Confessions Of A Teenage Boy

15 April 2014

When we visited Bjorn (Nisch Management) at his Swedish home we were met with a refreshing honesty, calm and Scandinavian coolness. This was a teenager with a sensitive and artistic soul, and his surroundings reflected sophisticated flavours of his favorite music and art.

We let you in on a little secret yesterday with a preview of Bjorn’s endearing editorial “Confessions Of A Teenage Boy” photographed by Cecilie Harris for issue 6. Goodhearted people as we are, we thought we'd share this interview and some of the instant analogues with you. Lucky little things, you.

If you want to see Bjorn’s Saint Laurent exclusive editorial styled by Way Perry in full you can grab yourself a copy of our latest issue “The Truth About Boys”, which is out in shops and available to order now.

Tell me a bit more about you.
I’m Bjorn, I’m 17 year's old and I live in Stockholm, Sweden.

Who is Bjorn?
That’s a hard question! I don’t really know who I am, I'm only 17 haha. I would describe myself as a person who is interested in music, books and culture.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. With special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.

Tell me a bit more about the drawings I noticed on your desk.
It's two different types of drawings because on one half I draw like abstract shapes and contrasts. I just keep calm and don't really talk to people. It's just shapes I feel like I want to get on paper, it's not like I see them, but it just feels good to sketch down something. The other part is the more concrete things. That comes more from music, I get a lot of inspiration from songs, books and poems and lyrics. I think it's good to be able to look at these things in an artistic way - like a descriptive painting. It's more about expressing thoughts for me personally, but I feel that by just drawing shapes I'm not telling anyone or myself anything. It's the concrete things that show more what I'm really thinking or feeling. For example, the one I showed you with the gun was more of a visual interpretation of a song called "Fun Fun Fun with my Machine Gun" by an American punk band The Verbal Abuse. I just thought the song and the lyrics were really catchy, and I really liked the meaning around it. So that was my interpretation of the song, I didn't really do it to show it to anybody. Yeah.

You listen to a lot of old music for someone so young.
Yes, but I don’t listen to just old music, I listen to a lot of music. I don’t really have the view that some music is better than others. I could be listening to a classic symphony or something completely modern like hip hop or trance, there’s no real hierarchy.

Is there music you don’t like? That’s a pretty wide spectrum!
It’s really hard saying something I don’t like about music, because if I don’t like it I probably haven’t heard of it! I’ve always listened to music that I think is good, and always will. I like music where I can understand myself and to be emotionally connected with the music so you can visualise it. It’s the stuff I can compare myself to and feel a sense of empathy and sympathy towards the person who wrote it that I really enjoy.

How would you say music affects you?
A lot! I’d say I listen to music like eight hours a day or something. When I’m not talking to anybody else and when I sleep also. It affects me very much. It has to do with how I’m feeling, and the music I’m listening to says this. So If I’m feeling sad, sad music can help me connect to the sad feelings at that moment.

And you play too, right?
Yeah I play the guitar, the bass, the drums, the piano. I started playing piano when I was four, yeah, when I was four. I mostly play classical music on the piano. It’s really wonderful, in many ways it symbolises my childhood. I don’t play classical music on the guitar or the bass or anything – that’s more rock indie and punk.

If you were to recommend me a book, which one would it be?
I read this book recently called "the Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. It’s a very good book. It’s about the exploitation of Africans and it inspired a movie "Apocalypse Now".

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I have no idea at all. Hopefully something that I’ll enjoy. I’m quite comfortable with myself now, so I think It’ll work out when I’m older. I’d quite like to study something at University.

What do you think you’d like to study, you have so many passions?
Maybe philosophy, that sounds nice. I think it would be fun.

What makes you happy?
Music! And friends and family.

What makes you sad?
Not being able to communicate with myself. That feeling when I guess you don’t really know yourself. I feel that sometimes.

How would your friends describe you?
Maybe as that shy intricate friend that they are very close to, but nobody else really is. Sometimes I feel like not a lot of people really know me, just my close friends.

Which is interesting, because you’re very expressive in front of the camera.
Somebody said that to me; how can you be so comfortable in front of a camera when you’re so shy? I don’t know really, it’s kind of impersonal I’d say, because being photographed isn't really a personal thing for me. Maybe it’s helped having played in bands and at gigs, so in that way I think I’m used to it. I think I am happy to do a lot of things in front of the camera, but not my neighbours for example, because I’m going to have to see them every day for the next four years. I have realised that I thought I knew a lot of people, and that they didn’t know me either. That’s a kind of truth that I’ve discovered about myself.

Interview and Instant Analogues by Cecilie Harris.
Special thanks to Impossible.
Words by Rosie Williams.

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