Efva and Thåström have something in common, they both grew up on the same street in Högdalen, a southern suburb of Stockholm. Something that unite them later on in life. When they first met in Gothenburg 1981, they were in very different stages in life. Efva had a successful modelling career behind her and was the front figure in the former Swedish pop group X-model. Thåström was about to become one of Sweden's few big rock stars.
“To be able to collaborate with Thåström is a dream come true for me. He is the optimal choice", says Efva Attling. “We have bumped into each other over the years and when I met him at a concert in Stockholm a while back we started talking and had so much fun together. Then the idea of this started growing. Högdalen has always been something we share, but we have more in common now than before.”
She didn’t dare to ask at first, she knew that he basically says no to everything, but eventually contacted Thåström's management. She received a text message from Thåström saying: "Efva, what is the Högdalen?"
"We met at a café, I was so damn nervous, it feels wonderful to be 68 years old and still get shaky, he has such incredible integrity. But I have practised for a long time on a person who is also a great poet with strong integrity", Efva says laughing and refers to her wife Eva Dahlgren.
"I explained my idea, that I wanted to start from his lyrics. I had prepared a ring with the Swedish word for, "Damn damn damn" based on his song. He took it, put it on his finger and said, 'let’s do this!
"Efva was very good at persuading me. She is a very passionate person and I like that. I say no to almost everything but thought that I someday might have to do the opposite. I got a ring from Efva that says, "Damn damn damn", it sounded like a fun and different idea and… well, jewellery is nice ", says Thåström in a broad Stockholm accent over the phone from his apartment in Berlin.
"I don’t really know what to say about this jewellery", Thåström admits and it is noticeable that as soon as we fall into talking about music and songwriting, he changes, gets more open and talkative. But yes, he wears jewellery, more specifically rings, and he likes jewellery. He claims that he is not very aware when it comes to style, "I have been wearing the same black clothes for twenty years", although he wouldn’t wear just anything.
When Efva and Thåström were to choose which texts would be included in the jewellery, she went through his work in the book “Texts” which was published last year. They chose from about ten of Thåström's solo texts, which became five different pieces.
The piece of jewellery that Thåström was most involved in is the death badge. The badge is inspired by an ID badge Thåström received from a soldier in Nicaragua. Imperiet (a Swedish rock band which Thåström was a part of) had a special relationship with Nicaragua in the '80s. The band was invited there to play after their manager had taken some Central American bands to Scandinavia which led to a unique cultural collaboration. Due to a revolution in Nicaragua where the left-wing Sandinistas had overthrown the dictatorship, Imperiet arranged support concerts in Sweden. It was during their last trip there, in 1988, that Thåström and Peter Puders (guitarist) were out walking along a country road and went into a small bar to have a beer. Inside sat some young boys in military clothes who were so happy to encounter Thåström that one of the soldiers gave Thåström his ID death badge, which is now a piece in the new collection.
“The jewellery is a bit cocky and punk, quite masculine, but then the star is placed there and the words ‘There is a star you can take down’, it is so much romance. Now I do not know what the gender distribution looks like of those who listen to Thåström, but I think that the jewellery may attract more girls to his music”, says Efva Attling.
In addition to Thåström, the Högdalen includes jewellery designed by Jocke Berg (Kent), collaborations with the artist Emma Altafulla and the designer Göran Kling. Why t it became Thåström is of course not only due to Attling and Thåström coming from the same suburb. Thåström, and Jocke Berg, are two songwriters who put their full heart and soul into the lyrics.
“Thåström is a fantastic poet with such power. He can affect and touch you deep with only a few words. His music and lyrics really hits you, it can open your heart. It's like when someone could come behind the scenes and thank me and say, 'just what you describe, I can’t express myself'. I have also always used words for my jewellery, and I want to continue to touch people with words”, Efva says.
Thåström has a new record on the way, but due to the coronavirus, the recordings have had to be postponed. He had planned to go somewhere else, a studio in Palma, as a contrast to Berlin and Stockholm to see if it could give him something new. He is frustrated that he has not yet been able to finish the record. But like other musicians, he has to wait in uncertainty about what will happen in the future. He has no need to do anything else in the meantime, or that he will start saying yes to things just because he has done it now, he points out carefully.
“Music takes a lot of energy and time and I have no reason to do anything else. I get questions about making film music, writing a book, but I have realized my limitations, I stop with what I know.”
By: Marimba Roney