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GUEST WRITER: Tove Ljungqvist - Being an artist and how I found myself in the music industry

My name is Tove Ljungqvist, I am 23 years old and I live in Åbo/Turku. Things that bring me joy and inspiration are music, literature, and the sea. My topic for this guest writing is my musical journey. Hope you want to follow me on my path!

The path to music started when I was very young. Already at the age of five, my Dad bought me my first mini-guitar. I wouldn’t stop playing and refused to comply whenever we were going somewhere, haha. I also used to sit and listen while my Dad played with his guitar. Little did I know, that only two years later, I would inherit that very guitar, since my Dad suddenly passed away, from cancer.

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden. But I have all my relatives here in Finland. So, my Mum and I moved to her childhood town, to a small municipality called Sibbo (nearby Helsinki). Somehow, by putting all my anxiety into music, I managed through that very difficult time. I always longed back to Stockholm. Maybe because that was where I last saw my Dad. Maybe because that was my real home town, where I was supposed to live! Not surprisingly, I moved back to Stockholm to study. A little more surprisingly, I started to study law, haha. (I get to hear about that all the time, a musician studying law, like, what happened?) The law is actually a huge source of inspiration for my songs since I write about society. I am now working on my master's thesis, and soon I “should” decide what to do with my life...

A big question to start with is simply: where to live? That has always been a mystery for me. Between all the moving around, even if only between the two countries, I have always found peace in one special place. A tiny island in the Ekenäs archipelago, in Southwestern Finland. For the last four summers, I have literally been stuck on an island, when living alone at our summer cottage (the only place I really call home). There, I find the peace needed for writing songs. And no wonder, that my songs are deep and philosophical. You view everything from a whole different perspective when the waves are going on and on, right in front of your eyes.

The music industry in the Swedish parts of Finland is tiny. The circles are small. You can get known easily, but you also have to stay as the same person that people recognize you as. I can’t really say I know who that person is, yet. My breakthrough song,”Vilse”, literally tells about being lost. The Swedish music industry, again, is a jungle that I don’t really know, yet. Although, my biggest inspirations are Swedish artists like Melissa Horn & Veronica Maggio. And maybe someday, I can stand where they are now. But the music industry overall is hard. Both economically and from an imago-perspective. How can you stay true to yourself, but still stick out? In a way, that a record label (e.g.) would like to promote you… I have a really hard time combining my deep and genuine songs with the requirements of today’s music industry. I still think it’s possible, to reach out to people who want to see me just as I am. I think Melissa Horn has managed very well with that!

Also, I suppose the biggest barrier in my way is myself, or, my fear of actually succeeding! I might wonder how life would be, if I, someday, would be really known. Would I even like it? But what I’ve learned, is that even if things in the music industry sometimes happen very fast… Nothing comes overnight! You, and the people close to you, always have time to adapt to your ever-evolving artist image. You are still your true self, even if there is an artist-you, too.

One week ago, I released my first music video ever! I have never been a huge fan of music videos or YouTube or that kind of stuff, but this experience was incredible. I really got the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone, and even outside my “old-self”. I felt like I was re-born as a human. And that is also what my latest single, “Vill Gå Nu”, is about. Leaving the past behind, and choosing the path that is yours, and only yours. No matter how many times you would end up on the “wrong” road, all these roads lead you to your destination. Because that destination is not a place or something that can be measured in e.g. temporal settings. That destination is the road itself, with all its bends and ups & downs. It’s life!

When I was little, my journey in Stockholm got interrupted. This time by a global pandemic and I live in Finland, for now. I can’t wait to see what life brings with it, and where I’ll end up!

Last but not least, I would like to end with my favorite quote, which is: “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for” (That is so true, especially when it comes to music!).

If you want to find out more about me, you can find me on Instagram at @toveljungqvist or my homepage toveljungqvist.com! You can also contact me via contact@toveljungqvist.com Send me a DM or email if there is anything you would like to say. I hope you found some inspiration to follow your dreams! Just remember: They are never too big.