Interview: Tove Styrke

Written by Zoya Raza-Sheikh

29 Oct 2018

Swedish pop singer Tove Styrke, pronounced “Tuva Stierka”, came crashing into the music industry with immediate success. With her self-titled debut album achieving platinum certification, Tove has always been an artist to watch. Following the release of her third studio album, Sway, SlantedPress caught up with the Swedish star to talk about the album and her upcoming tour. In this year alone, Tove has definitely made a name for herself. Not only has she released her third studio album, she also went on to tour with Katy Perry and Lorde. If you don’t think that’s hectic enough, she’s now on her own headliner tour! Now she’s had the chance to catch her breath, I ask Tove what the past year has been like for herself and her career. “Honestly, this whole year has been a long pinch me in the arm moment,” she tells me, “I’ve had so much fun getting to open for both Lorde and Katy Perry and doing my own headline tour right now is such a dream! I’m in such a good place right now. I just wanna keep going and make more music and tour more places and have fun!”

Earlier this year Tove released her latest electropop fuelled album, Sway. The album offers a tidy selection of songs that truly present Tove at her best – it’s a confident, playful and neatly composed pop album. With three years between her previous album, Kiddo, and Sway, I ask Tove how she feels to finally have new music out. “It’s so great. I’ve been working really hard on this album for a long time and I really put everything I had into it,” she says, “it was such a release to finally get it out there.” Sway is creative pop that felt reminiscent of Lorde’s own music, so it was a nice surprise to find a demo cover of ‘Liability’ at the end of the album. I ask Tove what spurred her to include the cover to her album. “It just felt like the right thing to do. I’ve been loving that song ever since it came out,” she explains, “when I heard it, it almost felt weird to me that I hadn’t wrote it because it resonated so much with me. That song just means a lot to me.” Written by Lorde or not, Tove’s take on ‘Liability’ is the remake I didn’t know I needed.

Photography: Emma Svensson

A lot has changed since Tove’s sophomore album, Kiddo. It’s easy to notice how Tove’s sound has become more ambitious, confident, and more polished on the whole. With the two albums set apart by several years, I ask Tove if she feels anything has changed between the two albums. “I’ve changed a lot I’d say! I feel like I’ve grown so much these past few years both musically and as a person,” she admits. “I’m way more confident now than I was a few years ago, like, today I can sit here and say that “I’m really good at what I do” and actually mean it, feel that it’s true. I can trust my own ability and that buys you a lot of freedom.” I wouldn’t just take Tove’s word for it, if you flick between her albums you can almost hear the confidence flowing through Sway and it’s wonderful feeling of empowerment. On the back of that question, I ask Tove if she has any advice for her younger self and she quite simply replies with, “to love myself more.” It’s an honest comment that we could all learn from.

Singing is something that seems to come naturally to Tove. She tells me how when she was younger she “always sang” and “used to record things” in her basement. Music comes across as something that always been a part of her life as she later agrees with saying: “I’ve just always been doing stuff whether it’s being in a choir, performances in school, trying to sing power ballads by the piano at home or whatever.” What’s also interesting is Tove’s boundless approach to music and how she never felt limited by being a Swedish singer. I take to the time to ask her what it’s like to break through regional glass ceiling and achieve acclaimed levels of international success. “It’s crazy! And I’m so glad I get to do this!” she exclaims, “Like, I’ve been sitting in a tiny basement studio in Stockholm trying to make something that I really like. I put it out and people all over the world finds it, likes it, loves it even. That blows my mind every day especially when I’m out touring and get to see that live.” Her reputation as an artist may be growing, but Tove comes across as a very humble, grounded artist.

You might think a third album and upcoming tour would be enough for the year, but Tove has released, yet again, new music. Collaborating with NOTD (Samuel Brandt and Tobias Danielsson), the artists recently released an original track ‘Been There Done That’. Duo Brandt and Danielsson are known for reworking popular tracks by the likes of Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, and that list now includes Tove Styrke. “Awh! I love Tobi and Sam, they are the sweetest guys!” replies when asked about working with them, “I’m so glad I got to work on that song with them. They sent it to me and I loved it immediately. It just felt like such a good fit. Really happy about it.” We promise we’re not being biased, but ‘Been There Done That’ is a killer track, and if you haven’t heard of NOTD, we highly recommend their tracks with Tove and Bea Miller.

Photography: Emma Svensson

If we haven’t mentioned it enough already, we’re going to say it again, Tove’s going on tour! Now that’s out of the way, the questions can begin. Having just wrapped up the US segment of the tour, Tove is ready to take on the UK and EU and, by the sounds of it, not even Brexit could scare her off. When I ask her about her recent touring, she’s quick to reply with enthusiasm. “Looking forward to it! Loving every minute of it!” she tells me. She continues to reveal how the North American part of the tour was some of “the most amazing shows” she’s ever done. With the US segment over, she seems equally as excited to play shows over here. “I really can’t wait to head back to Europe and end the year with my shows in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.”

With the interview drawing to a close, I throw one last question Tove’s way and ask if she’s got anything planned after the tour. “More music!” she reveals, “I’m gonna head back into the studio first thing next year and start figuring out what to do next. I already have some ideas. It’s gonna be a fun 2019 as well!”

So, in short, a lot of cool things have come from Sweden (ABBA, Avicii, IKEA, Zara Larsson) and we’re adding Tove Stryke to that list. If you haven’t heard of Tove, then we recommend her awesome tracks ‘Sway’, ‘Mistakes’, ‘Vibe’ and, ‘Say My Name’. You can buy tickets for her upcoming tour here.

Edited by Ethan Cumberland |


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