Nonono's Stina Wappling: "Pumpin' Blood" is about taking charge of your own life

Categories: Interview
Amir Chamdin

You may not realize that you are familiar with the music of Swedish electro-pop trio Nonono, but there is a strong possibility that you've had their hit single "Pumpin' Blood" stuck in your head -- or at least its hook. So far the song has been used in a Samsung commercial as well as a Sparkling Ice commercial. The whistled hook heard throughout rivals the catchiness of other epic whistlers like Peter Bjorn and John. "Pumpin' Blood is an infectious pop anthem, tinged with just enough gloom and heavily percussion-laden.

Last week Nonono released their debut album We Are Only What We Feel, and are currently on their first American tour with Twenty One Pilots. Gimme Noise caught up with vocalist Stina Wappling as the band heads toward Minneapolis for their performance tomorrow at the Skyway Theater.

Wappling began working in the music industry at a young age after being signed to a publishing contract by Warner Brothers. At the same time, she was in the process of completing a psychology degree. Eventually, disillusioned by the music industry and the pressure to cook up hit songs, Wappling started working as a psychiatric nurse in an institution for patients with mental disorders. It was around this time that she befriended Tobias Jimson and Michel Flygare, two producers who wound up being her bandmates in Nonono.

"Pumpin' Blood" is perhaps the most obvious symbol of the trio's chemistry and a positive affirmation of their ability to work together. "The guys were really happy when they made it, and had a good feeling about it," Wappling says.

The song is symbolic of the changes that were occurring within her personal life as she realized that Nonono was an actualization creative vessel that she had been lusting after. "'Pumpin' Blood' is about a new beginning and a new start, and taking charge of your own life; that you are so much more in charge than you think you are sometimes, and with that realization, feeling happy and free," she says. "The mood that I'm in affects the lyrics, and [when I'm writing] I'm thinking about so many different things related to life and emotions."

René & Radka

Wappling insists that she isn't musically inclined, and has trouble even keeping a beat. Instead, she relies on raw emotion to motivate her songwriting process and keep her centered during performances. "I go back to the emotions I felt while writing the song in the first place," she says of her state of mind while on stage. "Writing music is really private to me, like writing a diary." She credits Jimson and Flygare as being masters of electronic music and the brains behind the catchy whistling in the song.



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