Last month I caught up with rising Swedish artist LOVA. The young singer had already had a whirlwind of a year supporting Noah Kahn in Australia back in June and had released her debut EP ‘Scripted Reality’. At just 19, LOVA has been making waves with her hit ‘You, Me and The Silence’, and was now slotted to play at Popaganda Festival. The EP ‘Scripted Reality’ serves as a youth anthem and deeps dives into the complexities of growing up in the age of social media, and how it fosters insecurities within young girls
You recently toured in Aus with Noah Kahn. How was that experience and reaching a whole new fan base?
I know, it was absolutely crazy. I remember when we went first to Melbourne, went to Melbourne and Sydney, and in Melbourne I had just released my EP, it was maybe a week or something and there were three girls at the Melbourne show knowing all my lyrics, every song. And I was like, we’ve flown like on the completely the other side, as far as we could go.
Like, 20 hours later and my music’s been out for a week and they know all my lyrics. It’s crazy. It’s so cool and I loved Australia. And yeah, I need to go back.
Your first EP ’Scripted Reality’ is out! How do it feel to have body of work out there for your fans ?
It’s amazing, it’s such a relief, because I’ve been holding onto this music. I basically have been in the studio for like two years, working on this EP, but also an album, just working a lot with music and just figure out what to do and what songs I want to make. Then I get to play a festival today. Play the songs I’ve been working so long on. Also, see people knowing the lyrics and identify with the songs, it’s such a crazy feeling.
This feels like a very honest and raw EP, which delves into these social norms and expectations. How important is it for you to create music that your fans can relate to?
It’s super important. With me, it also was such a natural thing, because I started writing when I was seven and I can still go back to all my songs and I can see this pattern. Music was always for me some sort of therapy, writing and it was more for having this journal of writing my songs. So I’ve always been very open, very raw with my lyrics. I know when I was younger I identified so much with the lyrics in songs and I had those specific songs whenever I feel sad. I had this song that really helped me and I just wanted to make those type of songs that can just like motivate people and inspire people and put words into something maybe they don’t even know how to put words into.
The best feeling that has come out of this is like people getting in contact with me, just saying like, “Thank you for helping me getting more courageous or stand up for myself, or just love myself more.” And that is the best reward you can ever get.
‘Impress Myself’ is quite a personal and vulnerable. One verse you sing ‘Little girls in their bedrooms, trying look like someone else’. Do you feel like sometimes social media influences unrealistic beauty standards?
Yeah, absolutely and I feel like that’s also where like the title “Scoop to Reality” came from. I feel like social media is supposed to be showing your day to day like, daily basis, but it’s still so scripted. I know what I can post to get the most likes and what people search for and want to see. We’re seeing all these influencers nowadays and like I can imagine they have so much pressure on themselves. Also, probably hate what they do sometimes. But it’s dangerous, really dangerous world to be in, especially like this young.
The first app they get is Instagram and they start following all these perfect people. What they think are perfect, because they portray a perfect lifestyle which isn’t true at all. Oh, I can have a conversation about this for so long.
Why is it important to love and impress yourself first before moulding into someone else’s idea of what they want you to be?
I would say for me especially, if I don’t 100% love myself or accept who I am, then the first thing that everyone doesn’t like me or hate me or have these thoughts about me, but if I 100% love who I am, what I stand for, how I look, whatever. If I love even my weaknesses, my insecurities, every part of me, then people cannot even say anything first.
Then it doesn’t get to me, like of course if people have bad words, which I think can they get to you, but I think it’s really important and also to not live through what others words and thoughts and opinions because then you gonna get so lost within yourself.
Yes, definitely. Going back to the songwriting. How do the people around you influence the songwriting?
A lot. I write a lot about from my heart, my experiences and my life. But especially with songs insecurities and social media and how social media had affected not only me, but so many people around me. I’ve got a couple of friends that are like on this other app, I don’t even know the name of it, it can basically fix everything with your face, like plastic surgery.
I have some friends that have used that app. And afterwards they cannot even see a picture of themselves without using the app because they’re starting to see themselves as what that picture is and they expect it all the time.
‘Sober Up’ is a bit of a more mellow tune, and a bit of a standout from the rest of the EP. Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the track?
Yeah. I think a lot of people think that Sober Up was about love and about a relationship, but it’s really not. I actually, fun fact, never have written a song about love ever. That’s actually a choice that I’ve made, just because there’s so many people writing about love and I feel like I still … at this point I have so much more to say about other things.
Sober Up is actually song about one of my lowest points, where I was like super, super insecure and I had this eating disorder and I felt just like awful. I was so caught up with getting all like karma’s from people and just getting this … do you say confirmation? Or like-
Yeah, confirmation. So it’s more like the you in the song is basically a confirmation and that I’m starting to sober up from not needing you anymore. When I get that confirmation, I get so high in life and I love myself so much more. But then as soon as it runs out, I’m so alone again, super insecure and back at it again. It’s such like a drug, that confirmation, and love from other people. So it’s more about that whole thing, I’m trying to sober from that and not needing it so, everything goes together, all the songs to one concept within like script to reality.
The not writing about love thing, was that something you just kind of decided?
Yeah, or for me, it was first because when I really, really started going to sessions and then studio writing, I had gone out of a relationship and I was super, super sad and depressed and insecure and I didn’t want to make songs about the other person.
I wanted to focus on me and having that therapy session like, what am I’m feeling. Don’t bring all this attention to someone else, that is irrelevant to the story. And because I think the break-up I was really super insecure before that and afterwards it’s just like … with so many emotions I need to figure out within my self. So I needed to start writing about me and my experience and that is just like me.
Probably one day I will definitely do it, but I’m not in love, I don’t have a relationship. So there’s a lot of little things I could write about love at the moment, but maybe when I have someone I’ll start writing about it.
If you could pick one what’s the song your most proud of off the EP?
It’s so hard because I’m proud in different ways. I feel like Insecurity’s so close to heart, especially like from the calm, it’s like the people that have that identify so much with the song and have really like getting stronger and loving themselves more. That is … I have nothing to say about that, that it’s crazy and amazing and that’s all I ever wished for.
But also like Human Signs the first single, it went super well and loved that song, but also Scripted Reality because we fought so hard for that song. I wrote a demo of the song and then the label did not like it, people were not happy and I was like no, but I have the vision of the song. I need to fulfill this idea that I had in my head. So I fought the song so, so, so hard, we worked through that for almost like six, seven months.
And afterwards all the people at the label were like, “Thank you for fighting for this song, we love it now.” And I was like, “I told you. I had a vision.”
It’s so good standing your ground
Yeah. No, really also it was such like clear thing for me.