Swedish MNSU student hopes to write the soundtrack to your life

Mark Reynolds
Staff Writer

Singer-songwriter Selma Wedberg will be releasing her first single, “Turn it Off,” at the end of February.

Wedberg is a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Growing up in Vännäs, a small town in northern Sweden, she has been surrounded by music her whole life.

“My parents are musical, and Sweden has really good schools for music,” she said. “So, it’s like, in public school they have a music program where all kids can take discounted music lessons. It’s very inexpensive, so pretty much everyone can. So, I was doing lessons from a young age, then I started playing guitar.”

Looking to further her education and experience, Wedberg moved to Minnesota when she was 15. 

“I definitely feel like the experience of coming here and having to be in a completely new environment and not knowing anyone pushes you. I feel like that’s helped me in music too. Just being more okay with just doing stuff and not necessarily having to be perfect,” she said.

The music industry major became interested in songwriting while playing the bassline to Maroon 5’s “This Love” on her dad’s guitar, making up her own lyrics as she played. Since then, she has fallen in love with it.

“I like that you’re able to create something completely new and put your world view and ideas into it and have something tangible from nothing. I just think that’s a really cool thing,” she said. “Like, you just sit there and feel something or just get inspired by something. And you just get something completely new out of that. I think it’s really cool.”

Wedberg’s music has come from many places. While she considers her music to be indie pop, she incorporates her vast musical history into her songs.

“I played a lot of blues and jazz. I loved John Mayer. I still do! Maybe not super inspired writing-wise right now, but I just feel like it’s a lot of my background,” she said. “It’s just always doing music that keeps me inspired, you know?”

Her single, “Turn it Off,” is a soulful expression of heartache that will ring true to so many people. Wedberg’s initial sweet, timid tones lead you gently into the song, then she reveals a brilliant depth of emotion and feeling in the chorus.

“It’s essentially a love song about being hurt. But also, I feel like it’s bigger than that,” she said. “You just get sick of feelings sometimes and there’s just so much.

“I definitely believe in the whole, like, ‘I don’t want to go with my feelings the whole time.’ Because sometimes I feel like my feelings conflict with what I want or what I know. And it’s like, ‘turn my heart off.’ Being like sick of feeling so much and just wanting to escape from it.”

Wedberg’s music comes from a place of connecting. Music lets you experience someone else’s story and perspective.

“When you walk around listening to music, then it kind of becomes the soundtrack to your life,” she said. “I just think that’s a really cool way of consuming music, and I think it’d be cool to have my music be part of somebody else’s soundtrack.”

“Turn it Off” will be released on all major streaming platforms near the end of February. For more information, you can find her on social media at @selmawedberg or at selmawedberg.com. Above all, Wedberg wants people to see her character in her music. 

“I want to be respectable to people and just nice. And see the world as the happy place that it could be. Like, make things the best that they could be,” she said. “Trying to make things good.”

Feature photo courtesy of Rachel Bonderman.

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