A TRUE ICÔN: LIS SØRENSEN
By Lamia Rasmussen
Lis Sørensen on music, memories and her upcoming tour.
In the eyes of 360 ICÔN, Lis Sørensen is a true icon. She has been a part of the Danish music industry for more than 40 years, creating a record of 16 solo albums and contributing to more than 100 albums. She started out as part of the band Shit & Chanel in 1976 and began her solo career in 1983 with the album ‘Himmelen ned på Jorden’ (‘Heaven on Earth’).
360 ICÔN has been more than lucky to get the chance to work with two of the icon’s album covers: her second album ‘Lis Sørensen’ from 1985 and ‘Hjerternes sang’ (‘Heart’s Song’) from 1989.
At a photoshoot just 3 weeks before the start of the great ‘Anne, Sanne & Lis’ tour, we had the chance to meet the icon for a talk about her career, memories, and the upcoming tour.
What do you remember from back then?
Actually, I vividly remember the shoot for the cover of my second album ‘Lis Sørensen’ (1985). It all went so fast. That was how photoshoots were back then when we had to make a new album cover. There was no such thing as a stylist - I just brought clothes that I felt good in. I remember only bringing one pair of nylon tights and, clumsy as I am, they were all torn up on one leg. So, when we sat down to go through pictures from the shoot, we of course discovered the torn tights. But then I actually came to the conclusion that it was kind of cool and raw, and it ended up becoming a thing for the cover. That is my greatest memory from that cover and shoot.
About back then, a lot of the external factors are different today, but the actual making of an album cover - taking the picture that matches the songs and the mood – is still kind of the same to me. I still work closely with the photographer and the whole team, and often, you still just choose one picture out of the many that are taken. Personally, I think it’s very important to take the perfect picture with the right expression to match the 12 songs on an album, which has taken a couple of years to write and make. I don’t need too many ideas on layout, style and so on, but it’s crucial to get a strong portrait of the face. All of my covers have a portrait of me to emphasise that I am behind the album.
Lis Sørensen in 360° ICÔN T-shirt. Available in white or iron gate.
What do the two albums mean to you?
The two albums are very important to me. They both contain songs that I still play every time I have a show. Especially ‘Tæt på ækvator’ (‘Close To Equator’) and ‘Ind til dig igen’ (‘Into you’) on the ‘Lis Sørensen’ album from 1985, and then ‘Mine øjne de skal se’ (‘Me Eyes They Must See’), ‘Fri for at drømme om dig’ (‘No Need To Dream Of You’) and ‘Hjerternes sang’ (‘Heart’s Song’) on the ‘Hjerternes sang’ album from 1989. They both contain a couple of songs that remain popular and that my audience knows really well.
Right now, I’m working on my next album, my 17th album, and the starting point is still the same as it was back then in the ‘80s. It’s all about finding the right song whether I write it myself, co-write with others, or look for a specific kind of song, and it still gives me the same kind of feeling back then as now. I go hunting and take in all kinds of ideas during the process.
After all these years, it’s still amazing what it does to me when I create and work with a new song. That feeling is essential to me and gets me every time.
Which of your album covers is your personal favourite?
My favourite album cover is ‘Lis Sørensen’, the one that you’ve also worked with. I also really like the cover of the album ‘Under stjernerne et sted’ (‘Under the Stars Somewhere’) from 1993 in which I tried to get the same kind of expression as on ‘Lis Sørensen’ with a black and white picture.
Those two album covers are my personal favourites. Both with black and white portrait pictures - one with a purple frame, and the other one with a graphic red frame.
Now, I’m going on the Anne, Sanne & Lis tour. We rehearse - and we rehearse a lot. We’re very focused, and that’s a great feeling since there is no doubt that something is at stake for us. We have a ton of huge concerts throughout the summer, and we will have a party!
But, it’s not only about playing – it is a show. And it’s bigger than anything else any of us have ever done. Of course, we have played at Grøn Koncert and similar events, but the indoor venues are bigger than anything else in our career. It will be a fantastic show, and we have a great team helping us, so we have time to focus on the music.
It’s in three weeks’ time from now, and no, we are not ready, but we will be!
Lis Sørensen in 360° ICÔN T-shirt with print of her album "Lis Sørensen" from 1985. Check it out here!