‘Off kilter’ pop sensation Tove Styrke on her ‘weak spot’ for Britney and ‘mean’ Swedish Idol ahead of Manchester gig

Swedish sensation Tove Styrke achieved a pop triumph earlier this year when she released her sophomore album Kiddo, attracting the attention of the blogosphere and her peers alike.

Originally Tove was performing a headline gig at Manchester’s Sound Control but it was postponed after Years & Years reached out to her to support them on their massive UK tour.

Tove told MM: “It seemed the right thing to do, they reached out and wanted me to come with them and I am so happy.

“They’re amazing I think they’re really good, we’ve been watching each other’s shows a lot while doing this tour and I think they’re so good.”

The band and singer have been supporting each other throughout the tour, tweeting and instagramming each other’s performances, ‘it’s so nice to have that sort of relationship’.

Years and Years supported Sam Smith at the Manchester Albert Hall, and both have gone onto wider success, Tove jokingly prayed ‘please let me develop the same way’.

In February next year Tove will be back in Manchester to perform at Sound Control.

She said: “I had never played outside of London it’s been so nice to travel around and see more of this country, and meet the crowds, they’re so sweet so I’m really looking forward to coming back.”

Her solo tour will not be one to miss as she commanded the stage in her supporting slot performing the fierce Number One, the dark Ego, and the energetic Even If I’m Loud Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking to You.

Tove started out on Swedish Idol in 2009 at just 16, surprising to some people as her sound and look is different to what we might expect from contestants of X Factor in this country.

She said it was: “It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever done and I would never do it again it’s nerve wracking.

“I actually think they’re quite mean to audition people that young because you don’t even know what you want to do with your life.

“It can really change your life quite a bit, I don’t think you should do it when you’re that young and if you want to do it later think about it twice because it really can change a lot.”

The difference between her album, which was released off the back of her time of Swedish Idol, and her more recent album is stark.

She said: “I had the same record deal and I’m working with the same people, but I decided a couple of years back to take some time off and I moved back home to my hometown.

“I put some distance between me and the music industry which I really needed.

“I needed to sort of explore music without pressure to make a hit, so when I came back I just had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do.

“I had learnt a lot along the way, it was a different foundation to build from, I had so much more experience to draw from.”

The second album takes on a darker pop tone, and embraces the new era of Euro-pop, which is far from the 90s cheese.

The sound is on the same level as Robyn and Lykke Li who have been producing albums for years now.

Tove said: “I think of the songs as pop songs but if you were to describe the music I would rather call it ‘off kilter pop’.

“It’s like pop with an edge to it, which might sound cheesy, but it’s like not just straight forward pop, there is so many different things in there that aren’t from that pop world.”

Britney Spears’ influence on the singer is apparent in her music, she references Spears in her song Number One and has covered Baby One More Time which received a positive response in the blog world.

And when she performed it live at the Albert Hall everyone sang along word for word, showing Spears’ influence on a generation, despite what people may think of her.

She said: “That sound, that like early Britney sound in particular, that is something that I grew up with so it’s something that is so familiar to me.

“It felt really interesting to take something from that era and just do something completely different.

“I think that Britney is quite an extraordinary person, who is still coping with things, I think she is really cool.

“Sometimes I find myself googling her post breakdown, it’s almost like she is an alien trying to dress-up like the other humans. I really have a weak spot for Britney.

“I wanted to experiment with that particular sound, that early 2000s, all those songs, like Backstreet Boys as well – very, very harsh productions.

“I thought it would be fun to do something completely different with one of those songs and make this sort of dark take on it.”

Tove said she is going to focus on touring the UK and Europe and really wants to visit some big festivals before she thinks about album number three although she has ‘already started thinking about new material’.

For tickets to the gig at Manchester Sound Control click here

Image courtesy of Sony Music, via YouTube, with thanks.

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