photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG


XOV – who used to kick it with Lucifer

Do you know anyone who spends his or her time between LA and the Swedish archipelago? No? Didn't think so. There's quite the contrast between the sleepy and empty islands outside of Stockholm and the dreamy Hollywood hills in the USA. Two years ago Damian Ardestani isolated himself in a cabin, started writing, playing the piano and created what will be his first EP.

We meet at the Odalisque Magazine studio space, grab some coffee and take our seats in the kitchen area. I had just finished reading an interview with Damian in the largest daily newspaper in Sweden and I've been listening like crazy to his songs Lucifer and Boy's don't cry. This guy's got a fantastic sore voice and writes melancholic and miserable lyrics.

MM: First I thought you might tell me some about your EP that's being released on the 14th this month; what are people going to hear? I've already heard it all, but for those who haven't, what are they in for?

DA: You will be listening to the last five years of my life. The EP's a journey starting out in a darkness that evolves into anger and sorrow but finally in the end becomes something positive and at parts even joyful. All of the songs contains different parts of my life, none of them are alike or about the same thing in any way.

MM: Did you also produce it all by yourself?

DA: I produce everything with a friend of mine, Jonas; he's also called Kono. I would love for him to finally get some credit, it's really a great collaboration. Kono has been essential for the entire project and he pushes me in becoming a better producer and artist. I can get hung up on one tiny detail for days but he's got a good overlooking eye and I think that's what made us able to make this music. We have got a good balance. Also he's got a background in pop music and I've got my roots in hip hop.

MM: I notice that, I wasn't sure if I was listening to pop music or R'n'b when I was going through your songs.

DA: I know, I've got the music on a fine line. Is it commercial, is it indie, is it pop or even hip hop? I don't know but it's a result of our collaboration coming from different musical backgrounds. I think it keeps the music dynamic and original.

MM: How did you meet Kono?

DA: We met at an event seven years ago. At that point I hadn't started pursuing a career in music, so no one really knew I was a musician back then. When I'd decided to make myself a name in the industry I contacted the only guy I knew working in the business and that was him.

MM: Growing up were you always into music or did that interest evolve later in your life?

DA: For as long as I can remember I've had an interest in music. As soon as I learned how to write I started making poetry. When I was only nine years old I got my first poem published in a children’s poetry book and already then my writing was dark and metaphorical. For me writing is a way to ventilate; it's like therapy. If I don't write I get consumed by my feelings. I later learned how to play the piano which turned into singing and at the age of eleven, when singing wasn't considered cool enough, I started rapping. Music's always been a natural part of my life.

When you've been working on something for two years and then finally it gets ready for the public, it must be some kind of experience, good or bad. Damian tells me the feeling's painful but of course also liberating in a way. When we have our talk it's exactly one week before the EP's being published. There's no room for changes. Damian's a perfectionist and being both artist, songwriter and producer gives him a control that's hard to let go of. He says he's probably a pain in the ass to work with, since the work never ends when you're looking for what's just perfect. But sometimes being done is better than being perfect.

MM: How come you only write in English and not Swedish?

DA: I grew up listening to American hip hop and most of my family lives in the states, so it comes naturally. I've always spent a lot of time there, holidays and school breaks, I never really felt I was Swedish until about two years ago. I felt as I was a citizen of the world.

MM: But you grew up in Sweden right?

DA: I always lived in Sweden but since I travelled a lot I never really thought of myself as a Swede. Until now.

Damian splits his time between LA and Sweden, spending three months at a time in each place, I'm not convinced he chose the right months for being up in the north since it's raining / snowing outside and I'm pretty sure the weather situation's much better in California at the moment. It seems like a struggle living on an island with only boat connections in the middle of winter.

MM: What happened two years ago when you moved to the archipelago?

DA: You know, things have a tendency to always happen at once. When things are good, it all happens at once and when things go bad, it all happens at once.

My company and therefor my economy crashed, my relationship crashed and I found myself completely in chaos. It's easy for people to judge you and I felt I had to get away from being victimized. Everyone thought I was screwed, they thought my music career was over. No one thought I was going to make it. I felt I had to cut the chords with all the negative people in my life, so I just left.

Growing up in Tensta, a close suburb to Stockholm it wasn't really as if Damian was used to being outdoors and all alone surrounded by nothing but the forest. But with some inspiration from the movie Into the Wild he saw his chance for change. For the first six months he only went into the city twice, the only one who visited was his mother and once in a while a close friend came by. Nowadays he actually has more journalists visiting than friends.

MM: Will you move in to the city now?

DA: No, I will always keep the cabin. It keeps me grounded.





I wasn’t really looking for Park Hyatt Tokyo. I never even stayed there. I was on a budget and I was sleeping on my friend’s sofa in Shinjuku, not far from the hotel of my dreams. I was a tourist and my mode of transportation was a bicycle. Biking in a new city can very quickly take you far and beyond your familiar route. That happened, and I was happily lost most of the time. As long as I could see the at least the tip of Park Hyatt Tokyo, I could find my way home. I was looking at Park Hyatt Tokyo.

As a newcomer and foreigner, Tokyo can be quite overwhelming. It is after all the world’s largest metropolitan area. When I started photographing Park Hyatt Tokyo my real home was NYCJust like when I first moved to NYC, the old World Trade Center served me in the same way, as a charismatic and recognizable landmark.

