GRAZIA: How has your music evolved since your first album in 2014?
TL: “It’s all so dependable on where I’m at in my life. I think with ‘Queen Of The Clouds’, you have your whole life to write your first album and then ‘Lady Wood’ and ‘Blue Lips’ I was going through some shit as you can hear on those records. I really worked through everything while making those albums and doing those short films and everything. Once I was done with that huge creative goal that I set out to do, it was like a [sighs] I’m better now and came out the other side. So for this album I feel like I had a clean slate and I feel like it’s a bit more playful, I’ve become a better songwriter. It’s still very vulnerable and personal but [I am] accepting and embracing it instead of being angry and frustrated…”
“…it was like a [sighs] I’m better now and came out the other side.”
GRAZIA: You’ve always been a huge advocate for female empowerment. What is your response to the current political climate particularly in America?
TL: “I don’t see myself as a very political person but I’m honest. If I’m asked a direct question, I’ll give a direct answer and so for me there are basic things like I’m a feminist, I believe in equal rights, I support the LGBTQ community, I hate all the racist shit [Donald Trump] is doing. I grew up in a more socialist environment, and I think free health care and education is a great thing and should be just the norm. So there’s those basic things. But I think, it’s tricky now because I live [in America] and I’m surround by the most… you know it’s crazy because I’ve met some of the most opened minded, amazing, driven, creative people that have had completely different lives and upbringings to me but I’ve also met some of the craziest weirdos in a bad way and it’s very divided. And that scares me a little bit because there’s a big chance [Donald Trump] is still going to be in office next election. You would think that with everything that has happened, there’s no way that people would vote for him again but you run into a lot of people who say it is very possible that it will happen. I’ve been very vocal about the abortion laws. To me, it’s so backwards, men telling women what to do with their bodies. There is no argument at all that is going to convince me that it’s for the better.”
GRAZIA: How did the collaboration with Kylie Minogue come about? What was the creative process?
Tove Lo: “It was me reaching out to her hoping that she would want to work with me. She tweeted me when I posted a picture in 2016 when I was holding my lyric book as I write all my lyrics by hand. She tweeted me, ‘Oh, she’s a pen and paper girl as well’. And I thought, ‘Wow she knows who I am’. And then we met in Hong Kong… we talked and she was super charming and charismatic and lovely. And she said, ‘It would be really fun to do some music together sometime.’ So I had that in the back of my head when I was making this album so I thought, if I have a song that I feel like was really fitting for her or where I could hear her voice on it, I’ll send it and hope for the best. Luckily she was super into it… kind of an unreal experience.”
GRAZIA: Sunshine Kitty is said to represent a new chapter for you. Can you explain what this means to you?
TL: “It’s a combination. The title is sort of a play on ‘pussy power’ as all my albums have that in less obvious ways. I definitely wanted that aspect in it. And then, it was a combination of wanting to create this character with the lynx – Lo means lynx is Swedish and it’s been my nickname since I was little. I kind of wanted to give that life too. And then, just that fact that there are some songs on here that I feel are written in sunshine, like living in LA. There is a lighter vibe to it, in general.”
GRAZIA: What drew you to include Lynx as the album motif?
TL: “I wanted to make something, it’s kind of an extension of me in a way and I always want to make something visually new… And the fact that it is sort of my spirit animal and making her cute but she’s still a badass and cheeky. Don’t underestimate something because it’s small and cute (laughs) because it will f**k you up.”
GRAZIA: How has coming from a country like Sweden assisted you in not only your career, but your values?
TL: “We have this saying in Sweden which is ‘Janteloven’ which means ‘Don’t ever think that you’re better than anyone around you, despite your position.’ People try and stay away from hierarchy as much as possible and you’re supposed to challenge or argue with your boss or authority. It’s not just one-answer. And wanting to do what’s best for everyone is a mindset which is really good. I’m really happy I grew up there but I’m also happy that I left because the things that I do love about the States, is that people are very supportive of each other’s dreams no matter how stupid they might sound or unrealistic.”
“We have this saying in Sweden which is ‘Janteloven’ which means ‘Don’t ever think that you’re better than anyone around you, despite your position.’”
GRAZIA: You count Dua Lipa as one of your close friends? What is it about her that has bonded you both?
TL: “It started creatively. We had a few sessions and just got along really well. She’s super funny, really smart. Just has a lot of integrity and is a super warm person. Very talented person.”
GRAZIA: Do you believe streaming service such as Spotify are a help or hindrance with not only up-and-comers but, global stars like yourself?
TL: “I personally love consuming music that way because I listen to way more artists than I did when I was younger. I discover more new artists. Maybe it makes it a little less of ‘the five biggest stars’, but I don’t think it’s bad. It creates a platform where there is space for everyone. And maybe, the fan bases are smaller, but they’re very dedicated. You can do more weird shit, there’s so much room to experiment. People talk about algorithms, I just tune that out because I’m just going to make stuff that I love and hopefully it resonates with my fans.”
“I’m just going to make stuff that I love and hopefully it resonates with my fans.”
GRAZIA: You’ve collaborated with huge stars in the past. Who would you love to work with next?
TL: “It’s such a long list. SIA would be on the top. It would be fantastic, she’s such an amazing writer.”
Tove Lo’s latest album ‘Sunshine Kitty’ is out now. For more information, visit her website here.