For decades, Martina Edoff has been a familiar name in the Swedish music business. As the backing vocalist for Dr Alban, E-Type and more Swedish artists than we’ve got space to mention, her phone number has been the one to have whenever you’ve needed a pro behind the star.
At the same time she’s been trying different ways to fulfil her own musical dreams. And these dreams can be summarized in one word: heart. Or “Heart” with a capital H, rather—we’re talking about the American group that under creative leadership from sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were female rock pioneers among the mostly male dominated mega groups during the 1970’s and 80’s. A seventeen-year old Martina was totally mesmerized by the band’s powerful impact – a fascination that continues to this day.
– Their album ”Heart” from 1985 summarized everything that I love about music. I was immediately hooked and still hasn’t grown tired of Ann Wilson’s expressive voice, Nancy’s guitar playing and harmony vocals—and of course, the songs with all their nuances and variations.
A lot of these musical roots can be found in the ten strong rock songs that make up Martina’s debut album. Together with guitarists Martin Hedström, Benny Jansson and Johan Randén, bassist Thomas Lindberg and drummer Per Lindvall, Martina and producer Robert Wellerfors has revitalized her own brand of classic rock. With songs written by Martina in various songwriting partnerships, a cover of ”Just Take My Heart” by Mr Big is the only non-original track.
But the road to her self titled debut album and the music she had closest to her heart proved longer and more crooked than Martina expected. She’s been singing all her life. Ever since she as a mere six-year old managed to persuade her class mates to repeatedly play the “Abba game”, and with a skipping rope as microphone sang herself through all the hits from the ”Waterloo” LP, she’s been singing as often as she could. After honing her skills in a few rock bands, she secured a place at Wallman’s in Stockholm, a restaurant concept where the staff was made up of talented singers who performed during the dinner. It was there that a certain dentist saw her perform and immediately asked her to perform harmony vocals on his upcoming world tour.
– I said yes and started traveling the world with Dr Alban in 1993. That was such a crazy trip. He was having hits with songs like “Hello Afrika”, “It’s My Life” and “Sing Hallelujah!”, and it took us to countries and situations I never would have seen otherwise. The first show was in Lebanon in front of an outdoor audience that just never ended. And that’s the way it continued in Europe, South America, Asia and so on. It was a show that just went on through the 90’s.
While Dr Alban recharged the batteries between tours, Martina spent a lot of time at the Cheiron studio in Stockholm, where the producer and songwriter Denniz Pop was busy building the pop empire that soon would make Sweden famous as a driving creative force in pop. Ace Of Base and numerous other Cheiron productions soon had Martina’s backing vocals on hit after hit.
During a Dr Alban gig in 1999, a longhaired guy stood watching at the side of the stage. After he had presented an offer she couldn’t refuse, Martina soon was performing backing vocals with Swedish techno star E-Type, which again took her out on major international stages. At around the same time she persuaded her then boyfriend to start a cover band specializing in 80’s poodle rock. They called themselves The Poodles, and with a set list full the seriously unhip but deeply loved soft metal hits by hair bands like Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Europe, and Iron Maiden, The Poodles soon found themselves fully booked all around Sweden.
But fun as The Poodles was, it didn’t take her closer to a solo career based on her own music. She participated in the Swedish TV reality/talent show ”Fame Factory” during 2003-2004, but despite offering some interesting insights in how modern TV is produced, it didn’t advance her musical career.
After becoming a mother in 2005, Martina decided to take a break from music. She studied to become a coach, and basically had decided to quit the music business. But a friend she met during her studies sensed that her real passion still was in music, and thought it was a shame to throw away such talent.
– He gave me an offer to record a solo album completely on my own terms, which of course was impossible to resist. So I chose renowned producer, engineer and mixer Robert Wellerfors, and some of Stockholm’s best musicians, and then we recorded an album.
– And here we are, with an album that I’m immensely pleased with. It sounds a lot like the kind of classic rock I love, but with a modern touch. You can hear that it’s recorded in 2014. It’s been a long way to get here, but when I hear what we’ve achieved, it feels like everything I’ve ever done has been necessary steps on the way to this.
For more information: www.martinaedoff.com