Fairytale endings are more often than not consigned to childrens’ books and cartoons in this day and age, but the story of Emil and Caroline Jonsson – two of the brains behind ViVii – brings a little magic back to reality.
The Swedish pair, born and raised in the coastal city of Gothenburg, met at summer camp as children and formed a strong, life-long bond that pulses powerfully decades later. Friendship swiftly blossomed into romance and by their late teens they were a couple; by their early twenties they were wed. The childhood sweethearts then embarked on a dream honeymoon to New York City, staying so long they had to traverse the Atlantic multiple times to renew visas.
A chance encounter at an Eric Roberson gig led to a wild journey with soul sensation Tye Tribbett. An instant connection erupted between the trio, and they spent a few heady months touring the East Coast as part of his gospel choir and immersing themselves in a completely different lifestyle than they were used to, fulfilling one of Caroline’s lifetime goals in the process. But still, they weren’t done.
Emil and Caroline lived a full, enviable life before deciding to relocate to Stockholm and focus on themselves. Life, of course, had different plans, and soon they were blessed with children; and this is where ViVii begins life in earnest. Perhaps surprisingly, young children didn’t derail musical ambitions – quite the opposite.
So the duo got down to business on their own sounds, fusing tones and melodies and taking inspiration from the music of their youth: the old tunes crackling on grandparents’ vinyl records, hymns from church, indie-pop jewels, classical opuses (“Bach, of course,”) and gospel choirs. Still, something was missing.
When Anders was thrown into the mix, ViVii galloped into life. Anders slowly but surely grew into the producer and a third member of ViVii. He quietly supplies guitar lines and Emil and Caroline improvise vocal melodies over the top and summon swarms of sound to get lost in. Although they tried to write lyrics about the world around them, the couple always found themselves sculpting tracks focused on their relationship and life together – and so this first EP, a four-track collection of dreamy, delirium-laced pop bolted thick with layers and gossamer strands, serves as a perfect introduction to their story.
ViVii’s EP is not just a collection of refined, mystical, undefinable music, but also an immensely personal achievement. Emil and Caroline have worked tirelessly to get to this point, nurturing themselves and their relationship from summer camp to New York to tour life to parenthood. Although the songs came fast in the studio, the journey to this point has been arduous.
Through the years and years of their Odyssean trek Emil and Caroline have been able to rely on each other and the love they share, and in the music it’s obvious that this love conquers all.
It’s taken ViVii decades to reach this point – a fairytale ending with a full EP of glorious, gorgeous music to show for it. Everything has led them to a dizzy high; but this is no true end to anything – this is just the beginning