Lykke Li interview

Six things you never knew about the Swedish songstress


Swedish songstress Lykke Li does catchy, vulnerable pop like no other, and she’s back with a new album, Wounded Rhymes. It is, much like her first record, an exploration of a shattered heart.

She’s wary of meeting her heroes.
I’d love to meet Leonard Cohen, David Lynch, Patti Smith, but what would I say? I was searching for Lynch when I was recording and living in LA. I was hanging out in Jumbo’s Clown Room, a place where he apparently wrote a lot of his films. My favourite of his is Mulholland Drive. You’re not going to understand it, but you need to be in the right space to watch it because it’s so weird. I don’t know if I could take it right now.

She was a little bit of a rebel at school.
I was a good student, but I wasn’t calm and quiet. I went to a Rudolf Steiner school which practises an anthroposophical way of studying. But I would rebel against every rule. I don’t know if it was naughty, I just didn’t want to do what they said.

Her parents were alternative.
My dad used to play guitar in a progressive hippy band. My parents were very free and not pushy at all. But also, I would get good grades, and they wouldn’t care. Or I’d be gone for days, I’d stay with friends to see if they’d notice, and no one would call. So it’s a bit like ‘hmm’.

She’s not at all competitive
I think that’s why I never got into sports. It’s hard for me to find the motivation to win something. Do I feel competitive in my art? No not at all. I’m driven by a broken ego, not a competitive one. It’s definitely revenge driven at certain points. Revenge is the biggest driving force.

Lykke hates people focusing on the way she looks.
I don’t enjoy that at all. I get really angry with it. Even when journalists write about you, for some reason there are always a few lines about how you look, and I don’t know if men get that in the same way. I feel women are judged by their cover a lot of the time.

Vices? She’s got plenty of ’em.
Half the things I do are a vice. I smoke, I drink too much coffee, I can have negative patterns. I do believe human beings are quite strong, but we’re also weak and we need things to lean on. I take things very seriously. That’s probably my biggest vice. I think too much.

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