The Daily Practice with Ida Metsberg
All the way from Finland; I am so excited to introduce singer-songwriter, Ida Metsberg. I first met Ida at Prohibition NYC as we both took the stage one Monday night to perform. Her stage presence was so inviting and that night she sang, “Wet Kisses,” which is about her niece. You must listen to this song! We exchanged “hellos” and “great job!” afterwards and from then on we kept running into each other, finding out we had mutual friends, and supporting each other's artistry. I will never forget this one night... I arrived at Prohibition and saw the back of her shirt, which read, “Don’t text your Ex.” She wears wisdom, personality and artistry wherever she goes.
Do you recall the moment you realized you had to create music for a living?
I come from a family of musicians, so playing music has always been a part of my life. I started taking piano lessons when I was seven, picked up the guitar later when I was a teenager and started writing some silly little songs. I moved to New York to study musical theatre, but it wasn’t until I took an elective composition class at school that I realized I could write my own stories and perform them instead of having to audition and wait for someone else to give me permission to perform someone else’s words. I made some amazing friends in that composition class, and our teacher Peter Susser played a huge part in helping me find my voice and learning about the importance of details in songwriting. That’s when I really realized I wanted to be a songwriter.
The last two years were tough for many, but for you; you couldn’t leave your own country. What has been the JOY you found during these tough times? Are there areas you feel you grew in and explored that maybe you wouldn’t have if back in NYC?
2021 has been the most difficult year of my life. From being stuck somewhere I didn’t truly feel like I belonged, to delays with my visa processing, to suddenly almost losing my mom, I was really heartbroken for a long time, and it really felt like the world was ending at times. Or at least my world was. The two things that I think have kept me sane was friends and being creative. Looking back now, I have made new friends through my work that have become really important to me and are the most supportive people, I’ve reconnected with old friends on a much deeper level, and I’ve just realized that we can’t go through this life alone. My most precious, weirdest and funniest memories from this pandemic have all been with friends or family, and I’ve really discovered that there is no heartbreak in this world that can’t be fixed or at least made a little better by talking and crying to your best friend. I’ve also learned to be a lot kinder to myself, which is honestly thanks to my therapist!
The other thing that’s kept me going is making music. I’ve been working in the studio, released two singles, I’m recording an EP that’ll be out next year, and also writing a bunch of new songs, and being creative is just a lifeline for me. It makes me feel like I’m doing something that matters, (even if it only matters to me in the moment), and like I’m leaving my mark in this world, be it big or small. It helps me escape when the real world feels too heavy, and helps me process things I’ve been through. I’ve gotten some really exciting songwriting opportunities as well, for example in 2020 I got asked to write a song for a big grocery store chain in Finland, and that never would have happened if it wasn’t for the pandemic and me being forced to come back home. So there have definitely been some silver linings in this whole thing, it’s just always easier to see them in hindsight.
How would you describe your sound, and where you go for inspiration?
I’d say my sound is very singer-songwriter, acoustic pop/folk. I think you can also definitely hear my musical theatre background in the songs because lyrics are incredibly important to me and I love telling detailed stories in my music, and I’ve noticed that a lot of my songs have a punchline in them somewhere, which is pretty theatrical too. I’m obsessed with songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Lizzy McAlpine because of their incredible melody lines and heartbreaking lyrics. Most of my songs are from my own life so whenever something big happens to me, it’ll most likely end up in a song, for better or for worse.
My creative process is like…
I have a lot of random notes and voice memos on my phone because sometimes I might be doing something totally mundane and then I’ll get an idea and I have to write it down or hum it out before I forget (this happened to me very recently when I was washing my face and suddenly had to run out of the bathroom to my phone and record an idea I had so I wouldn’t lose it). Every song happens slightly differently, sometimes the lyrics come first in the form of me just journaling, sometimes I come up with a melody line and start building the chords first, sometimes these two go hand in hand. The most important thing for me is to try and do it even when I’m not feeling inspired, because songwriting is so easy when you’re in the flow, but you have to be willing to do the work even when you don’t feel like it. And always record everything!
What are you looking forward to the most once you land your feet back in NYC?
Oh man, EVERYTHING. I lived there for 8 years before the pandemic hit, so I really settled in and found my people, and it very much feels like I’m coming back home. I can’t wait to hug my friends that I haven’t seen in almost two years, go to the open mics I used to go to, play gigs, and we can’t forget about the burgers! New York burgers are the best, and I’m gonna eat.
As an artist; Do you have any daily practices you can’t go without? How have they served you in the long-game?
I try to do something that’s either creative or somehow beneficial to my career every day, whether it’s writing or recording or submitting my song to a blogger or a playlist editor, or making a tiktok video of one of my songs. Sometimes the marketing stuff feels a little exhausting and I really don’t feel like it’s my strong suit, but if it makes three more people find my music, it’s a win. I also have my ruts when I don’t feel like I have the energy to do anything, but I’ve made a plan with my therapist: every day I set a timer for 15 minutes and I pick up the guitar and do something without any expectations. Whether it’s trying to write something new or rehearsing an old song, I’ll do it for fifteen minutes without stopping to check my social media or getting distracted with something else. It’s worked really great because no matter how busy I am, I always have 15 minutes to work on my craft, and usually it ends up being longer than that. My dad also gave me advice years ago on songwriting: whenever you feel like you’re stuck and can’t write anything original, learn a new cover. It helps you shift your focus and you might learn something new when practicing someone else’s song. So I try to do that as well, it’s made me learn a lot of new chords over the years, haha! Also, drinking a lot of coffee is definitely a daily practice I can’t go without.
YOU CAN FOLLOW IDA'S JOURNEY HERE