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‘Saddest girl in Sweden’ Tove Lo enjoys full control of her music

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
âSaddest girl in Swedenâ Tove Lo enjoys full control of her music
Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter from Sweden Tove Lo, who is currently based in LA, has released a new single No One Dies From Love under her own newly-launched record label.
Moni Haworth

Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter from Sweden Tove Lo (pronounced Too-veh Lu) has dropped a brand-new track, No One Dies From Love, under her newly-launched record label, Pretty Swede Records with mtheory. The song is a part of an album, which is slated for release soon.

In an exclusive Zoom chat with The STAR, the Los Angeles-based pop artist talked about her latest single, own record label, memorable collaborations (with Nick Jonas, Coldplay, Lorde and Ellie Goulding) and why she was dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the saddest girl in Sweden.”

No One Dies From Love was penned in January 2020, while she was in a house perched on a cliff, overlooking the ocean, in Malibu. She recalled, “I was writing with Ludvig Söderberg, who is kind of my main producer. We’ve done most of my songs together. Usually, we had three weeks to write together and usually when you have three weeks, you write about four, five or six songs, but we only wrote this one. We were just talking, drinking and crying and kind of going through it a little bit. The song came to life.”

The music video shows a love story between Tove and a robot, which is presented in a cinematic manner.

Tove usually writes about her own experiences but with this one, it’s a combination of what she has gone through and Ludvig’s. It was based on real-life events, she shared, “(It) was kind of like my big fear now that I have met someone who I wanna be with. And if they didn’t wanna be with me, this would be how I would feel. So I can kind of relate to that having been heartbroken before but also the feeling of like, if I wouldn’t get to be with the person that I’m with now, it would take a long time to heal from that.”

For her sci-fi love story-themed music video, she collaborated with the Brazilian directing duo Alaska. The video featured a love story between Tove and a robot, which is presented in a visual, cinematic manner. It was filmed in Mexico City for three days.

The challenges she encountered during filming were when she had food poisoning and she was dancing with a robot.

“It was mainly getting all the dance moves right with the robot because the dancer inside the robot costume, she can’t see or hear anything with just a costume. It was just kinda big process of getting all the details right and making sure that we were following the storyline in a very short amount of time,” she shared, adding, “I would say doing all that, doing those dances, everything while I hadn’t been able to eat or properly drink anything for a few days, that was harsh.”

The 34-year-old artist debuted in 2014 with the platinum-certified Queen of the Clouds that carried such successful singles as Habits (Stay High) and Talking Body. She was also featured in Nick’s Close, Flume’s Say It, and has worked with Alesso, Coldplay, Martin Garrix, Charli XCX, Sean Paul, ALOK and Major Lazer, among others.

Her second album Lady Wood followed in 2016, Blue Lips in 2017 and Sunshine Kitty in 2019. Her song Glad He’s Gone, which was part of Sunshine Kitty, was nominated for a Grammy Award under the Best Music Video category.

She also penned music for Lorde, Zara Larsson and co-wrote with Ellie Goulding’s quintuple-platinum Love Me Like You Do for Fifty Shades of Grey, which received nominations at the Golden Globe Awards and Grammy Awards.

Doing a project with Nick was one of her most memorable collaborations because, “I got to have a sort of like look into that full-on pop world. Like, where I was, you know, I’ve always been to the left of center and so that was cool,” she shared.

Tove also cited working with Lorde as a favorite. “Writing for her (was one of her unforgettable collaborations). I was such a fan of her writing and to see how she works in the studio and everything was so magical,” she said.

Noting the change in the music industry landscape, Tove decided to launch her own record label, taking “full control” of the path she wants to take.

“The industry has changed so much during the time that I signed my deal, you know. And I know that for me to have or to get the international success that I got when I started, I really needed my major label in the back and it was a very good collaboration,” she reasoned.

She continued, “But now I think through streaming services and everything, I think it has become more global and connected, and the way that I feel like I wanna explore, doing it in a different way, really.”

“So when my deal was up, I just had this feeling, like, ‘You know what, let’s go for it. It’s time.’ So far, it’s really amazing. It’s my first time putting music on my own and it’s like I like being in full control of it,” she added.

At present, she is focused on putting her shows together and finishing her album. She described her music as “like an emotional dance part — you can cry and dance at the same time.”

On Rolling Stone calling her “the saddest girl in Sweden,” she “actually wear that badge with honor.” “To me, it’s not a bad thing. I get questioned a lot if I feel offended by it, I really don’t,” she asserted. “It was an old article from Rolling Stone and at that time, pop was not the broad songs like today. It was more polished and kind of more happy, and I felt like I was kind of bringing this kind of darkness to it all that I enjoy to show or be open about, I guess.”

Moreover, she hopes to collaborate with any Filipino artists someday and come to the Philippines.

Tove’s message to her Filipino fans is this: “I’m very, very grateful for your support. I hope that you like the new song. I hope you’re gonna love the rest of the songs I’m putting out on this album. I hope I can come and play a show for you soon.”

SWEDEN TOVE LO

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