An interview with the talented, brilliant, spectacular, show stopping, and totally unique (can you tell we’re a fan?): Zara Larsson
„Talking about Love“ with Zara Larsson
In her new album “Postergirl” she took us all for a ride with her hit single Love Me Land (and in an iconic bedazzled bodysuit!) We talked to her about the importance of love, the power of feminism and her obsession with Beyoncé.
Fräulein: How are you? Are you staying sane during lockdown?
Zara Larsson: I’m actually good, we don’t have quarantine here in Sweden, however I’m still spending most of my time here at my house, especially at this exact corner of my couch (laughs). Just doing the regular stuff: watch movies, eat tons of take away food and living my best life.
Same here. And suddenly you have so much time to (over)think, right? Did you realize new things for yourself during this period in life?
Oh yeah, definitely. I’m very lucky in that sense that I don’t live by myself, as I live together with my sister and my boyfriend spends also quite some time with me here. Also my best friend lives just around the corner, so I have some people around me. Luckily I have that, otherwise I’d be laying in bed like a potato and think about so much. It’s also in these times super hard to get yourself motivated to do things. Also for what? Just to walk to another room? I can’t go out to eat, I can’t be in a big group with my friends…and as humans we are not meant to live like that, we need human interactions, hugs and stuff like that. With that missing motivation, it is also very difficult to get inspired in these days – and I think that this should be fine, cause we don’t have to change the world right now. If you try to stay sane and get through this, that’s also completely fine!
You mentioned already that we as humans are not really made to be alone at home and “love” is a really big topic on your new record. There is also a song called “Talk About Love”. What is the importance of love in your life and how essential was it for this album in this specific time?
I just find that if the album wouldn’t come out now, when would it come out? I already pushed it like 5 times (laughs)! I’m super happy about it and also very proud about these bops and bangers. But yeah, my music is very influenced by love and I’d consider myself a very loving person. If you think about it more, love is really the ultimate and biggest feeling, where we feel the most alive, but also the most hurt, when we get betrayed or stuff like that. It’s nice to listen to a song, where you feel like you can relate to the moments where you’re happy or where you felt sad or needed validation. I do that and listen to these kind of songs too. When I’m sad, then I really wanna listen to sad music and cry a river. Love is a theme that everyone can relate to.
Yes, definitely! Zara, you know whats funny? When I saw the tracklist with the song titles, I always was like “Oh the next one is gonna be the sad song”, but when I was always suprised. They all were very positive and uplifting suddenly, which felt very motivating. What was your idea behind this contrast?
You’re right! The album is quite on a positive note and I didn’t do it intentionally, if I’m completely honest. It just happened to be like that, which I think is quite nice. We need positivity right now! Even if songs are about a time, where I was sad, I kind of want them to feel very light. Songs where you’re crying on the dancefloor, my favorite genre! Now that we are talking about it…Maybe that’s just the way how I look at life?
I mean, thats a great attitude to go through life. There is also a song cold “Love Me Land” which totally seems like a world where we all want to be living in right now. So tell me, how is “Love Me Land” and do they need new citizens?
It’s literally up to everyone who is listening the song, there is no rule! But to me, Love me Land feels like a big bubble filled with happiness. Also, I was super inspired by this feeling of falling for someone, where your whole body is just switched on. That feeling where you don’t need to eat, you don’t need your sleep and your body is just tangling and when you suddenly see a text of your crush you’re freaking out. AHHHHH, that’s the feeling where nothing else is bothering you and when I wrote that track I actually felt this way, cause I was dating my boyfriend. That feeling is so special and I’ve never felt like that before. During that time I was always so surprised, like “omg, you like me back!”.
But I also think that this speaks a lot about us as Gen Z, where we want everything to be super positive and light. And to be completely honest, for me you’re a very good representation of that generation in pop music. Especially cause you always keep up this dialogue about love, sex and the internet. Does that come natural for you?
Yeah, very natural. I am not trying to tone down myself and I was always very loud with my opinions and my singing voice. But sometimes I get very nervous online, when it comes about speaking on certain topics. Doja Cat posted a couple of weeks ago something that it is so f***ed up that when you’re being yourself to the fullest, that people online always try to check in with you , like “are you ok?”, which is super annoying. Also, sometimes I just upload random stuff, cause I’m really a weirdo, especially when I’m with my friends, and I don’t like the thought of people looking at this, judging and thinking I’m insane. So thats a reason why the Internet is sometimes stressing me out. But also on the other hand, the internet has very good sides, especially as a platform to speak up for certain things, because I like to talk a lot about feminism. But with so much hate always being in the comment section, sometimes this is a bit too much for me. However, I want to get back on it unapologetically. The people who fall in love with me, should always know my true self. All of me. And all of my opinions.
Yeah, especially in our society, where people immediately jump on the women for doing this wrong or saying that thing.
Exactly! Also everyone keeps thinking about what they can say or not, because they don’t wanna get cancelled. That’s not what it’s about. We need dialogues to teach each other to become better people, instead of pulling down their pants and thinking “Now I got you”. That’s not fun.
At least our generation is very open minded and accepting and things like equality in gender and sexuality are something that are not discussable. The people who were always mean to me or tried to throw hate towards me on the internet, where usually older men, which is so disturbing.
Didn’t you also receive an award for feminism from Sweden’s oldest Female Rights Organisation? That recognition makes you a new role model for your fans. Who were the women that you looked up to when you were young?
My biggest music inspiration was always Beyoncé. She is just everything to me and she is super political with her music. When she released her album “Lemonade”, which was such a statement, she really proved that she is really THE one. I like music that has an opinion, but I think pop music doesn’t always need to have this. It can be also just pop as a form where you can escape reality. But Beyonce is my number one!
I agree that pop music can be also just pop sometimes. Which is funny, cause when I looked at your album cover I thought of it as the definition of pop culture. It really giving me Mean Girls and early 2000’s?!
Yes, thats exactly what I wanted. I wanted to go back to like 2005, when I had Beyonce posters all over my room. I was sitting there, looking up to these great artists and it just made me feel very happy. I wanted to embody that feeling on the cover.
Can you define Postergirl in three words?
LOVE., SPARKLE. DANCE.
Well that makes sense, especially with your bedazzled, heart-shaped earrings. Thank you so much Zara!
Interview by Fabio Pace
All pictures courtesy of Sony Music