CARL HJELM : THE FORUMIST INTERVIEW

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Fashion and music have long been intertwined, but today they are related in a different way from before. Meet two acts who are active in both fields, living and creating in between these worlds and changing the shape of popular culture.

Cousins Adam Odelfelt and Benjamin Lavén and their longtime friend Carl Hjelm Sandqvist have been playing their brand of synth pop together as Tella Viv for more than two years. Like many groups from Stockholm, all members have played in several bands already. The term “Stockholm band” means more than just a group from Stockholm – there’s a scene going on that’s difficult to define. Singer Hjelm Sandqvist muses on the subject: “I think we have a very Swedish sound in Stockholm – it’s about small things like phrasing and the way you produce. There is a lot of interest in Swedish bands abroad and when there are references to ‘Swedish bands’, people are usually talking about groups from Stockholm.”
Outside of the band, Hjelm Sandqvist works as a model (he’s currently on the books at Nisch Management), something that often becomes the focus in interviews with Tella Viv, bringing both positives and negatives with it. Hjelm Sandqvist views it with mixed feelings, saying that nobody know what the focus may be in a year from now, so it’s important that the music remains the main objective. Odelfelt and Lavén don’t see it as a problem, either – “As long as it doesn’t take anything from what we’re doing or change the perception of us, as if I were a solo artist [they don’t mind],” says Hjelm Sandqvist. “I find it interesting to do interviews with people who don’t know anything about that side of my life. Some weeks, in some cities, I can be recognised in the streets, but otherwise I’m very ordinary. No one usually has any idea about what I do – they think I’m a dopehead rather than a model.”

 

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Having one foot in fashion and the other in music is not unique for Hjelm Sandqvist or Tella Viv. He feels the relationship between the divisions of pop culture has changed recently. “I guess the lines have been blurred. There is the opportunity to do both. Musicians are expected to be seen in fashion. Many people want to style artists and it’s very important that the artist’s integrity is kept in mind. Bands can get a bigger response when they become figures that the fashion industry wants to work with.”

 

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Carl Hjelm for The Forumist

Words by Filip Lindström
Photography by Dan Sjölund
Styling by Maria Barsoum
Hair by Jacob Kajrup
Make-up by Åsa Karlsten

To view Carl’s portfolio, click here

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