Having been exposed to the music scene and industry from a very young age, Lova has been able to produce music in and out of the spotlight for years. The Swedish singer talked with us about her journey of self-expression through songwriting, how it was always there to give her a voice when she may have been too shy to express it. Her debut album Grown-ish explores the difficult avenues of balancing teenagehood with adulthood, the beauty of confronting and finding yourself within the process, and the intimate relationship between songwriting and producing.
For those who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was quite an introverted kid and didn't really know how to express myself in front of others. So, I started writing songs at a really young age to be able to get my feelings across and have my voice be heard. But it wasn't until later on that I wanted to become an artist and have that as a career.
After working on myself a lot and focusing on what type of music I wanted to make, I then got in contact with Universal Music in Sweden and got a record deal with them in 2016. I was still going to school at that point so I made it very clear to them that I didn’t want to release anything before I graduated and could give it my all.
This bought me a year of just writing and finding my own sound which eventually turned into my debut single You Me And The Silence which got released at the beginning of 2018 and was the second most played song on P3 Radio in Sweden that year. Since then, I’ve released two EPs and my debut album Grown-ish just came out.
What originally got you interested in singing and songwriting?
Growing up, my dad sang a lot at home and had studied opera before I was born. So, music was very much in focus and appreciated in my family. I quite quickly realised that singing and writing songs were something I enjoyed and was pretty good at – which was a really comforting feeling for me, to be good at something since I struggled a lot with school and having dyslexia and my attention deficit disorder.
Despite being 21 years old you have a long history of performing, starting from being on Junior Eurovision at just 13. How has this long exposure to the music scene affected the trajectory of your life and your work?
It has definitely taught me a thing or two about the industry and how tough it can be. I think it has definitely made me into a more driven and hard-working person. I’m also really glad that my parents made the decision to pull the breaks a little bit after Junior Eurovision. I was no way near strong enough to handle the pressure that people can put on you as young artists. So, I’m very thankful to them for reminding me that nothing good will come out of rushing things. So, I took a step back and focused on being a kid, growing up and becoming more confident in myself and also becoming a better writer and artist.
Are there any artists that guided your pathway into music, and your influences in writing/performing? Are there any current artists that you feel inspired by?
I’ve never really had idols growing up. But I’ve always been inspired by artists and writers who dare to be different and think out of the box. It keeps us as listeners on our toes and I love when I’m listening to a song and can hear how fun they must have had when writing it. I also appreciate it when you can tell how much the music matters to them and that what they are writing about is pure and heartfelt. Some artists I’m currently listening to are Conan Grey, King Princess, Dominic Fike and Benee.
Why did you choose the title Grown-ish? Could you guide us through the story behind the songs on your album?
Grown-ish is a true representation of how I’ve been feeling the past couple of years. I find myself balancing between my teens and adulthood and not really knowing where I fit in. Some days I feel like the smallest kid in the world, who has no idea what she wants or who she is. And other days I feel like I’m the coolest person in town with everything going for myself. So the album will focus a lot on the journey of growing up and how scary, real and confusing it can be. But also the beauty in finding yourself and being more kind with your heart.
Many of the songs on the album seem to be concerned with the impact of social media on relationships and daily life. This can especially be seen in the third track, Jealous of My Friends. How much was this based on your own personal experiences?
I would say that everything I talk about in my lyrics is 99.9% based on my own experiences. I of course get inspired by my surroundings and other people's stories. But for me, it’s always been important that I stand behind the things I’m singing about and can identify with my lyrics. Otherwise, it doesn't feel genuine to me.
How have these effects shifted now that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned much of our lives virtual?
I think social media can be a very toxic environment especially if you use that as your only source for information. And I have to remind myself that a lot of what I see isn't a true representation of the reality. But if you use it in the right way, I think It’s a beautiful place to make connections all over the world. I’ve actually become so close with my fans over the last year thanks to social media. So I’m actually super thankful that we have this platform to talk and connect with people cause It’s definitely helped me feel less alone when I’ve basically been stuck inside my room all year.
There is a deep level of intimacy and authenticity present behind all of the songs on the album. Is it difficult to release such personal content into the world, where it can be heard and experienced by countless people who are effectively strangers?
It was for sure scary at the beginning because I’m literally putting all my insecurities out there and letting people pick it apart if they want to. But the response I’ve gotten over the last couple of years have been nothing but amazing. I actually think my music has helped a lot of people be more open and honest with themselves – and a lot of them also turn to me to talk about it which just gives me even more motivation and courage to be more vulnerable in my lyrics.
The production behind your songs is strong, sometimes quite emotional. What do you find is the relationship between songwriting and producing? Do they intersect?
They absolutely do. Let's say if the chords don’t match the vibe of the lyrics then the song doesn't really make sense. The right production can really emphasise the lyrics and the feeling of the song. I do however love to play around with the contrast between lyrics and production. I love when a song has layers to it. For example, my song Insecurities initially sounds very happy the first time you listen to it – because of the production. But then if you listen to it a second or third time you start to listen to lyrics and realise that it has a lot of depth to it. And I love a song when you hear and learn to love new things with it every time you listen to it. I think those are the songs that will stick around the longest.
You’ve mentioned in a few interviews you intend to be a role model for young girls, something which I believe is really important. In that vein, how do you find that your work reflects truthful and real female stories, relationships, and experiences?
I can only tell my truth and my story. But I hope that by me showing a real representation of my life and my rawest emotions and opinions and not making it look and sound prettier than what it is. It can eventually help break the ideals of perfection and give some sort of comfort and motivation for other people to show their most authentic self and remind them how liberating that can be.
How do you plan on promoting your album during the uncertainty of the pandemic? Are there any goals or projects that lie in the future for you now?
First of all, I’m just looking forward to enjoying this release and seeing people's reaction to the album. Like you said, things are still very much uncertain but If everything will go to plan I'll be performing at Lollapalooza in Stockholm this Summer which I’m super excited about. And I really hope that we will be able to travel soon again so I can go on tour with this album and meet my fans all over the world. Besides that, I’m actually really looking forward to going back to the studio and writing some new music with my friends. This is honestly the first time in my career where I don't know how my next release will sound like, and I’m actually really excited about that.
Lovamusic Metalmagazine 3.jpg