You are what you drink

Meet musicians Kleerup, Mapei and Linn Koch-Emmery as you’ve never met them before, as their personalities are interpreted as newly fashioned Schweppes cocktails. The Forumist interviews them to get the whole picture.

The Forumist, which is collaborating with Schweppes to celebrate the150th anniversary of their Iconic Tonic, has created three original cocktails based on the personalities of musicians Kleerup, Mapei and Linn Koch-Emmery, using a specific iconic tonic for each drink. Before trying these personalised beverages, it would help, of course, to get to know each of these creative individuals a little better by imbibing some words about them. The experiences of reading and tasting will help to give a clear sense of who the musicians truly are, in reverence to the artistic soul these three creators represent.

Mapei, the Swedish-American singer known for her soulful sound, is interpreted in drink format as a refreshing yet sweet gin with iconic hibiscus tonic flavoured with raspberry, mint and pomegranate. The array of tastes in this otherwise classical concoction is quite fitting, since Mapei herself is a unique performer who can be simultaneously simplistic and diverse in her expression. Her music might take more than one sip to be grasped by the taste buds, but it might as easily slip down like a G&T Royale on a hot summer day. Maybe the various possibilities of reception to Mapei’s music comes from the way it’s created. “It’s all based on truths, things that have happened to me or others,” she says, when asked about how her experiences leak into her work. Her songs act as a means to process life, perhaps even to ease a burden. “You don’t know where to keep all your life events. They have to evaporate. You shouldn’t carry them around on your shoulders,” she says.

Describing herself as a “concrete rose”, Mapei certainly carries those experiences of hers with pride, blossoming in any environment and always remembering what made her bloom. “I am really hard working. Sometimes, I close my eyes to my frailty, to my sensitivity, even to my beauty because of my trying to grasp every opportunity to deliver. I stayed with my neighbour a lot when growing up. She was called Nana and was born in 1925 to African-American parents who had been enslaved. My mother worked two or three jobs her entire life. We are roses, diamonds, beautiful women who grow out of capitalism and society’s injustices, thanks to the dreams that water us.”

To fully revere the woman who shaped her, Mapei dedicates all of her music – if not all of her life – to her mother.
“I am an extension of her. Without her I simply wouldn’t be here. Now, when she is no longer in this world, her words echo louder and closer to the heart. She always gave me advice, and now I want to be a product of my mother’s good advice. I want to walk the path she wanted to see me take. My path. I want to feel good from what I do, in my body, soul and heart. Blood, sweat and tears have to lead to laughter, right?”

Watered by dreams, blood, sweat and tears, Mapei is nothing less than a flower that keeps on growing.

Mapei’s G&T Royale with Schweppes Tonic Hibiscus
The passionate energy of this poised and dedicated artist and the uniquely complex voice that she brings to her music are reflected by this cocktail’s rich combination of flavours of pomegranate, a hint of fresh mint, Schweppes Tonic Hibiscus, gin and a rich boost of bubbles.

5cl gin of choice
1cl raspberry liqueur
1tsp pomegranate syrup
Pomegranate arils
Mint sprig
Optional lemon twist
Schweppes Tonic Hibiscus
Champagne or Cava for the Royale version

Linn Koch-Emmery
Linn Koch-Emmery, an up-and-coming musician whose work has emerged from the Swedish underground music scene during recent years, is channelled through a salty tequila and iconic Twist of Lime tonic drink draped in various citrus juices and sweetened by agave syrup. In a way, the drink reflects the salted edges of her custom rock-filtered indie pop, exemplified perfectly in her newly released single ‘Hologram Love’, taken from her upcoming debut album, hopefully, due for release next year. The tune depicts the beautiful thought that something lost but meant to be, might return one day. This comforting idea is wrapped in a sound that effectively represents what guitar-driven pop music is in 2020, and probably what it will be for years to come. Equally representative of the zeitgeist is the background to Linn Koch-Emmery’s music. “My songs are mostly about personal nonsense and in some sense my personal shortcomings” Linn says. “My music is self-centred and personal. Where else does one get space to twist every parameter of one’s personality without seeming narcissistic? To me, songwriting is an alternative to keeping a journal or getting therapy. It’s an innocent form of self-medication.”

Emerging onto the scene four years ago with the hard-hitting single ‘Come Back’, Linn Koch-Emmery’s musical journey has taken her above the surface of the immediate underground, for example landing her support gigs for greats like Liam Gallagher, The Hives and Pussy Riot,
as well as European tours. Looking back, it seems like a tremendous change, but what has happened artistically between ‘Come Back’ and ‘Hologram Love’?

“I still write the music in the same way, at home with my guitar and my computer,” Linn says, “but I think it has become more dynamic and playful with time. I’m not the same person I was back then, I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t read the same books or watch the same things. I don’t care much for sticking to a strict sound – I still love the Pixies and all that, but I couldn’t care less if a middle-aged man in Gothenburg gets disappointed because there’s not enough guitar feedback on the new album.”

