MILK.XYZ International: Tove Styrke's New Single Chronicles Her "Mistakes" (Literally)

The Swedish invasion is here, and it’s adorable. Scandinavian singer-songwriter Tove Styrke competed on Swedish Idol in 2009, and after some creative soul-searching, launched her electro-pop career and co-wrote her entire first album. That was Kiddo, in 2015, and since then, Styrke has been largely quiet—until now.

Out just last month, her new single, “Mistakes”, marks Styrke’s return to the electo-pop landscape. And make no mistake—this is no quiet re-entrance. On the contrary, Styrke is emerging, once again, with a bang. And that bang just got even bigger—because Styrke will now be joining none other than Lorde on tour next spring. 

MILK.XYZ caught up with Styrke to talk the makings of the “Mistakes” video (because no re-emergence would be complete without a visual accompaniment…plus, it literally just dropped today), what music she’s currently got on repeat, and her “pink moment.” Watch the brand-new vid below, and keep an eye out for the full album, coming soon. 

What brings you to New York? The new single?

It’s the new single, and I’ve been away for ages so I feel like it’s time.

Do you have any spots you like to hit when you come to the city?

It feels like, it’s so long between, every time I come it’s like a different place. So if you have any tips on like dinner places!

Totally! Tell me about the new song. I’ve been listening to it all morning!

You heard it!? Yay! “Mistakes”. Yes. It’s my baby. My precious little baby. Now it’s out there and it’s everybody else’s baby too. And it’s so special and weird, that feeling, when you release something. But I’m really happy. People seem to be loving it.

What’s the concept of the video? Can you say?

We can say that it’s bridal-themed but…with a twist. There’s unexpected things in there. I had a bunch of ideas of what I wanted to do for the song, because the production of the song is very special and specific and I had a bunch of ideas, probably 100 things I wanted to try, and I reached out to this girl, Joanna Nordahl, she’s an amazing director. She’s done the most beautiful things so I reached out to her, I’ve been wanting to work with her for ages. And finally the timing worked out. She came up with some other ideas, and we really cooked this thing up together. It’s my dream video. It’s the perfect combination between rough and trashy and Britney-pretty.

What music are you listening to right now? Anything good?

Right now? Only good things! I’m very into Khalid. Is that how you say it?

Yes! Khalid. He’s dreamy.

I love him. It’s so good, he’s so young and talented, I can’t cope with that. I think Julia Michaels is a jam. New pop and R&B. And oh! SZA! She’s probably my favorite right now. That album you can listen to the whole thing and I never get tired of it. Her lyrics. Everything. She’s amazing.

Who are some dream artists you’d like to collab with?

Well SZA would definitely be one of them. Her work is on point. I think it’s interesting with collaborations, because I do that a lot, I like writing with other people. I think it’s way more interesting to bounce things back and forth. It feels more alive in a sense than if I just sit in a room and try to think of something smart. You never know who will be a good creative partner until you try. Something can look perfect on paper, but never know until you meet them and try.

I was checking out your Instagram, and I was really liking the pink motif. Are you having a pink moment?

I love pink! It’s a really cool color, you can make all other colors cooler by bringing pink into the mix. It’s a girly color but you can twist it and tweak it and make it into something that feels new and interesting.

You never know who will be a good creative partner until you try.

What do you have coming up?

This fall I’ll be working full-time finishing the album. It takes a long time! I was thinking, my plan was, to have it almost finished at this point but it’s far from finished. I really need to spend time in the studio and focus on that. I’m really happy that I could have this week to come to New York to meet people and eat things though!

But you’ve played shows in America before, right?

Yeah! I did a headline tour in 2015 with my previous album, Kiddo. I did it with LANY, I love that they’ve blown up now. They’re the sweetest. And I’ve done a bunch of club shows.

Have you noticed any big differences with American audiences versus, say, European crowds?

Americans are great to play for. I really love playing here. People really appreciate live music in a way that people don’t do everywhere. At home, people go out more to party than to see the show. Here it feels like, even if my audience isn’t huge, I still have these hardcore people who know my all music and show up to my shows. I love that so much. People are really supportive.

How long has it been since you were on Swedish Idol?

It was 2009, so eight years ago.

Would you say your creative process has changed pretty dramatically since then?

A lot! I waited quite a while to start putting out music after that. I never had the pressure to put anything out immediately after, and I never had people write songs for me. I co-wrote my whole first album and started building a career. I’ve learned a bunch of stuff along the way but I never felt like being on the show weighed me down, it gave me a record deal which was really nice for me. And then I’ve been able to evolve on my own terms as an artist and songwriter.

Stay tuned to Milk for more international icons in-the-making.

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