Jonna Emily Lee (born Jonna Emily Lee Nilsson; October 3, 1981) is a singer-songwriter from Linköping, Sweden, currently residing in Stockholm and London. She is the creator and artist of iamamiwhoami, and went solo again in early 2017 under the moniker ionnalee.
Lee was born 1981 in Linköping and grew up in a small Swedish village in the country with her mother. Lee was musically talented at an early age although no one in her family had any musical background.
As a teenager, Lee moved to London to seek work with music. Her first encounter with the music business came at age 17 when she, as a member of pop duo Rolling Circus, released her first album On The Run. As part of the promotion of the album, she toured Japan and supported the Vengaboys. Lee eventually went solo and learned to play the necessary instruments to be able to do so.
In her twenties, Lee moved back to Stockholm where she became a part of the underground indie scene, but still keeping one foot in London. She started recording her own records that were released only through her website until she was signed by the Swedish indie label, Razzia Records, in the spring of 2007. She released 2 solo albums through Razzia Records between 2007-2009 but left the label in 2010 and started the independent labelTo whom it may concern. to release her music under the moniker iamamiwhoami, and later on as ionnalee.
She released her first solo album 10 Pieces, 10 Bruises on Swedish label Razzia Records on 10 October 2007 and on Japanese label P-Vine Records on 4 July 2008. The first single was "Dried Out Eyes", followed by "And Your Love", a duet with Ed Harcourt, who also produced three tracks on the album. Lee produced the rest of the record with her fiancé, Claes Björklund who is a member of Travis in London. A video was released for "And Your Love", and the single was released in Scandinavia on 23 January 2008. Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey plays drums on the third single, "I Wrote This Song", which was recorded in Goffey's house in Hampshire, England.
In September 2008 Jonna Lee released a 5-track EP entitled This War EP, a teaser from her forthcoming second album, that also featured the song "The Light" that Swedish radio picked up and put on the playlist though it really wasn't meant to be a single. The song can also be found on her second album.
This Is Jonna Lee, produced by Lee herself together with Claes Björklund, hit the stores and iTunes worldwide in 2009. The first single was "My High" and "Lake Chermain" was released to Swedish radio as the second single. Her second album she describes, is a more honest and forward record but is still musically related to her previous recordings.
Some of the guest musicians on This Is Jonna Lee are Neil Primrose from Travis, Annika Norlin of Hello Saferide and Andrea Kellerman from Firefox AK.
Lee has recorded some different covers through the years. Her first known cover is "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" by The Postal Service that also were the b-side of her debut single "Dried Out Eyes". Later, her version of The Killers song "Human", attracted the attention of American bloggers. In October she released a version of the industrial electro band Nitzer Ebb's song "Violent Playground". The band themselves found it online and celebrated it by uploading Lee's version on their website along with an interview with Jonna Lee.
Lee has also worked as a presenter for live sessions at Sveriges Radio P3 between 2009 and 2011.
Awards, accolades and recognition
This Is Jonna Lee was chosen as the "Next Big Thing" on iTunes USA's front page in May 2009.
She performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2010. After SXSW, she was in the Top 5 for the SXSW 2010 Next Big Sound list, which tracks how fast music artists are adding fans across various social networking platforms.
In 2010, Jonna Lee received a Manifest Award nomination for Best Singer-Songwriter.
Lee has won three awards as iamamiwhoami.