Despite what you might think, pop stars aren’t immune to catching the common cold.
The perfect illusion (to quote GaGa) of the untouchable pop star is shattered all in one sentence. But, then again, Tove Lo never pretended to be perfect and it somehow plays into her persona that she had a cold when we met her in a hotel bowling alley in Shoreditch, London. Some pop stars never show any signs of imperfection, but Tove is one of the most open and honest artists you’ll ever meet.
There’s also a pun in there somehow about her being a ‘Cool Girl’ (the name of her latest single), but we’re just going to pretend that we’re too cool for that.
Oh damn we did it anyway…
Hi Tove! We love your new single ‘Cool Girl’. We hear it was inspired by the film ‘Gone Girl’. Which parts of the film inspired you to write the song and how do you identify with the main character because tbh bitch be pretty cray?
The inspiration for the song was drawn from observing the weird games we play in relationships. It’s like, the colder you are the more you have the upper hand, when really it takes more courage to show what youre actually feeling. It makes no sense that people pretend they don’t like someone and it led me to wonder why we change ourselves for other people. You’re definitely setting yourself up to fail they’re going to see your true colours eventually. Everyone does it.
And yes the main character is a psychopath and a killer, but I love the monologue in the film.
One of our favourite songs off the album is ‘True Disaster’. We heard that it was one of the most difficult tracks to make on the album?
Yes definitely. It started off with me doing a remix of a song which didn’t end up going anywhere, but I had made a drum beat for it and I wanted to use it. At the same time, I had just been sent a track by my producer which I loved but couldn’t figure out what to do with it, so I thought I could blend the two. I sent them both to my producer but he didn’t get what I wanted to do because they were both so different, but eventually he sent them back to me. He’d sped it up by 10BPM and it worked so much better with the melody and the lyrics.
When was the last time you felt like a true disaster and what does that mean to you.
Honestly, the worst was the day after my release party in LA. It was my birthday party, my release party and my movie premiere all in one.
But emotionally, every third day I feel like an emotional wreck. It’s just how my emotions work. It’s just how I am. Everything right now is so personal to me – the record, the movie. Everything means a lot to me and it’s all out in the world which is crazy.
Tell us a bit about your movie ‘Fairy Dust’.
It’s about chasing rushes. I’m doing a movie for each chapter of the album. Lina Esco, who is this great actress who started the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign, plays the role of my self-destructive alter ago. She did an amazing job. I wrote the film and the monologues together with a director. To see her act out those words was the craziest thing ever. It’s very dark. It’s very sexual, but I feel like you understand me more.
Is this your ‘Lemonade’?
I’m gonna say yes because it’s equally as personal and soulbearing. And Beyonce‘s ‘Lemonade’ album is beautiful work.
Is this the start of lots of acting projects for you?
Hopefully! I love it almost as much as singing.
What’s your fave tattoo that you’ve had done?
I just got one of a lynx on my hand. I’m just so proud of it. It was probably the most painful of all of my tattoos. The knuckles were brutal.
What was it like getting up close and personal with Nick Jonas in the video for the single ‘Close’?
He’s a very cool guy.
And you’re a cool girl.
Haha. I’ve known him a while but it was great to get to know him better during this whole campaign, doing performances and shooting the video. Sometimes when people are super attractive and have a great body it can make you uncomfortable because you don’t know how to act.
Especially when clothes are flying off in all directions…
And when you’re rolling around on wet cement naked and all bruised up. But actually he’s so confident and has done this for such a long time that it made me very calm and relaxed around him. We both gave it our all during the video shoot. His dedication triggered mine.
So he was very professional?
He was so passionate. I mean, not about me haha, but about the video. We were texting bruises to each other for the next few weeks, it was like “I found another one like mid back of my thigh!”. I’ve never been so bruised up.
You’ve also written a lot for other artists. For example, you co-wrote Ellie Goulding‘s smash hit ‘Love Me Like You Do’.
