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Arriving as an anonymous viral success, the darkly ethereal multimedia project iamamiwhoami is the duo of singer/songwriter Jonna Lee and producer Claes Björklund. In the early 2010s, the project's cryptic visuals and dreamy, fragmented songs piqued the interest of the Internet, gaining a strong online following thanks to the mystery surrounding iamamiwhoami's identity as well as the music's strengths. When Lee and Björklund revealed themselves as the artists behind the project, they proved their approach wasn't just a gimmick. Along with winning awards for their innovative strategy, their 2012 debut album Kin fleshed out the haunting electro pop that attracted listeners in the first place. On 2014's Blue, the duo's sound grew warmer and more intimate, a trend that continued on 2022's Be Here Soon, which reflected the influence of parenthood on Lee and Björklund's creative process. In December 2009, iamamiwhoami's first two videos were sent to music journalists and blogs via an anonymous e-mail address, with more clues and clips appearing on outlets such as MTV and the project's own YouTube channel. Guesses about the mysterious act's identity included Björk, Goldfrapp, and the Knife, acts whose music was very much in keeping with iamamiwhoami's approach, to wider-ranging speculation that it was the work of Trent Reznor or Christina Aguilera. In June 2010, iamamiwhoami released a video revealing the project was the brainchild of Swedish singer/songwriter Jonna Lee (who had been previously guessed by her fans, but her management team at the time had denied her involvement) and co-producer Claes Björklund. That November, iamamiwhoami performed a webcast concert. The following year, iamamiwhoami won the first Swedish Grammi for Innovator of the Year and was also nominated for MTV O Music Awards in the Innovative Artist and Best Web-Born Artist categories, and released two new songs, "john" and "clump." That August, the project performed its first live show in August 2011 at Gothenburg, Sweden's Way Out West Festival in August. Early in 2012, iamamiwhoami's YouTube channel teased the digital release of the debut album Kin that June; several singles, including Drops and Good Worker, were released in anticipation of the album. Kin's physical release arrived that September. Bounty, which collected iamamiwhoami's early songs, arrived in June of 2013. Late in 2014, Lee and Björklund returned with Blue, another audiovisual collection that reflected a lighter, brighter sound than their previous output. After two years of touring in support of Blue, iamamiwhoami took a break as Lee began a new creative phase. She debuted her solo project ionnalee with the 2017 single "Samaritan," which revealed a more direct take on the arty electronic pop of her previous project. Her debut album, February 2018's Everyone Afraid to Be Forgotten, was produced by Lee and Björklund and featured duets with TR/ST and Jamie Irrepressible. Early in 2019, the album was nominated for Best Synth Album of the Year at Manifestgalan, a Swedish award ceremony for independent music. That May saw the release of ionnalee's second album, Remember the Future, which included contributions by Björklund, former tourmates Röyksopp, Zola Jesus, and Jennie Abrahamson. The following year, Lee reached out to her fans during the COVID-19 global pandemic with KONSERT, a live streaming show she performed on an island with Imogen Heap, Zola Jesus, and TR/ST joining her remotely. Lee and Björklund revived iamamiwhoami with June 2022's Be Here Soon, an audiovisual album that fused their cutting-edge electronic pop with elements of folk and ambient music and musings on how parenthood and creativity intersect.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


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