10 things you need to know about watermelon-haired norwegian kid jimi somewhere
#1. He makes great music.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.
Jimi Somewhere is a right character! For real though. “I feel like if I made music under my real name I’d be much more obligated to always tell the truth,” the 20-year-old Norwegian musician --born Benjamin Schandy -- told us yesterday. “Now I can treat my music like a film character.” Inspired by the way Odd Future used to dream up their names, he paired his nickname with a random word and decided that this alter-ego fit him perfectly. It certainly seems to work well with the experimental pop sound that he's been sharing online for the past two years.
It was during Bergen’s Vill Vill Vest in 2017 that we first met Jimi, who gave one of his earliest performances in a dark gallery space, illuminated by projections and the light mood of his music. In the year and a half since then, his life has changed dramatically. “I was still in high school then,” he remembers. “Now I live in Oslo and make a living off my music, which is so different and tight. Being able to wake up and create is all I’ve ever wanted.”
Jimi is currently gearing up to release his debut EP, Ponyboy, named after Ponyboy Curtis, a young gang member from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 teen movie The Outsiders. Written out in LA and produced by his best friend Milo, Jimi wanted the project to sound almost like a summer coming-of-age movie. “There are a lot of similar events in the EP and the movie. I don’t want to give too much away, but I hope people watch the movie either before or after listening to the EP.” Noted and intrigued. While you wait for the release, discover a little more about Jimi Somewhere...
1. Jimi grew up in a town near Oslo called Hokksund, which has a glass factory
“I actually made a documentary about the glass factory in eighth grade for a school project! The worst thing about growing up there is that nothing ever happens. But that forced me and my friends to make fun for ourselves, so we’d hang at the skatepark or in my room, writing. The best thing about it is how close to nature it is. When I was in LA I missed the smell of the woods.”
2. Oh yeah, about that… after high school, Jimi and his best friends saved up and ran off to LA for three months to make music
“I think in ten years I’ll think of those three months as such essential and important months in my career. Me and my two best friends cramped up in a tiny apartment in Koreatown, eating fast food every day and just working on music or having fun. I met Bearson there, who I ended up signing with. I made some memories I’m sure I’m gonna remember forever. LA is weird, but it’s a cool place to be in for short periods of time. I need to get back there soon.”
3. According to the lyrics of his new song 1st Place life was better when he was 17
“I went to a boarding school that was pretty cool and I had this big group of friends. So if me and Milo weren’t working on music, we would just do fun stuff or drive around every day after school. There were a lot less problems and stress. Now I have to worry about a career and rent and boring adult stuff.”
4. He really hasn’t ever come first in anything
“I for real haven’t. I’m not lying in the song. I’ve never been the best at anything.”
5. If his Ponyboy and SOPHIE's Ponyboy had a fight, Jimi thinks SOPHIE’s would win
“100%. That song is so powerful it would beat my whole EP’s ass. The sounds she uses scare me -- sounds like some sci-fi horror music. Me and my coming-of-age indie sound wouldn’t stand a chance.”
6. No, his family name Schandy is unfortunately not pronounced ‘Scandi’
“You pronounce it like ‘shandy’. I’m pretty sure it's Irish and that I’m like 1/16 Irish."
7. His hair has been blonde, blue, green and red
“Right now it’s like watermelon-ish. Like, faded pink? I need to chill on dying my hair for a bit though... it’s getting really dry.”
8. When he was 10 he played a ukulele-guitar hybrid in a talent contest
“I performed I’m Yours by Jason Mraz on my guitarlele. I was too young to advance in the competition, but got the ‘popular vote’! You can still find a video of it online I think.”
9. The fictional character he most relates to is Charlie Brown
“We are both very melancholic souls who are just trying our best!”
10. Last but by no means least, Jimi’s not great at staying up to date with local news BUT he wants your help here
“Norway recently approved a controversial plan for a mining company to dump millions of tonnes of waste into a fjord, which is so fucked up. I recently signed a petition to stop it. Go do that.”
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.