Having received acclaim from the likes of Wonderland and Nylon, Oslo-based Lazy Queen have recently caught our ears’ attention with the hooky surf-rock energy and jangly scuzz of latest single ‘Sober’. Reflecting on the complex nature of addition, it explores the ongoing struggle of sobriety in an addictive personality.
Having struggled with displacement throughout their life, Lazy Queen front-person Henrik has now moved from the US to Oslo, and is starting to feel in a better place. As a Non-Binary artist, they are a huge advocate of supporting the LGBTQ+ creative community and have performed at local Pride events a number of times.
Here, in our latest Guest Blog feature, Henrik reflects on their journey to self acceptance through music…
I’ve been asked to write about my journey to self-acceptance through music, but I’m finding it increasingly hard to get anything down on this page. It feels similar to being at the hairdresser, having no choice but to stare at yourself in the mirror for an hour straight, and all of a sudden everything just looks.. odd, out of place and not like you. I honestly think it would be hard to write an article about how I achieved being comfortable with myself, because I still don’t know if that’s something I can claim to be. I don’t think I’d be far off in saying that I experience at least a moment of some shade of self hatred every day, but it’s got better, and along the way I’ve come to realise that for me it’s as much about the work as the end point. And obviously, writing and creating in Lazy Queen and other projects has been a major part of the process.
Music has always been my form of expression in some way or another. My notebook is where I process my thoughts, feelings and impressions; in the rehearsal space, or in the tour van is where I get to be close, open and honest with my closest friends/family; and the stage is where I get to fully express myself in ways I’m not always able to in real life. For having been a fairly private and closed off person for most my life, I find it endlessly confusing and amusing that I now often end up airing out personal insights, struggles and developments in songs to be heard by, for the most part, strangers, before I actually open up about it to the people around me. My process has always been to internalise, but music showed me that there was an alternative, where the end-point isn’t necessarily completely closed off and isolated.
Growing up, I used to envy people who could unashamed – confidently and eloquently expressing their inner thoughts and ideas at any given time, feeling like I would never be able to do that; I felt like I lacked something very integral to relationships. Now, with a bit more life experience, and a somewhat more nuanced view of people in general, I realise that I’ll probably never get to that same space, that that’s totally fine, and also that maybe those people weren’t quite as straightforward as they might’ve seemed at the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, in the way that I thought it did.
Writing and performing has given me a safe space to process, and a door to open when I was ready for it, and it’s a practice that has slowly followed me into my everyday life. I’ve always been an introspective and shielded person, and at the same time pretty invested in picking apart my own thoughts and patterns – though it took me hitting some major lows before I did anything about it. After a brush with death a couple of years ago I started to realise that I absolutely needed to open myself up more, also outside of the music. I think I’ve come a long way since then, but it’s still still far from easy. I feel like I fuck up every other day, and on those days I feel like a fucking hypocrite trying to write things like this.
I was talking to my friend Chloe (our tour manager) the other day, and she said something to the effect of: you’re at the same time one of the most open and closed off people I know. I’m not sure what to do with that, but it sure feels like the shoe fits. I don’t hold the answers, but if anything, I believe honesty, openness and an attitude of “fuck the taboos” have saved my life.
Massive thanks to Henrik for sharing his thoughts with us!
Lazy Queen’s latest single ‘Sober‘ is out now.
Photo Credit: Lukka Fogie