Tove Lo’s habit of flashing her audience is not just some publicity stunt, though there was some part of it that was meant to mess with people a bit.
The Swedish singer-songwriter is one of Notion magazine’s five new cover stars for its 70th issue told the U.K. magazine, “I’ve been getting a lot of questions, especially in America, about why I’ve started flashing the audience at my shows and people are wondering if it’s just to get more publicity and it’s not that. I did it to mess with people a bit I guess. Then all these people started saying ‘it’s good that you’re standing up for things and that you’re a feminist, but it gets a little too much’. Why? Because I care about something? Should I just be like ‘no I won’t have any feelings?’ That’s the thing, when you get too commercial people just want you to be this happy creature with no emotions or not care about anything that’s important.”
Lo continued, noting how when photos of the video shoot for her new single “Timebomb” were released, she said, “everyone started covering up my nipples and calling me a whore. I can show my nipples if I f—-ng want to! Why is a woman’s body so sexualised all the time? It should be my choice.”
The “Habits” singer also talked about the current generation of pop stars. She said, “I think there’s this one breed of pop star who are performers, not artists. The dream is never to be famous. It’s not about that at all. It’s about being able to play your music and do your shows. It’s all about getting those feelings out because there’s so much going on in your head and your heart. But there are these performers who just want commercial success — that’s everything to them — but success to them is only when you’re happy and beautiful and everything is going up, up, up. I think that artists who are not just performers can get mixed up with the ones that are only about the success. They live in a very controlled and protective bubble and it’s all ‘what would this do to my brand?'”
As for some of her inspiration, Lo discussed how she grew up in “a very posh environment, where everything’s supposed to be fine and it’s like a competition of having a nice life and not being depressed or sad or anything.” She said she had a lot of dark thoughts as a kid, but her family never talked about “the bad stuff.”
She said her music “is all about admitting you’re destructive and that being okay. That was a big thing for me. But all the trouble I got in was caused by me. It was never my parents. It was always me looking for something else I guess.”