In her latest release “Own Worst Enemy”, Swedish pop singer LOVA opens up about her life’s missteps while also emitting a bold, flirtatious flair.
Stream: “Own Worst Enemy” – LOVA
Swedish pop singer LOVA’s music bursts with charm and conviction, while being open and honest about her ambitions and accomplishments, as well as her mistakes. In 2018, Atwood Magazine praised the young artist for her “dazzling works that remind us of our inner beauty and the miracle of individuality,” calling her single “Impress Myself” an empowering and catchy “pure self-love anthem radiating with confidence and inner strength.” LOVA provides fans with a look into her true self, even with its imperfections and all. With the rise of social media and the desire to always portray a perfectly put together image, it is refreshing to see an artist laying all of themselves out there for the world to see.
LOVA’s latest single “Own Worst Enemy” (released 3 April) is a direct depiction of that fearless authenticity, detailing her deepest disappointments, regrets and what-ifs. The ultimate form of self-reflection, the song showcases her intimate insecurities, except they are expressed in a playful and lighthearted way.
I’m only getting drunk on my birthday
Only getting high on an airplane
The only thing I regret
Is that I don’t have enough regrets
I can be my own worst enemy
Maybe that’s why I’m in therapy
I’m going crazy
‘Cause I never go crazy
Inspired by the likes of Robyn and Natasha Bedingfield, she possesses all of that same charisma and heart. Her self-assurance, though, didn’t come easy. Growing up as a shy child, nerves and self-doubt would get in the way of her passion. It was her start on Junior Eurovision that enhanced her confidence, scoring her a record deal at just 13 years old. Now she has honed in on her unique brand of organic pop. Atwood Magazine spoke with LOVA, discussing everything from her latest single to how she developed her distinctive sound.
Stream: “Own Worst Enemy” – LOVA
A CONVERSATION WITH LOVA
Atwood Magazine: Your spirited new single “Own Worst Enemy” is an authentic admission of your life’s regrets. The track also focuses on the innate need we have as humans to please others. Did you find it therapeutic to look back at the mistakes you have made? What life lessons have you gained from them?
LOVA: 100%. It’s always therapeutic when I write my songs since I’m never not writing about something I’ve gone through or have experienced. I think my biggest life lesson that I’ve learned over the past years is that not everyone is going to like you. It sounds so simple now but there was a time where I tried to please everybody around me and adjust to the norms of our society, which completely changed me as a person. Mostly in a negative way. But going through that and coming out on the other side, realizing that I’m good enough just the way I am, is probably my biggest life lesson and the thing that has formed me into the person I am today the most.
Atwood Magazine: What was your creative process in crafting the song and what inspired you to be so lyrically open and intimate?
LOVA: Honestly, this was such an easy song to write. I had been wanting to write a song about me always being the good girl and wanting to break free from that for a really long time. As soon as I met Jenson, Oliver, and Thomas in the studio that day I knew that they would get my concept and help me portray it in the most personal way possible. About writing so intimate, it’s the only thing I know how to write. It honestly is like writing in a diary for me and always has been. Personally, I would find it really hard to write about fictional things and have an authentic emotional connection to it.
Atwood Magazine: Your quirky and charming release showcases raspy, soulful vocals and bursting percussion, how did you develop your uniquely rich sound?
LOVA: For me it’s been all about experimenting with my voice and finding my own ways to do things. I’ve never taken any vocal lessons, but my dad sang a lot of opera when I grew up, so he taught me about breathing and finding support when singing, which are some key elements. But he never said anything like “do this, don’t do that”. He always encouraged me to have fun and play around with my voice which I think helped me find my own sound in the end.
Atwood Magazine: You are from Sweden and grew up listening to notable Swedish acts such as ABBA and Robyn. How have they influenced your sound and what other artists also inspire you?
LOVA: I think having people to look up to is super important and for me seeing so many Swedish acts such as Zara Larsson, Robyn and Tove Lo, to name a few, making it big in the world was a huge thing for me. They inspired me to always dream big and to believe in my goals. They were an example that nothing is impossible and that you can be a girl from Sweden and have an international career. Sound-wise I get inspired by so much but If I’m looking for inspiration I’m usually going through some old classics.
Atwood Magazine: In 2011 you tried out for Junior Eurovision and ended up winning the competition. What was that experience like and how has it shaped your musical career?
LOVA: It was an amazing experience and it was definitely the start of everything for me. It was something that was huge for me and I realized through that whole experience how much music has an effect on people and how it really can make a difference. I think that’s the main reason why I’ve kept on being so transparent and writing songs about real things that actually matter. Because there are so many of us that tend to turn to music to find comfort and confidence.
Atwood Magazine: Much of your music touches on the theme of striving for perfection and things that can feed into that, such as social media. How do you avoid getting too absorbed into the online world?
LOVA: I’m not sure if I have a good answer for this or my answer is that I’ve not figured that out yet. It’s definitely something that affects me even though I try to avoid it as much as I can. But since social media is a part of my job now, I just need to find a healthy balance. For example, something I do quite often when I’m feeling down and insecure is that I go through the accounts that I’m following and delete the ones that put me in negative thoughts. But it is hard and it’s so easy to compare yourself with others. You just have to remind yourself that things aren’t usually as it seems on social media. We all have our things we go through and no one is perfect.
Atwood Magazine: If you had the chance to collaborate with any artist of your choosing who would that be?
LOVA: Wow there are SO MANY but the ones that excite me right now and that I would love to collaborate with are Bazzi, Lauv, Rex Orange County, Harry Styles, Tove Lo or Rosalia.
Atwood Magazine: I hear you have toured extensively. Tell me about some of your favorite performance venues?
LOVA: I’ve had some great shows over the past years so it’s so hard to choose. Of course, it’s always fun to play in Stockholm cause then I get to see a lot of friends and family in the audience which just gives me a lot of confidence on stage. Otherwise I really enjoy playing in London at a venue called Omera and I was in Copenhagen in early February supporting Lennon Stella who had her show at Pumpehuset which was such a cool venue. I think one of my favorite shows is still the one I did in Sydney in 2018. It was just a crazy experience getting the opportunity to go to Australia to support Noah Kahan right after I’d just released my debut EP.
Atwood Magazine: Now with social distancing in place, have you been doing any virtual performances?
LOVA: I just had my first livestream where I played semi-acoustic versions of some of my songs and It was so much fun, so I definitely want to do that again. I’m also planning on doing some other fun stuff, but nothing is 100% set in stone yet.
Atwood Magazine: Lastly, which artists can you recommend to our readers?
LOVA: Hmm besides the ones I mentioned for one of the previous questions I would really recommend checking out a girl named Renforshort. She’s a young upcoming talent and I especially love her song “i drive me mad”. I’m also obsessing over Conan Gray at the moment and a Swedish guy called Boy In Space!!
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📸 © Beata Cervin
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