NMR Interview: LOVA (Sweden)
Swedish artist Lova Alvilde has been a star in the making for some time. Racking up 80 million streams to date, her global appeal was confirmed when YouTube Music listed her as an “Artist to Watch” in 2019. Two earlier EP’s, “Scripted Reality” and “A Gentleman’s Guide” demonstrated a flair for polished pop with a splash of attitude and we’re happy to say after listening that her debut album, “Grown-ish”, more than lives up to the hype.
There’s an out-and-out pop vibe throughout, with LOVA doing an excellent job of capturing the mood of a generation. The lyrics are lyrics are relatable, with sharp takes on all the awkward emotions that accompany growing up. Listening to tracks like “Lonely Ones” and “Jealous Of My Friends” feels like hearing a conversation between LOVA now and LOVA from five or ten years ago, covering all the things she’s learned along the way. “Dance For The Hell Of It” is a 90’s style pop banger that would make Kelly Clarkson proud, and “Sleep Forever” provides a hefty dose of attitude laden angst.
Listening to the lyrics on “Grown-ish” also gives you the impression that LOVA really has used this record as a way of processing emotions, but emerges a bigger, better and more mature artist at the end. It feels as if a chapter has been closed, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction LOVA takes with her music as a consequence.
We asked LOVA a few questions about “Grown-ish” and what to expect going forward:
NMR: For those that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?
LOVA: ''I’m an artist and songwriter from Sweden who released my debut single 'You Me And The Silence' in February 2018 which was the 2nd most played song on P3 radio that year. Since then I’ve released two EPs and I just came out with my debut album Grown-ish.''
NMR: Congratulations on putting together such an incredible album. It’s an incredible record! How was the writing / recording process for it?
''Thank you so much! The process was an emotional rollercoaster for sure. I had a lot of fun writing it and most of the time things went really smoothly. But there were also a lot of self-doubt and insecurities that got in the way of me enjoying it some days. I definitely felt like the expectations were high and I was very focused on making everyone around me proud. So I actually think that Corona came at a pretty good time for me in that aspect. It kinda gave me a lot of extra time to spend on the album and making sure that I was 100% happy with it.''
NMR: What’s the story behind the album title?
''I knew from the start that I wanted the theme of the album to be focused on growing up and my personal experiences with it. And then I think I saw an ad about a tv-show called Grown-ish and the title just resonated with me so much. It pinpointed exactly how I felt - not grown and not like a kid. I feel like I’m balancing between them two all the time and I’m still tryna figure out where I fit in.'' ¨
NMR: It’s a difficult time to put an album out in to the world, but we want to focus on the positives: What was the best part of writing and recording Grown-Ish?
Honestly just the accomplishment of actually making an album from start to finish. It is a childhood dream that has now come true and I’m so proud of myself and what I’ve created. But also the best part of it was that I got to write some of my favourite songs with some of my favourite people. That’s when this job is at it’s best in my opinion.
NMR: What have you learnt about yourself while writing / recording it?
Oh wow. Maybe that you can’t control everything and if you let go a little of that control, things can turn out to become even better than what you had in mind. I’ve also learned to trust my gut feeling more.
NMR: I know you’re not really meant to have favourites, but are there any songs you enjoy singing the most, or which you listen to yourself more than others?
Haha ofc I have favourites but they also change everyday. Right now I love 'Superhero' and I can't wait to play 'Sleep Forever' live.
NMR: You’ve collaborated with Sonny Alven for the very excellent “All In My Head” previously. How did that come about? Have you got any other collaborations lined up?
''That came about very organically. He was in Sweden for a while to write for his own project and I was looking for a collab so our people put together a session where we ended up writing All In my Head. I don't have anything concrete at the moment, a lot of things are up in the air right now. But collabs are something I really wanna do more of in 2021.''
NMR: What’s been your favourite live experience to date? If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
''Oh my gosh what a tricky question. But I think I have to say my first Stockholm gig where I had the pleasure of opening for Noah Kahan. It was in May 2018 and I had just released my debut EP so I had a release party before the gig and all my friends and family came which gave me so much confidence and adrenaline on stage.''
NMR: Besides writing / recording the album, what has been keeping you busy over the last year?
''Tv-series!! Haha no but seriously, there’s been a lot of Netflix and HBO. But also a lot of organizing and closet cleaning, self reflection, cooking and game nights.''
NMR: What’s next for LOVA?
''Well first I’m gonna enjoy the album being out. And then I’m excited to get back to the studio to write some new music with my friends. Hopefully we’re gonna be able to start traveling again this year so I can meet all my amazing fans around the world.''
NMR: Can you recommend any other Nordic artists we should keep an eye out for in 2021?
''Ofc!! You really need to check out Teddy Failures, They’re a duo who have released two singles so far, but they’re amazing! Fun fact, It’s me who’s singing the chorus in their song “Tissues” but it’s pitched up so no one can tell. Besides them you should check out Daniela Rathana and Boy In Space :)''
Thanks for your time today!