Waterbaby is Stockholm’s swooning singer-songwriter
Kendra Egerbladh, aka Waterbaby, has had a bit of a nightmare this week. Just a few days ago, she had to have emergency dental surgery; the morning of our interview, dogs were called to Egerbladh’s building in Stockholm to sniff out bed bugs.
“Can you believe they have dogs for that? Luckily I don’t have any bed bugs, but I haven’t been able to stop scratching my body since,” she says, shuddering over Zoom. “As for the surgery, the pain is starting to creep in, but I got to keep the teeth!”
All is well, then, not least because Egerbladh is also gearing up for the release of her debut EP, Foam, a gorgeously constructed five-track project exploring the trepidation of new love. “I could be your last love and you could be my first /For you, I’d do the things that I said I’d never do for no other”, she sings on stand-out track 911, before melodically emulating an ambulance siren in the chorus: “We-ooh, we-ooh, we-ooh”.
“Foam has grown slowly but surely over a three year span,” the 25-year-old says. “I worked with [producer] Marcus White and it took us a while to find ‘it’, but I think we did. Before, I would have described myself as a very open person, but I’ve come to learn I’m not at all. Music helps me express my embarrassing feelings – love, that kind of stuff.”
Growing up in Stockholm’s suburbs, Egerbladh was hugely influenced by her grandfather, a jazz pianist. When she was nine, her mum encouraged her to apply to a classical music school. Egerbladh wasn’t so keen – she wanted to be in Destiny’s Child, not sing in a choir. “I really grew to love that kind of music in the end, though, because all I’d ever known was R&B, garage and neo-soul,” she continues. “Then I started writing my own stuff, which I’ve been doing ever since.”
Has she still got her eyes set on Beyoncé-level stardom? For now, Egerbladh just hopes her EP elicits some kind of emotional reaction in her listeners, whatever that may be. “It doesn’t really matter how they feel – I just want them to feel something, to relate,” she says. “When someone can put words to your feelings or thoughts that you can’t quite figure out for yourself, that’s amazing.”