The dedication and loyalty I have to music are hard to compete with
Throwing your dreamy bedroom pop filled with teenage angst on the internet might be our modern-day prelude to a rockstar life. Sassy 009 started as the Soundcloud username of Sunniva Lindgård when she was playing around with music in her Norwegian bedroom, but is now a crowd-pulling headliner at several festivals. With captivating synths and techno-influences, her 2021 hyper-pop EP Heart Ego pulls you into her flashy, abundant mind that longs for connection and love. The result: a raw, elevating sound, a forever coming-of-age soundtrack.
What is SASSY 009 and how did it come about?
SASSY 009 is my music project. The name started as my username on Soundcloud and then kinda stuck with me. I think it’s cute I’m using a username I created when I was 19 and in my Tumblr phase. It represented my taste in music and my aesthetic back then - it’s absurd how you choose something randomly and it continuously shapes everything. The name SASSY 009 is kind of the glue of the project. No matter what changed, it was always SASSY 009.
The name SASSY 009 is kind of the glue of the project
What shaped your 2021 EP Heart Ego?
Heart Ego was a lockdown EP. It’s a record of patience, of peace. The lockdown made my head even more chaotic than normal, but the amount of time on my hands made me slow down and make sure everything was right. It still represents my chaoticness, and it’s not a conceptual album: each song is a stand-alone fragment of my universe of reference and thoughts. That’s also convenient, as streaming services can’t offer much to artists that want their album to be listened to as a whole. Listeners tend to only catch one or two songs.
You started in your bedroom, now you’re in festival line-ups. How does that make you feel?
The idea of playing a show for an audience that shows up is surreal to me. It feels both so strange and so right to do this artist thing. I try to avoid situations where I’m forced into something as much as I can. How I see my work right now is important, so I try not to think too much about where I see myself in future years. I’m always looking to improve myself, but at the same time, I want to be satisfied with just how everything is at the moment.
The idea of playing a show for an audience that shows up is surreal to me
Is that something you struggle with, dissatisfaction?
I think I’ve never been satisfied with what I was doing or who I was. That constant need for satisfaction can be numbing, but lately, I’ve been trying to interpret it as a drive to go forward. I feel like as long as it seems that I have this empty gap, that will be a drive. I can always see the potential in something, and how it can unfold to even bigger and greater levels. As long as I have that relationship with my work I will always continue to up my game, but if I don't have that drive, it’s harder to be willing to spend so much time and take so many risks.
Can you imagine a scenario where you will be completely satisfied?
No! [Laughs]. It’s hard to compare, but I think it might involve falling deeply in love with something else other than music. I think it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever love anything or anyone more than I love music and making music. The dedication and loyalty I have to music and indirectly to myself are hard to compete with.
I think it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever love anything or anyone more than I love music and making music
You produce a sort of hyper-R&B now, but you grew up on classical music. Did that musical upbringing influence you in a way?
My parents are classical musicians, and I played several instruments as a child but never had the needed discipline. I had to relearn what music meant for me. When you’ve been trained to enjoy complex classical music your whole life, it takes a whole unlearning process to give the same attention to pop music. It’s been a journey to create my terms and conditions.
Is there a difference between the persona of SASSY 009 and you as Sunniva?
Yes and no. On stage, I’m a very different person. It’s a complex situation, as I try to be as true to myself as I can in my music, yet I think there is a lot I can learn from the persona I created. Does that make sense? SASSY 009 is a more carefully distilled combination of parts of myself and the person I aspire to be, that kind of becomes its character. SASSY 009 is confident, sharp and a bit weird, a persona of mine that only exists on stage. Anywhere besides the stage, I am way more self-conscious. Because there is not just one situation I exist in, I am constantly adapting. That’s the biggest difference.
Anywhere besides the stage, I am way more self-conscious