Debut Discovery: Eye Win Hoe

It’s hard to keep up with all these amazing new artists from Scandinavia. But we discovered a special one: Danish singer-songwriter Simon Axelsen, recording as Eye Win Hoe. We were instantly hooked on his debut song “Ruby” and asked him to tell us how he started making music. Axelsen discovered the thrill of both songwriting and performing at a young age. This is the story of how he had to overcome his perfectionism and started releasing music.

Almost every musician remembers his or hers first decisive moment of picking up an instrument. Singer-songwriter Simon Axelsen is no exception! He is not a trained musician, but learned to play the guitar by himself. “I remember borrowing a guitar from my aunt, and slowly got a hang of it”, he tells us, “however, I needed to keep track of where I was in the song I was playing, so I began singing along.”

“That was kind of an epiphany for me: To be able to play and sing a song, and channel some feelings you would have into it was a big thing for me, and being around 14, it felt pretty cool.”

The other defining moment came while playing guitar with his first school band at the age of 16. “I remember playing the guitar solo and after the last note, the entire school, who were listening, went mental, applauded and screamed like crazy.” He never forgot that headrush, followed by goosebumps from that experience. “I instantly knew that I needed to do something about this.”

From the beginning Axelsen always had a desire to write songs and play them to people. But writing songs is something different then mere playing. Being a perfectionist he had a hard time finishing songs, to the extend that he found himself not developing. He finally learned to let go of high expectations a few years ago, and then realised that writing songs is actually fun!

“There is something tremendously thrilling about catching an idea while strumming an accord on your guitar, to actually end up with a finished recording. And I love the process, where I just go with the flow and see where the song takes me.”

Foto: Steffen Kloster Poulsen, Artwork: Elmgreen Graphic Design

He also celebrates his self taught approach to creating music, and now sees it as a playground for himself. After the demos for the “Rowena” EP were finished, it was still quite a journey to get them released.

“Just watching the demos come to life in a studio environment was really intoxicating, so I am happy that I decided to invest the time and money in seeing the songs coming together. Now I want my music out there, in particular by playing the songs live, which is where the magic happens. I like to be nerdy and pedantic about the recordings, but delivering a show in front of people is what I really look forward to.

“But first, I just feel like celebrating this release that I have worked so hard for”, Axelsen concludes.

And we will celebrate with him! By enjoying and spreading his music! We at Indie Pop-Ups were introduced to his music by his debut song “Ruby” which is included on the “Rowena” EP.

Ruby” first appeared on a Nordic mixtape, about four months ago, and is slowly gaining momentum. The song features a driving beat, melancholic melodies and Axelsen’s beautiful haunting vocals. Two other songs on the EP, “Wasted Time” and “Figure It Out” have the same dreamy quality and lyrical urgency. He reflects on life in all its facets; courage, disappointment, love and empowerment. The EP ends with a bang. Just not with an explosive uptempo song that leaves you with a good feeling, but with the tender and emotional pop ballad “Queen”, which will leave you simply breathless…

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