I don’t want to take too much credit for that song because I only wrote some of the lyrics, it was more Ellie and the boys. But I wrote the chorus of ‘Still Falling For You’, her latest song. Either way its just really amazing to work with artists at that level and Ellie’s really cool.
Who is your pop star BFF?
Definitely Icona Pop. Caroline has been one of my best friends since we were 16 and Im really close with Aino.
Do you feel like Swedish pop acts are a big family? So do you know Zara Larsson and Robyn?
I know Zara. I don’t know Robyn actually. I’ve met her a few times and she’s so cool.
You are very open in your music. Is it hard sharing so much of your life?
Not in the music, no. Sometimes I can’t talk about the specific situations I write about, but musically there can’t be a filter or limit to what I’m saying.
Is it hard reliving some life experiences when you talk about them in interviews?
I remember on my EP ‘Truth Serum’ there was this song called ‘Over’ which is a song about me cheating on someone. It felt weird getting questions about that because it’s so personal, but it’s all in the song. There is no thinking about the consequences of what it means for me to be that open in the music because if I start polishing that it would ruin the whole purpose of creating the music. It’s my outlet. I need to get it off my chest.
I feel proud that I can be open in interviews. But people do ask me how can you sing so openly about sex and drugs and tell me I should be a better role model, but that’s only because I’m a woman. People just expect you to be some perfect attainable person when you’re in pop and you’re a girl. But I’ve decided I’m not going to apologise for who I am.
Did you ever consider a more pristine pop image?
Yeah, people have told me how this industry works and encouraged me down that path. I understand because it’s a safe plan. I have tried it out, put that hat on, but it just doesn’t suit me.
Down with the metaphorical hat. What do you think about more squeaky clean acts like Ariana?
We’re obviously very different, but there’s space for everyone. She is beautiful and an amazing singer and performer. That’s her thing. I couldn’t never do what she does, firstly because I can’t sing that way. I’ve seen her live and she’s out of this world. Her outlet is singing, but I need to write.
Pop usually stays on a happier note because it is an escape from everyday boredom and stuff that goes on in you life. I understand that, I just have a different way of expressing it to some other pop acts. I don’t look down or think it’s not worthy. It’s just a different way.
Do you believe that the music industry is oversexualised for women?
For me, I’m a very sexual person, but I don’t think that makes me rebellious because sex and music have always been very related. That’s nothing new or shocking.
For example, I performed on ‘Swedish Idol’ on Friday and I wore these panty shorts. Sweden is very open and liberal about female sexuality so I didn’t even consider that it could be an issue, but it became a huge deal with headlines like “Tove Lo’s sexual performance on Idol shocks families”. I didn’t have a clue what the problem was because a few weeks earlier the boys on the show stripped down to their underwear.
It’s like this, whenever you see a woman naked in movies it’s always sexy. There is never a moment of a woman being funny naked or just natural. It’s always supposed to be sexy. Nudity is something natural and it shouldn’t be shameful. But as soon as you choose to be naked or show your sexuality as a woman, the media try to portray it as a negative. The loaded headlines villainised it instead of letting it be what it is.
People then reply “well why then do you choose to make your performance about sex? Why do you flash your tits on stage because you know that’s all people are going to write about?” But I’m not going to stop doing what I feel like just because of the way other people see me.
It’s interesting because Little Mix also came under fire last week after everybody criticised the way they dressed on ‘The X Factor’.
A lot of the time the media victimise the performers and make it seem like its not the woman’s choice to wear a particular item of clothing, but nowadays a lot of the time it is. A lot of us are really proud of our bodies and excited to be free with them however we want. I don’t look down on anyone who is fully covered. That’s up to them. But I should be able to wear whatever I want. It is admittedly hard to identify whether people are being liberated objectified, but when its coming from me I know im not objectifying myself.
Thanks Tove! The new album “Lady Wood’ is out to buy, stream and download right now!