Tove Styrke highlights the many sides of love in Sway
Jacket: WARDOG Turtleneck: OUT FROM UNDER Ring: LADY GREY
Tove Styrke bares it all in her latest album Sway. It’s bubbly pop that’s conversational, touching on feelings of love, lust, pain, and bliss. The 25-year old Swedish singer/songwriter pulls you into her innermost thoughts and desires, allowing you to connect to those emotions as if they were your own.
Sway is an album featuring a collection of love stories. Styrke explains: “It’s looking at the good and the bad of being in love, the romance and the anti-romance”.
With a sparse soundscape allowing her soulful sassy vocals to be the star, she shines with intense electric energy and astounding lyrical precision.
I talked with Styrke about everything from her unique writing process to her current favorites and more.
What was your writing process like in creating the songs for Sway, and which song would you say is the most personal to you?
Ooh! Sway has been such a ride! I feel like I’ve gotten to know myself on another lever through writing it. These songs forced me to take a CLOSE look at parts of myself that I never confronted before. The process was scary but in every way necessary for me to make something real and that actually resonated with people the way it has. All of the songs are extremely personal to me, but there was something about “Mistakes” that was a bit different from the other songs. I feel like that one in particular both pushed me as a writer and to be more open and accepting of myself as a person.
Sway was mainly produced by Elof Loelv who’s worked with major artists such as Rihanna and Katy Perry. What was your experience like working with someone of that caliber?
Elof is just great! We had a lot of fun making the album. A lot of trial and error, a lot of anything goes. You never know what works unless you try, you know? I also like his taste in sounds and he’s a person that gets what I’m after 99% of the time which is great. It’s not an easy task finding creatives that you really click with, who can share your vision but has the skills to actually do the things you can’t.
What was it like growing up in Sweden and how has that influenced the type of music you create?
I don’t know anything else haha. I think the fact that there’s so much pop music being made here makes for a very fun and creative environment to be working in. I don’t ever wanna move! Why should I? Some of the best producers and writers that I know are here. It’s perfect!
What inspired your decision to make Sway’s songs instrumentally sparse?
I think part of it was because I wanted to do something different from my previous album “Kiddo”. I was also curious to see how it would affect the songwriting if I stripped down the productions. Turns out it demands so much more from both the songs and the production, suddenly every single word, every sound, every melody matters. Because you can’t help but hear them. It made the whole album take forever to make, but I feel it’s one of my best decisions ever. It forced me to do better than I ever had.
Lastly, what are some of your favorite artists you’re listening to currently and why?
Okay, here we go! Christine and the Queens, because she makes music I can’t help but sing and dance to whenever wherever. The Blaze, because it sounds so good. King Princess, because she writes songs I need and can’t be personal enough to write myself. NAO, because I’m in awe of her vocal production and I hadn’t cried to a song in forever before I heard “another lifetime”.
Blazer: TOPSHOP Bra: ADIDAS Pants: I AM GIA Sneakers: ADIDAS Necklaces: LADY GREY, TOVE’S OWN Bracelet: TOVE’S OWN Rings: J. LUU Dress: MIRIMALIST Sweatshirt: SATURDAY SCHOOL Ankle Boots: PAUL ANDREW Socks: TOPSHOP Earrings: LADY GREY Rings: LADY GREY, J. LUU Bodysuit: OUT FROM UNDER.Turtleneck: OUT FROM UNDER Skirt: WILDE VERTIGGA Booties: PAUL ANDREW Belt: VINTAGE Necklaces: LADY GREY Rings: LADY GREY, J. LUU
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Photos / Jena Cumbo