||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2014)|
2 October 1979 |
Åhus, Scania, Sweden
|Origin||Helsingborg, Scania, Sweden|
|Instruments||Vocals, electric guitar|
|Associated acts||The Sounds, All Time Low, Cobra Starship|
The Sounds were formed in 1999 in Helsingborg, by childhood friends guitarist and vocalist Felix Rodriguez and bassist Johan Bengtsson, who later invited drummer Fredrik Nilsson on board. Maja Ivarsson's striking presence and personality led to an invitation to be their lead singer. They met Jesper Anderberg during the Hultsfred Festival by chance and invited him to join their band. He plays piano, guitar, synthesizers and does back-up vocals.
The Sounds are active on the touring circuit, including the United States. Their first tour was in the wake of their 2003 smash "Living in America" (both the song and the album), although their touring conditions were a far cry from the sheen of the video for the song. They have been to the "Southern Finland triangle" (Turku, Tampere and Helsinki) many times, but their tour in the fall of 2006 showcased them in additional inland and coastal towns. After that they went on international tour and were in Portugal in 2007. In 2008 they began a tour of Europe and North America that ended at the end of summer 2009. The band opened for No Doubt alongside Paramore during a U.S. tour over the summer of 2009. These proved to be successful exposure for them as their popularity on myspace, Twitter and their Street Team has increased dramatically. Most of the shows on their tour involved opening for No Doubt, while some of their headlining shows featured opening act Hey Champ. The Sounds headlined a 2009 US tour with supporting acts Semi Precious Weapons and Foxy Shazam and a tour in Europe with supporting act Matt & Kim to promote their album, Crossing the Rubicon.
In 2002, Ivarsson collaborated with Andreas Mattson in the song "Free Free Free" which was released on the soundtrack for the German film Big Girls Don't Cry.
Ivarsson was featured in Cobra Starship's single and music video "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)", for the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane. The widely advertised film gave an enormous amount of publicity to Ivarsson and her band, especially in America.
In March 2011, Ivarsson signed for a promotion campaign by American hair care company Sebastian Professional. Earlier fashion-related appearances included the Berlin Fashion Week in January 2011 where The Sounds played during the presentation of a German fashion label.
Ivarsson is featured on the song "We Are Rebels" by Alice in Videoland from their 2008 album She's A Machine! and on All Time Low's song "Guts" on their 2011 album Dirty Work. She also collaborated with Felix Cartal on the song "Tonight" from his 2012 album Different Faces.
Ivarsson found Roxy Music and their song "Love Is the Drug" a big inspiration; references to this song and Bryan Ferry can be found in The Sounds' single "Rock 'n' Roll". Depeche Mode and Bruce Springsteen were popular when she was young and she found the Depeche Mode song "My Secret Garden" particularly mesmerizing until her brother translated the lyrics for her (she did not yet speak English), at which point she refused to listen to the rest of the translation. She has also admitted to having a crush on Billy Idol when she was a child. The band has been likened to Blondie. Ivarsson has an eclectic taste in music, having claimed to like electronica as well as Britney Spears' "Toxic", and music by Otis Redding, Dolly Parton, Slipknot and Simon & Garfunkel.
Ivarsson began playing the French horn at the age of 8 and at 14 she took up the electric guitar. She is also a composer and lyricist, even though most of The Sounds' songs are written by the other band members. Around the age of 8, she took up karate, Thai boxing and kickboxing. She has six tattoos: a tribal sun on the inside of her left forearm, Modesty Blaise (a 1960s-era British comic book character) on her right outer forearm, three dots between her right thumb and index finger, a sparrow on the right side of her neck, an anchor on her outer left arm, and lip prints on her inner right biceps. The three dot tattoo and anchor tattoo are in memory of her father, who was a sailor. The dots symbolize having traveled the seven seas.
When asked by an interviewer in Out Magazine, Ivarsson characterized herself as bisexual. When asked what kind of sexual partners she prefers, she replied, "I like very feminine girls. And very masculine boys. Kind of boring in a way. If I was dating a guy, I like it almost when you can't make up your mind if they're good looking or not. I don't like pretty boys at all." In previous interviews, she confirmed her status as "a member of the queer community." She was in a 6-year-long relationship with a woman but in 2010 they broke up. In the early years of The Sounds, Ivarsson was in a long-term relationship with fellow band member Fredrik Nilsson. In a 2014 interview, Ivarsson stated she was engaged. Later that year it was reported that she and her partner are expecting their first child.
In June 2013, during a Swedish radio show entitled Sommar i P3, Ivarsson revealed that she was once had been emotionally and physically abused as well as raped by a former male friend of her family.
- Living in America - released 11 November 2002; 6 May 2003 (US)
- Dying to Say This to You - released 15 March 2006; 21 March 2006 (US)
- Crossing the Rubicon - released 2 June 2009 (US)
- Something to Die For - release date 29 March 2011
- Weekend (2013)
- 2012: "Mitt bästa for dig (from EP Så mycket bättre (Säsong 3 - Pughs dag - Program 1))
- 2012: "Norrländska präriens gudinna" (from EP Så mycket bättre (Säsong 3 - Olles dag - Program 2))
- 2013: "Want Ya!" (from EP Så mycket bättre (Säsong 3 - Darin's dag - Program 7))
- "Sebastian Professional Introduces New Color Ignite Care Collection and Announces Latest Visionary, The Sounds' Front Woman, Maja Ivarsson". CNW Group. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- "Maja Ivarsson for Sebastian Professional". Qvest (in German) (Kaune, Sudendorf Publishing GmbH) (43). 2011.
- Jerry Nunn (2011-10-19). "The Sounds' Maja Ivarsson on band names and dating women". Windy City Times. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Can't Stop The Queen Of The Sounds". Out.com. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-19
- Shapiro, Gregg (June 20, 2006). "Interview with Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds". Retrieved 2007-11-06
- Lillemägi, David (23 June 2013). "The Sounds hyllninagar efter Majas berättelse". Expressen Nöje.
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