This is an interesting topic. I have actually seen it changing a lot for the better in the past year or so – people seem to be getting a bit more open. I don’t love when every single element in a track is from sounds that are associated with that same particular genre, I find it a little boring and uninspiring. I always try to change things up a bit to make the tracks more dynamic. But of course it’s a balance as you also have to have ‘your’ sound.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s a human concept to think that everyone sees us the way we see ourselves, but it’s not the case.”
Reflecting on your journey from your early encounters with house music in the 2000s to your current work, how do you think your musical philosophies and your connection with the music have changed?
I think my connection to music has always been the same but I think people’s perception of me has changed. I’ve heard many people saying they are ‘surprised’ by the music I play in a club environment. I’m personally very surprised that they would think that because they heard me play at a beach at sunset one time that I would play the same music during a peak time festival set. This has been an area of frustration for me, being pigeon-holed into a particular genre. So I guess I’ve become more mindful of the fact that you have to be quite careful when you share for example a podcast online as people are very quick to put you into a certain category.
Once you shared in an interview your childhood tales of being a music nerd. If 7-year-old you could see you now, spinning tracks and creating vibes, what do you think her reaction would be? Would she have any song requests? (smile)
My dream as a kid was to become a pop artist so I guess being a DJ has to be second best ;) Among my first records were Michael Jackson, Madonna and a Swedish band called Army of Lovers so I’d probably request some tracks from those.
“I think my connection to music has always been the same but I think people’s perception of me has changed.”
How do you keep your creativity flowing, and what inspires you to continue exploring and innovating in your music?
I think my natural state is to be creative but when I’m tired from traveling between different time zones this gets very hard. I know some people can put together a great track on an airplane but I definitely need time and peace of mind. Stress and lack of sleep are not ideal for my creativity. Also I feel like life today is more and more filled with admin that takes up a lot of time. This is one of the reasons why I moved to Mexico – I wanted to have less distractions and less stress.
With the glamorous and eclectic vibe of your Instagram, do you feel it allows your fans to connect with you on a more personal level?
I hope most people understand that social media is not real life and only shows selected highlights. I think for many artists at my level real life can be very high and low, it can definitely be glamorous for a few hours here and there in some exotic location but then the next day you miss your connecting flight on 2 hours sleep and there is no one in the airport to help you in the middle of the night and not a single hotel room in the entire city (this happened to me in Madrid recently when there was a champions league game). It’s also hard as there are a lot of uncertainties, especially financially. You will either miss weddings and birthdays or miss a big chunk of your income as your job is mostly on the weekend. Isn’t there a Twitter/X account called DJ’s complaining? It’s hilarious and is about exactly this, the downside of being a touring DJ.
“I hope most people understand that social media is not real life and only shows selected highlights.”
When you’re not working on music, what are some activities or hobbies that you enjoy and find fulfilling?
I moved into an unfurnished apartment in Mexico City and I couldn’t afford to buy the art I wanted so I started my own projects, doing huge oil paintings on sand canvases. I had to put all of that on hold when I was in Europe in the summer but I can’t wait to come back to it.
Is there a mantra that guides you in your personal life?
Not really, I’ve always followed my passion and fearlessly jumped into things head first. Now I’m learning to be the opposite – to be more strategic and structured. I’m also realising that I have to have more of a consistent image music wise because most people are so busy they don’t necessarily have time to look into what you’ve been up to lately. You only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s a human concept to think that everyone sees us the way we see ourselves, but it’s not the case. For this reason I guess my mantra is that I want to present myself, my music and who I really am with more clarity. People can’t guess who you are – you have to show them.
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank YOU (smiles)