The Aspiengirl and Aspienwoman Project is devoted to showcasing females of all ages and from all walks of life, who live with a Spectrum condition. In these interviews, I talk to mentor heroine Aspienwomen from a variety of countries about their lives, their gifts and talents and more. Singer/Songwriter and Asperchic Maja Nilsson joins me from Sweden to discuss her life, talents and more.
Tania: Welcome to the Aspienwoman Mentor Project. We are proud to have you join us? Where abouts in the world do you live?
Maja: I live in Sweden
Tania: How old are you?
Tania: You are a singer/songwriter/musician/music producer. When did you start singing and writing songs?
Maja: I started writing songs at the age between 12-13 years old.
Tania: When and how did you find out you have Asperger Syndrome?
Maja: There was a classmate in primary school who had Asperger’s and I started to compare the symptoms to my own behaviour to see if I had anything similar.
Tania: What are Autism services like for you in Sweden?
Maja: A good example is that I’m in a special class for students with some kind of Autism diagnosis, we don’t have any homework as we do everything in school and go to lunch half an hour before rest of the school does. There is also a bad side that newspapers have blamed us for crimes and then “ordinary” people might get scared of us because we are seen as violent from the newspapers’ perspective.
Tania: I think it’s fair to say that the media has much power and unfairly pairs Autism and violence together. How do you think some of the traits of Asperger Syndrome have helped you in your career to date?
Maja: Aspergers has helped me a lot to focus because of my sound sensitivity, I hear sounds all the time.
I also self diagnosed myself with Synesthesia, which means in my case I see sounds as dots and lines right in front of me which helps me even better to work.
Tania: Synesthesia is a fascinating condition. Please tell us how seeing see sounds as dots and lines right in front of you which helps you work better?
Maja: I literally see music in front of me which helps me know where to sing, for example.
Tania: That is fantastic and what a unique gift you have, Maja. It probably gives you an edge over other musicians. Now your first album is due out soon?
Maja: There some songs left but I don’t have a deadline set (can’t handle stress that well).
Tania: I believe Imogen Heap inspires you? For those that aren’t familar with Imogen, she is a UK born Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist and performer
Maja: Yes she has inspired me a lot by her way of sampling realistic sounds and also in her music genre. Another artist that also inspires me is the Icelandic singer Björk.
Tania: How do you think Aspergers has helped you in your career/life?
Maja: It has helped me to become stronger as a person, from being teased some years ago to having supporting fans and friends who are curious about my music.
Tania: What advice would you give to other young females on the Spectrum?
Maja: I believe there is always a good solution to everything.
Don’t keep bad feelings inside you, then it would only hurt more.
Try to stay positive with who you are, because there is no one else like you in the world.
Tania: How can people listen to your music or buy your album?
Tania: Where can people follow you or find out more about you?
Tania: Maja, I want to thank you for your time and for being a seriously cool Asperchic role model and part of the AspienWoman Mentor Project. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Maja: Thank-you for asking me to be a part of your mentor project.
Tania Marshall. 2013. All rights reserved. Duplication in whole or part is explicitly forbidden. Thank you.