Born Johanna Maria Jansson (she adopted the name Dotter – Swedish for daughter) in the striking and artistically-friendly environment of Arvika, not far from the Swedish/Norwegian border, she started playing music “so early that I must’ve been born a musician.” Enamoured by her parents’ record collection – which featured everything from Led Zeppelin to indigenous music to Enya – Dotter experimented with home recordings and started writing piano compositions as a child.
After collaborating with producers online, she decided to head to Stockholm: not only to study music, but to also to benefit from the potential connections that can be found in a capital city. “I found a guy who wanted to record a demo with me,” she recalls. “And then we fell in love, so I’ve stayed in his studio ever since.”
That connection with producer Dino Medanhodzic also sparked a rich creative partnership as they crafted her breakthrough single ‘My Flower’, her follow-up ‘Dive’ and this summer’s new track ‘Creatures of the Sun’.
“My inspiration is always the ‘70s, but sometimes I don’t think about it so much – it just becomes something that doesn’t sound like anyone else,” she says, noting her love for using natural phenomenon as a metaphor for human emotion. “I grew up surrounded by nature and amongst mountains and I want to bring that feeling into the music. I also wanted to express the importance of protecting and caring for our planet.”
Those themes, she explains, are also prevalent in ‘Creatures of the Sun’. “It’s interesting to think about all of the coincidences that led to us being here on earth. All of my ancestors before me have led to this moment. It could’ve been totally different. Whether you’re a human or an animal or a flower, every second in life we’re important to the earth. And when we die we go back to the earth.”
Since releasing ‘My Flower’ and ‘Dive’, Dotter has focused on developing her live show, with a huge homecoming festival at Arvika’s Hamnfest a particular highlight to date. Mostly, however, she’s been working extensively on new material, both for herself and as a songwriter for other artists. ‘Creatures of the Sun’ is likely to be followed by another collaboration with Medanhodzic with ‘Evolution’ (“It’s about my own evolution as a person”).
Dotter has also been working with London-based producer Michael Angelo, whose credits include Sam Smith and Lady Leshurr. It’s a natural progression for an artist whose ambition is to reach audiences in the UK and North American, as well as at home in Sweden.
Possessing a unique approach that separates her from the pack, Dotter’s inimitable charm will be the calling card that enables her to be discovered by the wider world.