Unapologetic and authentically individual rising stars Fricky and Ros explore their inner fashionistas with the limited edition hip hop inspired Polo Sport collection in a new collaboration with Caliroots.
For the world to come together as one, we need artists that are both bold and unique; the untamed spirits who never compromise and dare to break barriers to forge their own path. In the trying times of today, with both naturally and socially grounded catastrophes looming, we need the freedom promised by music more than ever. Music has the power to alter the course of varying world views and inspire actions that provide people with the miraculous power to imagine a better future. Take hip hop for example. Born in the basements of the Bronx in the 1970s, hip hop is perhaps the genre of music with the most complex origins. With its roots deeply entangled in the culturally heated and racially charged beats of jazz to the explicit lyrics of the 90s, rappers have been unifying marginalised populations for decades.
As much as hip hop is known for its lyrical genius, there’s no doubt about the magnetising effect of music on the allure of fashion. By its very nature hip hop is flashy. From baggy jeans to baseball caps, thick denim trousers to crunk kicks, hip hop brought more to the table than just fast beats and sick rhymes. It revolutionised how people dressed and fundamentally altered the course of cool. While now rather mainstream, hip hop represents the coming together of a people on the brink of society. It connected coasts to coasts and countries to continents through more than just music. From the Bronx to Umeå, hip hop has evolved on a continuing journey of new sounds and styles that takes the music to a different dimension. The paradox herein lies that uniqueness of individuals brings people together through imagination. This triumph is a powerful weapon that ought to be utilised against impending threats of social injustice. To illustrate this we have chosen two artists with different backgrounds and takes on music to illustrate how various Oneness can be.
“There are so many talented artists around at the moment. I’d like to consider myself as one of them,” says Rebecca Ejdemo, the emerging R&B talent who has been creating quite a buzz under her alias Ros. “To stand out you’ve got to be yourself. It takes courage to be unique and believe in yourself. No one can do it for you. I’m not a great singer; hence autotune. But I make my own thing out of it. There are a lot of people who are great singers but just aren’t true to themselves.” She’s a self-proclaimed “sassy girl who takes the same freedom as men have always done.” Expensive clothes, money, sex and alcohol are some themes that reoccur in her lyrics. “The stuff our dreams are made of,” she adds. “I often refer to some sort of dream state. I’ve always chosen to go my own way; experimented with anything I’ve wanted to. If I fuck it up, I fuck it up. If it flies, well, good on you. Maybe you realise that it’s not as you imagined it to be. Better try and fail than to regret it afterwards.” For Rebecca, it’s not just about the music but also the artistry. “I love clothes just as much as I love music. I’ve found my style and always go most hard-core on stage. I like to find clothes that no one else is wearing, by going to vintage and second hand stores rather than consuming brands.”
She mentions the album Kärlekslåtar by Lorentz as one of her greatest inspirations: “The first time I heard it, I felt the urge to make music of my own. “I’ve always wanted to make a specific style of music,” she continues. “But also, I like contrasts and have always been open when it comes to beats, writing and composing melodies. Quite a few songs have come together rather spontaneously while freestyling. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a context, a red thread that runs through your songs instead of relying on rhymes made in haste. That’s been the most challenging thing for me so far, but I improve with each passing day. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with people who share my vision, so I’ve never had to compromise.” “Music broadens worldviews and allows people to see things from a different perspective,” she concludes.
The name Erik Friman might not ring a bell. But 20 million streams on Spotify of hit-single ‘Aqua Aura’ makes Fricky a household name on the Swedish music scene. The 90’s-born rapper from the North has recently exploded to fame. However, the rising star has an ambiguous relationship to the industry that has embraced him. “On the one hand, I love the appreciation of non-formal education, which I’ve grown up with in Umeå,” he tells us. “On the other hand, it’s the whole industry side of things… everyone is trying so hard to appear professional when all they really do is copy America to such an extent that everything becomes mainstream. So I don’t think you should really care about the Swedish music industry. Last time I checked music was still about emotions. Don’t have a strategy; just be yourself.” He describes himself as a mix between delinquent youth and family-man hiking in Yosemite sometime around 1994-1998. It’s actually not that hard envisioning him there with his Camcorder, recording sunsets while listening to disco and hip-hop.
It’s no surprise that he’s a fan of camping and outdoor living. When asked what he thinks will capture the Zeitgeist of this summer; “It’s the Swedish equivalent to cowboys.” “I feel weird in most contexts,” he continues. “But under the Fricky moniker it’s like I get this outlet for all my eccentric sides. I put all my ideas and aesthetic expressions into the Fricky box and then see what becomes of it. Some people think that I’m ‘fake’, that I’m a character; but I think Fricky is more real than I am. Anything outside of what what I’ve done would’ve meant holding back my thoughts, aesthetic visions and ideas.” Reoccuring themes in his music include climate, nature, love, manliness, self-esteem, family, and money. “Anything that crosses my mind really,” he says. “Mostly, I try to capture a feeling and then words arrive. I often imagine worlds where things are upside-down, for better or worse. Fricktown and Mästerort are both imagined places that only exist in my mind.
So what has turned him into the imaginative lyricist he is today? “All those crappy action and comedy movies from the 90s,” he says half-jokingly. “But lately, what has shaped me the most are my experiences with nature. When I’m on my own yet surrounded by so much life. As human beings, we process our impressions. We sort them in our dreams and carve expressions out of them. I don’t think there’s anything in particular that has made me who I am; it’s the collective effect of it all.” Erik always knew his calling was music. “I had some sort of vision that I wanted to be an actor or musician like Elvis. I’ve never really considered it but now that I think of it, I’ve almost known to a certain extent which path I’ve wanted to take.” And it’s been a good ride thus far, “I’ve met all my best friends at festivals and concerts. That would never have happened if we didn’t have the same impression of the art that took shape before our eyes. In another context, we might not have fit together so well. Art is at its most beautiful when it unites people who otherwise wouldn’t have been united.”
Words by Jonatan Södergren
Photography by John Scarisbrick
Styling by Allyson Shiffman
Hair & Make-up by Catherine Lehtonen (at Léon agency)
Stylist’s assistant: Felicia Granath
Shot at Studio Lilla Paris
Special thanks to Ralph Lauren in collaboration with Caliroots
#1 Trucker jacket, denim trousers and Polo Denim Sport Cap by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition, t-shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren
#2 Custom fit cotton mesh polo by Polo Ralph Lauren
#3 Trucker jacket and denim trousers by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition, t-Shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren
#4 Sport FZ vest and relaxed Fit by OG, trousers by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition
#5 Sport FZ Jacket and Relaxed Fit OG Pull Up Pants by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition
#6 Sport jacket, Pull Up trousers, 5 Panel Long Bill Hat by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition, Continental 80 by adidas Originals
#7 Sport FZ Vest, trousers and 5-Panel Cap by Polo Sport Ralph Lauren Limited Edition