Jonna Lee (singer)

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Jonna Lee
Ionnalee-Jonna Lee.jpg
Lee performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameJonna Emily Lee Nilsson
Also known asionnalee
Born (1981-10-03) 3 October 1981 (age 37)
Linköping, Sweden
OriginStockholm, Sweden
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • filmmaker
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • drums
  • harmonica
  • synthesiser
Years active2004–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websiteionnalee.com

Jonna Emily Lee (born 3 October 1981) is a Swedish singer, songwriter, record producer and visual director. Lee is best known for being the creator and artist of audiovisual online project iamamiwhoami who have since 2009 released their audiovisual series online, gathering a large online following. Since her first solo album, she has collaborated with music producer and artist Claes Björklund who is also a member of iamamiwhoami. In 2017, Lee started using the moniker ionnalee for her new solo project with the release of her debut solo album, Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten.

Lee toured with Norwegian duo Röyksopp in 2017. She is also a visual director under the pseudonym of WAVE together with John Strandh. She is also the founder of the independent label To whom it may concern.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Linköping, Lee grew up in the small village of Fågelsta with her mother and siblings. No one in her family had any musical background but Lee had an interest in music as a young child, and ran away from home to London in her teens due to trying conditions at home. In 2002, Lee moved to Stockholm, where she became a part of the underground indie scene. She started recording her own records that were released through her website until she was signed by the Swedish indie label, Razzia Records, in the spring 2007. She released two solo albums and one EP through Razzia Records between 2007 and 2009, but left the label in 2010 and started the independent label "To whom it may concern." to release the audiovisual projects of iamamiwhoami.

Career[edit]

Lee released her first solo album 10 Pieces, 10 Bruises on Swedish label Razzia Records on 10 October 2007. The first single was "Dried Out Eyes," followed by "And Your Love," a duet with Ed Harcourt, who also produced three tracks on the album. Lee produced the rest of the record with her collaborator, Claes Björklund who is a member of Travis in London. Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey plays drums on the record. Some songs were recorded in Goffey's house in England. In September 2008, she released a five-track EP titled This War. Her second studio album This Is Jonna Lee, produced by Claes Björklund and Lee herself, was released in February 2009.

In October 2009, she released a version of the industrial electro band Nitzer Ebb's song "Violent Playground". The band celebrated it by uploading Lee's version on their website along with an interview with her. Between December 2009 and December 2016, Lee has released music and films under the pseudonym iamamiwhoami together with producer Claes Björklund and their visual collaborators.

Lee worked as a presenter for the live program P3 SESSION Sveriges Radio P3 between 2009 and 2011.[2]

Awards, accolades and recognition[edit]

This Is Jonna Lee was chosen as the "Next Big Thing" on iTunes USA's front page in May 2009.

Lee performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2010. After SXSW, she was in the Top 5 for the SXSW 2010 Next Big Sound list, which tracks how fast music artists are adding fans across various social networking platforms.[3]

In 2010, Lee received a Manifest Award nomination for Best Singer-Songwriter.[4]

Lee has won three awards as iamamiwhoami.

iamamiwhoami[edit]

In March 2010, there was considerable speculation that Lee was the artist featured in the viral marketing videos on YouTube uploaded by the mysterious iamamiwhoami, although her management claimed to be unaware of her involvement.[5][6][7][8] According to rraurl.com and MTV Brasil, the music video for iamamiwhoami's track, "o" was directed by Viktor Kumlin, who's also the director of Lee's music video, "Something So Quiet".[9] This later proved to be wrong.

Lee eventually came to be unofficially identified as iamamiwhoami, when she released the music video titled "t" on her channel.[10] She also appears identifiable in the forthcoming music videos released and has performed live at the 2011 Way Out West Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. The project has garnered award nominations and has won a Grammis Award in 2010 for being 'Innovator of the Year'. iamamiwhoami's debut album kin was released in June 2012 under the label To whom it may concern. via Co-Operative Music, and Lee was credited as the artist, co-producer, songwriter and visual producer of iamamiwhoami, officially confirming that she is iamamiwhoami (which was already known by then).[11] Lee eventually did an interview with The Guardian in August 2012, and confirmed that she was in the "process of developing iamamiwhoami", also commenting that she was still the "same person", but "found other sides of [herself]".[12]

ionnalee[edit]