Obviously, Linn Koch-Emmery is the absolute symbol of the modern musician, an artistically self-aware individual who does what she does solely for her own purpose. It’s refreshing, it’s unfiltered, it’s 2020. Nothing encapsulates today’s individualistic landscape better than Linn’s words about the significance of her craft: “Music gives me a form of meaning in life, but for someone else that meaning might be fast cars or raising wiener dogs. I don’t believe you need to celebrate life, we haven’t chosen it. Sometimes life is the worst and sometimes it’s great. According to me, the strength of music is that it flaunts nuances of both.”

Linn Koch-Emmery’s Salty Tequila with Schweppes Tonic Twist of Lime.
This cocktail is a short, sharp, laid-back package, just like Linn’s music, complete with an edgy delivery; it’s rimmed with a personality that’s salty with a zesty hit of charisma and spice, boosted with Schweppes Tonic Twist of Lime, tequila and Yuzu Sake to capture the sheer drama of her creativity.

4cl tequila of choice
1cl Yuzu Sake
1cl fresh mandarin juice
1cl agave syrup
Pinch of salt
Schweppes Tonic Twist of Lime

Andreas Kleerup
Andreas Kleerup, known simply by his surname, is music. There is no better way of describing him. His essence, his core, his talk, his walk, his way – is music. Attempting to fully understand a human being so completely constituted by music is perhaps best done by listening
to his work, but The Forumist’s newly crafted Schweppes cocktail entitled Warm Embrace – put together with rum, iconic Pink Pepper tonic, chilli, Thai hot basil and more – makes a close interpretation of his personality. Kleerup is altogether a warm person, although somewhat complicated, inviting yet distant in an enigmatic way.

In fact, merely listening to Kleerup’s music might not explain his complexity for an untrained ear, since his musical DNA is composed of fragments of widely different influences. Having started as a drummer at a very young age, he has been bitten by the jazz bug, gathered the contagious melodies of his adolescent hard rock favourites, picked up the best aspects of his former collaborators Robyn and Teddybears, and combined it with his love for monotonous kraut rock – all of it laced together and gift-wrapped in perfectly smooth electronic pop albums such as his self-titled 2009 debut and the recently released follow-up 2. These two records made Kleerup famous as a producer, and he says he feels at times that he is wrongly labelled as “only” that. Seeing the bigger picture, grasping the entirety of the musical machinery driving Kleerup, the organic movements fuelling him by also being part of the more rock-oriented band
Me and My Army become apparent. Along with his current project, intriguingly character-breaking 90s-esque recordings bound for release during 2021, the less famous corners of Kleerup’s catalogue probably explains him better than anything.

“Music to me is being as honest as you can possibly be,” Kleerup says, after revealing his liking for literature but that he would never want to be a writer. “If you have the ability to describe human emotions, you should, and with a bit of luck other people might find themselves in your descriptions.”

In a certain way, this quote sums up the person that is Andreas Kleerup as well as the music that he makes. Complete honesty, portrayed through a cultural medium that inhabits every atom of his being, that is the warmth mentioned earlier. Many may try, but there might not be a better way of explaining Kleerup to the world.

Andreas Kleerup’s Warm Embrace with Schweppes Tonic Pink Pepper.
To match Andreas’s global multi-dimensional personality, which is as diverse as his musical engagements, we include a refreshing balance of sweet, tangy and bitter elements, invigorated
by Schweppes Tonic Pink Pepper, rum and red aperitif – all like the upbeat tones of his music.

3cl rum of choice
10 min chilli infusion optional
1.5cl passion fruit liqueur
1.5cl red aperitif
½ fresh squeezed lime
1 fresh passion fruit
Slice red chilli (heat optional)
Thai hot basil
Schweppes Tonic Pink Pepper

Team credits:
Photography by Ivan Nunez (black & white photos) and Schweppes (colour photos)
Styling by Hanna Kisch
Hair & make-up by Elvira Brandt
Words by Filip Lindström
Special thanks to Schweppes

Fashion credits:
Mapei wears:
Blouse by Sirloin, Pleather pants by BeWider, Heels by Acne Studios, Earrings, Necklace and Bigger ring by Avidue, Thinner rings by Felicia Svartling

Linn Koch-Emmery wears:
Leather Pants by Acne Studios, Knitted Sweater by Acne Studios, T-Shirt Linn’s own,
Bigger Earring by Avidue, Smaller Earring and Necklace Linn’s own, Rings by Felicia Svartling, Shoes Linn’s own

Andreas Kleerup wears:
Suit by Acne Studios, Elastic hair tie and Handkerchief Andreas’s own, Rings by Felicia Svartling, Boots Andreas’s own, Loafers by Myrqvist