Be The Bear is a one-woman industry – a fiercely independent female artist and producer, writing and recording her own songs in her commercial studio in Gothenburg, home to her own record label Loud Attic Records. We got the chance to speak to Christina Wehage about her delightful new single ‘Erupt’, starting firstly by asking her to describe the song.
It’s kind of an alternate pop track with a lot of emotion and a full string orchestra!
What was it like to be involved with that 60-piece orchestra?
I think that is one of my favourite moments so far in my life. It was absolutely amazing hearing [it]. I’d heard the song playing with MIDI when I’d written it but when you hear it live with the strings it’s so different and better. It was really, really cool.
Lyrically is there a story behind the track?
With most of my lyrics they just come to me. There’s definitely a lot of back-story with it, with what inspires me, like reoccurring dreams that I’ve had, and things like that. It’s just about being honest with yourself and facing your fears, and challenging yourself, which is a big theme for me.
The video is available to watch online. It’s a really magical video. What was it like to create it?
It was amazing! We had so much fun. There was actually about eighteen people behind the scenes in the film crew for the video, building all the sets and the bear, and all the caves and everything. There was jumping around in a green screen room, which is actually really difficult to do! We were actually in a house just outside Stockholm which was actually going to be ripped down the next day. It [now] no longer exists. We spent a lot of time recording that video and there was a lot of people involved, with a lot of my friends and some really talented people, so it was so much fun. [And] it’s just the beginning. There’s going to be several videos for the next few songs I’m releasing, and they’re going to tell a story; they all go together.
Have you recorded those videos yet?
No, it’s on-going. We’re doing number two now.
And the song was also in a big advertising campaign?
It was featured in a big Volvo commercial and had quite a lot of attention internationally, so that was really cool!
Your alias comes from your fear of bears. Has adopting that helped you come to terms with that phobia?
Yeah, it’s symbolic for just [general] fears. I just feel like everything that is scary, it’s just so inspiring to go there and actually challenge yourself and try new things that you’ve never done, and you didn’t think that you could do. That’s what I wanted to do with my music; to just always push that little bit harder and do something that I’ve never before and explore [it]. That’s what ‘Be The Bear’ is about. I used to have nightmares about bears; that was a big thing. I don’t know why it was specifically about bears. I used to dream a lot about them every night, and the same type of dream, being chased by a bear through a wooden house which was falling to pieces. So very dramatic, like the video!
Do you have any live gigs coming up?
At the moment we’re just looking at acoustic sessions for the next couple of months but we don’t have anything booked for the summer just yet.
Do you like performing your songs acoustically?
Oh yes, definitely, it’s really fun. It just becomes something different entirely. There’s going to be stripped down version [of Erupt] coming that’s something very special.
Do you have any EP or album plans?
There’s definitely an album in the pipeline but I don’t have a date for it yet. The next few singles that are coming out are the main focus at the moment so we’re just completely focussing on that and the live set-up.
Finally, what are your big ambitions for the rest of the year?
I want to play live as much as possible and hit the festivals as well as soon as I can as that’s the most fun! I’m really looking forward to [playing live].