On 24 February 2017, To whom it may concern., alongside Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market, announced the release of a new single by Lee, "Samaritan", and that it was to be released under the new artistic alias of ionnalee.[13] Following the announcement, an Instagram account for the project was launched.[14] One week later, it was announced that To whom it may concern. would be releasing the single on March 10.[15] The iamamiwhoami YouTube channel uploaded a teaser for the accompanying music video for "Samaritan".[16] The official music video was released on March 10 on the same channel.[17]

On 2 June 2017, the second single "Not Human" with its accompanying music video followed. A third single, "Simmer Down", was released on 6 October 2017. A fourth single, "Gone", was released on 24 November 2017, followed by an announcement of ionnalee's third studio album, Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten. The album was released on 16 February 2018 on her label To whom it may concern. On the same day, she revealed an album visual feature film directed by Lee herself alongside director of cinematography and head producer John Strandh to accompany the album.

On February 2, 2018, ionnalee launched a campaign on Kickstarter to fund a world tour for Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten. The pledges included things from universal tickets to the city of choice of the pledger, ionnalee merchandise, props from iamamiwhoami and ionnalee visual projects, to a unique, life-sized, handmade bust, crafted by ionnalee herself. The campaign reached 100% funding within five days, gathering the amount of 375,000 SEK. Later on, more stretch goals were added, in order to bring the tour to more cities. On March 15, 2018, the campaign came to its close, with a total of 750,187 SEK raised. The tour started on May 9, 2018, at Heaven, in London, and in the course of 2018, will spread across Europe, North and South America.

Discography[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

  • This War (2008)

Singles[edit]

Title Year Album
As Jonna Lee
"Dried Out Eyes" 2007 10 Pieces, 10 Bruises
"And Your Love" (with Ed Harcourt) 2008
"I Wrote This Song"
"My High" 2009 This Is Jonna Lee
"Lake Chermain"
"Something So Quiet"
As ionnalee
"Samaritan" 2017 Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten
"Not Human"
"Simmer Down"
"Gone"
"Dunes of Sand" (with Jamie Irrepressible) 2018
"Joy"
"Work"
"Blazing" (NESU edit)

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Album
"What It Takes" (as Jonna Nilsson) 2004 Babylonsjukan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[18]
"Violent Playground" 2009 There's a Razzia Going On Volume 2[19]

Albums with iamamiwhoami[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "To whom it may concern. SHOP". To whom it may concern. SHOP.
  2. ^ "Jonna Lee ny programledare för P3 Live Session" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Analytics and Insights for the Music Industry - Next Big Sound". nextbigsound.com.
  4. ^ [1] Archived 12 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Montgomery, James (15 March 2010). "'Iamamiwhoami': Is Swedish Singer Jonna Lee Behind Viral Campaign?". MTV. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Mystery over identity of YouTube star iamamiwhoami". The Telegraph. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  7. ^ [2] Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ McKnight, Connor (18 March 2010). "Bloggers (Possibly) Crack 'IAMAMIWHOAMI' Mystery". Billboard. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  9. ^ http://207.218.201.243/videos/1582/iamamiwhoami_-_o[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ iamamiwhoami (30 June 2010). "t". YouTube. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  11. ^ "iamamiwhoami // kin 3rd September Album Release // kin Video Trailer". Bang on PR. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  12. ^ Cragg, Michael (11 August 2012). "The ethereal world of Jonna Lee". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "To whom it may concern". Facebook. 2017-02-24.
  14. ^ "@ionnalee". Instagram. 2017-02-24. Archived from the original on 2017-03-19.
  15. ^ "To whom it may concern". Facebook.
  16. ^ "introducing; ionnalee". YouTube.
  17. ^ iamamiwhoami (10 March 2017). "ionnalee; SAMARITAN" – via YouTube.
  18. ^ Babylonsjukan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (liner notes). Various artists. Juju Records. 2004. JUJUCD042.
  19. ^ "There's a Razzia Going On, Vol. 2 by Various Artists". iTunes Store (SE). Retrieved 11 September 2017.

External links[edit]