I would imagine it’s not easy to design an attractive 52-story building, a skyscraper that is a harmonious part of the skyline, yet truly unique and effortlessly becomes the center of attention. But the architect Kenzo Tange got it right. Without being lit up in all the colors of the rainbow or even being the tallest*, the Shinjuku Park Tower, its official name, stands out. The three-element structure has a different profile depending on from where you look at it, yet it is always recognizable.

When Sofia Coppola’s movie “Lost in Translation” came out in 2003, it also brought attention, in a very sublime way, to Park Hyatt Tokyo. I love that movie. When you watch “Lost in Translation” you get a sense that Park Hyatt Tokyo is the place to stay in Tokyo. Although the actual Park Hyatt Tokyo name is mentioned only two times throughout the movie, it plays the important role as safe house from the bustling and chaotic Tokyo. You can feel the tranquility and beauty of the John Morford designed interiors. I was in awe and wanted to be part of it.

That is why, when I arrived for a month long stay in 2008, it was the only familiar place in Tokyo and as soon as I saw the building I had to photograph it. I took the very first photograph of Park Hyatt Tokyo from the bus coming into Tokyo from Narita airport. Being a photographer I soon took picture number two and three from different angels just to make sure I got it. When I pointed my camera at the building for the fourth time, the tower was already my guiding star and I thought to myself: “Hey, this would make a great book”.

The following years I spent at least a month every year in Tokyo and in 2011 I finally made it my new home. Throughout the years I kept photographing Park Hyatt Tokyo. Randomly, whenever the building popped into view. I highly doubt I will stop, even after this book is published.

Thank you Mr. Tange and Mr. Morford, creators of the body and a soul of Park Hyatt Tokyo, and thank you Mrs. Coppola for giving it a life of its own.


*currently the Shinjuku Park Tower ranks as Tokyo’s 7th tallest building.









trousers RODEBJER
stockings WOLFORD
photography by SIMON LARSSON
hair & make up MAJA SÖDERLUND / Mikas Looks


A couple of years ago I went to Art School. What I didn’t know then is that one of the people in my class had a rare and deep voice and a great stage charisma. Yeats later I stumbled upon the music of my former classmate Josefin Öhrn.

It’s early autumn and I meet Josefin at the famous coffee shop Saturnus. The café has the largest and from what I’ve heard best cinnamon buns in Stockholm. But we skip the buns and just order regular coffee. The air’s still warm and we take a seat outside, it is nice to do an interview with someone that I already know (at least a little bit) for a change.

MM: Let’s start from the beginning; why did you go to art school?

: I’ve always enjoyed making things and felt a need to do something creative. When I began art school I was more into visual art and expressions. But then I got a guitar and I kept coming up with songs. I started writing lyrics. At that time I was working extra in a vinyl shop and a friend of mine had just helped me to record a demo. The guy who owned the shop used to be a drummer in a band called Mouth, they were quite big in some underground scenes in NY during the 90’s. I played him the demo and he thought I should collaborate with his friend Fredrik Joelson. We started writing music together and that’s how it all started.

MM: Did you always know that you had such a powerful voice?

: A lot of people say that they can always tell it’s my voice, that it’s unique in some way, but I never thought about it until now.

MM: But you must have known you were a great singer, right?

Josefin laughs for a bit and tells me that she never knew, she just always though it was really fun to sing and write songs. She’s just happy people want to listen to her. The band is called Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation and started in 2011 and as we speak is starting to get really serious. Their summer’s been full of concerts and festivals. Their sound is quite psychedelic and 70’s inspired. I ask Josefin if that’s her opinion too.

: I don’t think about specific genres that much, but the bands that we might have been inspired by are from the psych wave, we listen to a lot of 60’s and 70’s music. There’re many new interesting bands at the moment that are doing similar things to ours but I think we’re a bit 90’s inspired too.

Josefin doesn’t just have a heavenly voice she also looks like a rock star from Woodstock. She’s been working with the stylist Filippa Berg, who runs a very successful blog at and also just started her own online vintage shop called Mahala Vintage. How did you meet Filippa?

: We been working together for a while now. She is really awesome. I think we met through common friends, maybe out somewhere or at a dinner party, I’m not sure. Stockholm’s so small you know. We were both eager to collaborate and felt it would be a great match from the beginning.

MM: So how is it to have a stylist? Does she give you options or does she just tell you to “wear this”?

: Haha, well she knows what I like and gives me a lot of options to choose from. It’s really a luxury; she often brings me things I might never have found myself.

MM: Do you always agree?

: Yes, I think so.

MM: Do you have any role models when it comes to style, anyone whom you think about when you pick your outfits?

: I really like the style of Bianca Jagger, Jane Birkin and Nico. I like the feeling of their styles, they all withheld a lot of power.

stockings WOLFORD
blouse, trousers & ring RODEBJER
other jewelry MAHALA VINTAGE


tuxedo BLK DNM
shoes & ring RODEBJER


camisole & skirt RODEBJER
stockings WOLFORD


trench coat BLK DNM
shorts LEVIS
jewelry & bag MAHALA VINTAGE


trousers & ring RODEBJER