Swedish singer Zara Larsson on showing the real her through her new album Poster Girl

FOR her new album Poster Girl, Zara Larsson wanted to reveal the many different sides to her character.  The Swedish singer says fans see only one side of her — and it is important to show that she is a real person.  On a Zoom audio call from her home in Stockholm, she says: “Poster Girl is the glamourised pop-star version of myself you see performing at shows. But lying in bed watching TV, looking at my phone and eating noodles is me too.”  Larsson admits she always wanted her image on fans’ walls, having dreamt of being famous since she was a little girl.  “I couldn’t wait to have paparazzi around me but now I think I’m lucky not to have experienced fame like other artists,” she says.  “I’ve experienced the good side of things — like, I’ve travelled the world and met so many people — but I don’t think I’ve missed out on anything. It’s a good balance. I’ve been lucky.”  Poster Girl, which reached No12 in the charts here last month, is an album of back-to-back anthemic singles.  But when she is not dancing, the singer has her feet firmly on the ground.Larsson says: “Because I live in Stockholm, it’s not that bad. People don’t care that much. ‘You can be strong in a compromised position’  “We have a few photographers who go to movie premieres but that’s it. And fans can be very shy. They don’t really come up to you. They might stare and whisper a bit to their friends but they’re very respectful and they let people be.”  Much of the album was written after a break-up and the start of a new relationship, drawing on a wide range of emotions.  “Half of the album is like, ‘Give me love, ruin my life or I will die!’ while the other half is like, ‘I don’t give a f*** about you, I’m the best person in the world!’ It’s ups and downs. And it’s relatable for every situation.”  The infectious single Look What You’ve Done “is heavily inspired by ABBA” as Larsson embraces her Swedish roots.  She says: “That is one of the empowering tracks, which I feel so good to sing. Even with the darker songs, I’m showing you can be a strong woman when you’re in a compromised position.  “The song Ruin My Life is about a toxic relationship I was in a few years ago. It was trash and we didn’t treat each other well. He definitely did not treat me well. It was so bad but I’m stronger because of it.”  Larsson cites the recent story of FKA Twigs suing her actor ex Shia LaBeouf for physical, mental and emotional abuse. The singer said she was left with post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of that troubled relationship.  And Larsson says: “You can be a really strong woman and have strong beliefs — look at FKA Twigs. Coming out and talking about her abusive relationship shows strength. A lot of women go through similar and she is strong enough to talk about it.  “Some people have criticised me specifically for that song because it’s high-lighting bad relationships. But I’m an artist and what I went through emotionally I should be allowed to sing about. It’s hon

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