by / November 21st, 2008 /

Interview: Lykke Li

Fresh from her sold out US tour, Swedish popstress Lykke Li hits our shores once more to promote her debut album Youth Novels. The Swedish singer plays The Button Factory, Dublin this Monday. You can win tickets from State below.

The last time you played Dublin, it was in the Sugar Club, do you have any memories of that show?
Yeah, it was the last show of that tour so we were, you know, ambivalent I think. We were happy to go home and happy it was the last show. I found it quite weird because there were people sitting down and we didn’t expect that all. So we kind of turned it around and made it fun. It went well.

Did you hang around Dublin afterwards?
Yeah, we went out actually, I remember now, we drank a lot of whiskey.

The alternative live video to ‘Breaking it up’ (Filmed by: Christian Haag) shows you fronting a rock band, is that what we should expect from Monday’s show?
Yeah, but that’s an upbeat song, there’s a lot of other songs that are not as rock bandy.

I understand you’ve worked as a backing dancer, would like to have dancers in your show?
Please, ok, I haven’t worked as a dancer, people got that wrong, I was on TV like twice dancing. I wasn’t working as a dancer, I am a dancer.

Is that something you’d like to incorporate into your shows?
Not at the moment, no.

You’ve just finished touring the US again, how was that second time -round?
It was amazing; it was my first time headlining. The crowds were amazing, it went really well.

How was it touring with the Friendly Fires?
They were a really nice crew, I mean really nice. They’re nice people; it was a pleasure touring with them. I’d never heard of them before, I saw the show and I was like ‘Wow, who are these guys?’

Have you been doing any writing on the road?
Yeah, a little bit.

Have you any new songs in the show?

Have you a favourite remix of any of your songs?
I don’t even know all my remixes, but I guess, you know, I was out the other day and I heard myself and I was like ‘Hey, that’s me!’, but I don’t even know what song that is. So there’s plenty floating around. I like the John Hill remix of -Breaking it up’, I think it’s really good.

You’ve been touring this album for some time now; have you any plans to go back to the studio?
Yeah, well I’m touring for the next couple of months. I’m going to Australia and then I’m coming back to the US, then back to do the summer festivals. So it’s going to take quite a long while, I’m not going to the studio until after that.

Have you been to Australia before?
No never.

What’s your favourite album or act of the last year?
Everybody knows it’s Bon Iver.

I like – Bon Iver doing ‘Dance Dance Dance’ in L.A. Was that impromptu?
It was actually, because I was like supposed to video it with this guy, we did it outside a venue in LA. Of course I asked him, ‘Do you want to be in this video?’ and he was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe, I have this sound check.’ So he came after his sound check and just joined so we didn’t rehearse anything, at all. I mean it would have been even better if we did.

We’re just listening to the new Kanye album in the office…

How did that collaboration come about for the -Gifted’ song with Kanye and Santogold?
I was on tour in the UK and I got an email, ‘Do you want to record this track with Kanye on this album?’ and I was like ‘Oh, what? Is this a joke?’. Then I saw the rest of the track list and I saw all these amazing people, so I was like you know, OK. But I was on tour, so then I had to go straight from the airport to the studio, then I lost all my notes. I had written the chorus and I had written some ideas, but I left the paper in the taxi. So I came there and they were like ‘What do you have in mind?’ and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, where’s my paper?’ So I had to write a new chorus in five minutes. I mean I didn’t even meet Kanye; he recorded his bit in Hawaii or somewhere. But that’s show business, or at least hip-hop business, but it was an experience.

Have you heard the finished song?
Not really.

Have you heard anything else off the album?
No. But there’s a lot of cool people on it, like Tom Waits, I wonder if he’ll come to the release party?

Who else would you like to meet?
I already met Q-Tip, I rapped with him on -Can I Kick It’ so that was amazing. I don’t know, there’s not a lot of bands out that there that I’m star struck by. Everybody’s dead that I love. I guess like D’Angelo, that’d be cool. That’d be fucking amazing.

You have some time off coming up; do you have plans for Christmas?
I’m going to Australia to find myself, in the wilderness ‘¦ in the jungle. I’m going there on the 16th to just chill out, because this year has been so hectic. I haven’t had anytime off so I’m just going to swim. Just with a friend.

It’s been a big year for you.
I mean everyday is different. Some times I’m really tired, sometimes I’m really excited. I’m everything and nothing at the same time. Of course I don’t want it just to be over; I mean I want to take this record as far as it can go. I wouldn’t mind not doing as many shows next year as I did this year, that’d be nice.

State has a pair of passes to the Lykke Li show on Monday night in the Button Factory. To enter, send a mail to before Monday 2pm.