Swedish musician Tove Lo started off as a songwriter for Icona Pop, Girls Aloud, Cher Lloyd, Lea Michele etc. Her own single Habits went platinum last year and later in September her highly anticipated debut album Queen of the Clouds is set to be released.
Tove was recently signed by the legendary Max Martin, and has ever since then continued to rise and amaze people around her. Her first single Love Ballad was released in 2012 followed by her debut EP Truth Serum in 2014, and come fall she’s off on several tours to promote her upcoming debut album. She was recently in Sweden for a couple of days so we sat down with her for a quick update.
How have you developed as a songwriter since you first started?
– My sense for melodies has improved a lot and now a days I don’t complicate things, I just write. If it feels right, then it is, no need to question it all the time. And it’s important to combine the lyrics with the melody since they’re equally vital to me. One shouldn’t have to suffer.
When you met with Radar last year you said that “I can be more imaginative when writing for others, writing songs that I wouldn’t be able to sing myself.” Has that changed? Do you still write for other people or is your main focus yourself?
– I really haven’t had the time to write for other people but it’s still the same thing, whereas, it depends on whom I’m writing for, but I generally try to stay away from my own experiences and/or stories when I’m writing. And that’s because I want keep it for myself, songs should always be from the artist’s perspective and not mine.
Sometimes you hit the bullseye and sometimes you crash and burn
But isn’t that hard when you write for others? To reproduce what they’re feeling in a correct way.
– Of course, especially when I’m not in the room with the artist her/himself. Then I have to try and figure out on my own what they’re like and what they want to convey, it’s hard to write song based on a Google search if you know what I mean. Sometimes you hit the bullseye and sometimes you crash and burn. It’s a bit of a gamble.
In about two weeks you’re releasing your debut album Queen of the clouds, how has the process been?
– The easiest part of the process has been the songs, I’ve had a pretty clear picture of what I have wanted the whole album to be about. The hardest part has been the title and art work.
Why the title?
– Because I had a suggestion that I shared a little bit too early in the process and then the Americans got really hooked on it, and then it took me a while to convince them that it wasn’t the right one. But they really share my vision and work just as hard I as I do so that the album can reach its full potential, so it’s all good in the end.
How has it been working in the U.S? What’s the biggest difference?
– They work in a very different way. It’s a lot more demanding for me socially. Going to events to promote yourself is just as important as rehearsing for a show over there. In Sweden it’s not at all like that, you rehearse and then you go out to mingle if there’s time left. And I’ve learned that bringing candy to events is always a plus in the U.S!
You recently performed on the American talk show Conan O’Brian, tell us about that!
– It was so cool! I had appeared on Seth Meyers before that and that performance didn’t go well at all, they wouldn’t let me listen to the mix afterwards, the band stood way too far away from me and I didn’t get to decide what I should wear etc. So when I came to Conan O’Brian I knew exactly what I wanted, so that gig turned out amazing for me. And Conan was so cool and tall! Jessica Alba was also a guest, and I so wanted to take a picture with her, but she was never alone so that didn’t happen unfortunately.
So what will happen after the album release?
– I’m going on a U.S tour now in September till mid October. Then I return to Europe where I don’t really know what I will be doing since it only says Europe on my schedule, so that’s kind of vague. But then I’m doing a tour in Scandinavia for sure. And after that it’s time for the tour with Katy Perry in Australia!
That’s right, you’re her opening act! How does that feel?
– I’m so excited about it! But also pretty nervous since they’re not actually there to see me. But it’s going to be awesome to get the chance to perform on a large stage and be able to see her concerts. And just to to be a part of the whole thing.
Queen of the Clouds is set to be released September 24th.
Photography by: Victoria Stillwell