Tove Styrke Has a Few Words of Advice

Tove Styrke wants to take over America, then the world.
Tove Styrke wants to take over America, then the world. Emma Svensson
Tove Styrke is 25, and she's already spent nearly a decade working in the music industry. Her first claim to fame was sealing a third-place finish on Swedish Idol in 2009. Nine years later, she's playing stateside stadium shows as part of an eclectic cast of acts on Lorde's Melodrama Tour.

The burgeoning electropop star had dreamed of international success. Now, she has her chance.

"Part of me probably always could imagine this," Styrke says. "My ambitions are high and I just, there's a little bit of Kanye in me. But, if someone told me five years ago that I was going to go on tour with Lorde and open for her I probably wouldn't've believed them."

For many, the Melodrama Tour will serve as the introduction to Styrke. But her rise in fame comes at a time when Scandanavian pop artists are seeing major success. Swedish pop star Robyn paved the way for artists like Tove Lo, Lykke Li, Icona Pop, Zara Larsson, and Mø. All have all achieved various levels of success in recent years. And that's only naming a few.

Styrke, who counts Robyn as a major influence, thinks that Scandinavian artists and people from smaller countries are getting more of a chance now that the internet provides global interconnectivity.

"It feels like everything is becoming more and more global and less and less 'this is my territory, this is where I'm from,'" Styrke says. "With social media and the internet, people in Brazil can discover me and I can interact with them and talk to them, even if I can't afford to go there right now."

Styrke's music is generally a radio-ready electro-pop, but she's had a couple evolutions between the breaks in her discography.

"My first album, that was baby Tove, and it was a lot of learning for me," Styrke says. "I still love all of those songs. I feel like my old songs are a little like tattoos. Even if I wouldn't make that today, I still love and respect myself for who I was then. Then, there was Kiddo, which was me realizing that there are people around me and that I'm a human being in a world, and it was a lot about growing up."

Styrke has grown up — and she thinks that's clear on her third studio album Sway, which is due May 4.

"...The production is very different. Kiddo was like a burst of emotion, very broad stroke, bold colors, more-is-more. On this one, I really tried to strip it down and keep the production as minimal as possible and only keep the things that really need to be there."

One of Styrke's goals for Sway was to create a more intimate listening experience for her fans, by stripping down to her natural Swedish accent.

"It's personal in a different way than my previous work has been. Also, just by listening to it, with the new songs I've never sounded this much like my actual speaking voice."

On this tour, Styrke hopes to gain new experiences and make new fans. However, she seems to dream of global domination and for people who don't know her music, she has one suggestion:

"They should do themselves a favor and stop sleeping on me," she says with a giggle.

Tove Styrke is playing alongside Run the Jewels and Lorde on Friday, March 18, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets start at $39.50 via Ticketmaster.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.