With the release of Dance Love Pop, Agnes Carlsson emerged as a very important person in pop. Agnes is of course the winner of Swedish Pop Idol but the last twelve months she has taken total control and released high voltage pop that has managed prick up the attention of those abroad as well as going down a storm in her native Sweden. Agnes, like Rosanna, might have originated from tightly constructed fields of pop however come 2009 both purveyors of pop are producing highly distinct pop music that has the potentiality to go international. They're both emerging as great female pop song writers and its great to sit back and listen to the process. The current sound of Agnes includes sweeping melodies, over the top strings which are always layered with soaring soul vocals. Agnes brings together the best of early Whitney, ABBA, Kylie, Prince and of course a sense of her own style. This girl produces pop that can't really be recorded any other pop acts out there. She is doing her own thing. She is a pop pioneer. Thankfully, its a sense of pop that is so musical Dance Love Pop could easily be a successful show on Broadway. Its that camp. You only have to listen to Release Me to realize this. Its simply so "out there", equipped with her amazing amounts of discopop dust Agnes has ultimately blasted the baggage of her Pop Idol history & taken to the central stage. So much so, she has started writing for other pop acts. So, enough with the superlatives! With the impending release of Release Me in the UK, Dontstopthepop interviewed the pop queen that is Agnes Carlsson...


I think this might your first UK interview! Hehe. Despite this fact, are you aware that since Release Me and On And On you have a growing fanbase in the UK?

Wow! I actually didn't know! That's great!

I know! Us UK fans love the new album!

Well - tell them that I'm so glad that they like my music. And I'm really looking forward to meet them.

Indeed this reflects a community in the UK that follows Swedish pop (after the success of Robyn, September and Velvet) Whats the plan with Release Me in the UK?

No release date is set yet - but my record company 3 Beat will inform you as soon they decided a date! Release Me is though playing at lots of different radio stations and TV stations. Last week The Box added the video - I'm soooo excited!

Ah, cool! The second I heard the song I was like “yes!-Agnes must release Release me!”. Demanding its release to whoever would read it! Haha! A dream! Its quite an amazing song. Whats its history and how did it come to be?

The album is a dance/disco album with uptempo songs. I had an idea and me and my producer worked on the song and developed it - and it came to be Release Me. My first thought about the song - I had a picture in my head - you are on a dance floor - the only thing you have in mind is yourself and the music - you don't think about today or tomorrow..It's a nice mix in the song. At the same time it's an up tempo dance song - but the lyrics have a meaning and a deeper though.

Congratulations on your success at Melodifestivalen. It is such a tough competition in Sweden. Your song is great. Very dramatic. How was the night itself?

Thank you soo much! The finale day was crazy. It was a blast but in the same time a little bit nervous cause you know that over 4 million viewers are watching it. But it was really really fun!

How did you come to pick that song?

Anders Hansson who produced my album Dance Love Pop also wrote this one. So it felt pretty obvious that me and him did this together.

Does its success mean the album “Dance Love Pop” is wrapped up and you’re onto recording a parent album for Love Love Love? Or will we see future singles from Dance Love Pop? Perhaps a re-release edition?

In Sweden I'm about to re-release Dance Love Pop. we put an extra cd with lots of remixes and acoustic versions on my two singles On And On and Release Me plus Love Love Love of course!

Dance Love Pop is a great party album! But quite a change of speed from your first two albums. Why the change?

I wanted to do something new and different. It felt kind of natural and fun to move on and to make disco music - always wanted to do that so it was a dream that came true (smiles)

I love so many of your songs from the first two albums. Baby I want You Gone sounds like your tapping into your inner En Vogue while Kick Back Relax is a perfect summer song. Do you look back at your older records and feel proud? They are great pop works (in my books!).

Of course I'm proud of everything I've done (smiles)

But, this album is far more emotional however. Its like you have come out from one particular spotlight and actually directing your own path now. Release Me is very much symbolic of that change? Its like, you have completely taken control of your music and profile. I think its brilliant.

Thank you very much. Of course the work with this album is a big step for me - both musically and personally.

It must have been quite nerve-wracking. Leaving the big previous record company to create something that could have potentially failed. You’ve pulled a Robyn in many ways. You should be so proud of yourself!

Well it was a very obvious decision for me. When I first met the new Record Company, Roxy Recordings, it felt good and we got a good connection/feeling from the first start. And we wanted the same thing!

You see, I think a lot of assumptions are caste aside when one realizes that you actually wrote four very big songs on Dance Love Pop. How was that important you?

Me and Anders has been working together on this album. The most important is the good co-operation with Anders - he is so professional and we work so well together. And I know he feel the same about me!

Taking that step in the creative process?

Yes, I've developed a lot. And in the future, after all work with this album I shall start write more songs..

How did the Anders collaboration come about?

Through my record company.

He certainly knows his pop! When you’re writing with him, what provides you both the greatest inspiration?

We give each other inspiration and we work very well together.

The subject of the song Big Blue Wall is very interesting. How much of ‘you’ do you let yourself be heard on the album? Are there moments when you think “oh this is bit too dark-not for the album”.

Well - in some songs on this album I'm more personal than others - I think - in the future I'll probably get more and more personal in the lyrics.

How much for you is music therapy? I ask this question to a number of songwriters. Some say writing music is so important while others say simply by listening to a good pop song allows them to feel okay. What are your thoughts on this?

With this album I wanted to have a "feel good" album - as you say - listening to good pop song that you feel okay with. But as I said in my previous answer - I think my music will become more and more personal..

What artists have influenced you?

Whitney Houston!

This album is one big modern disco album. Was that your intention?


Slightly related to this, if you could pick one song that wasn’t released as a single from your albums which would it be?

Don't know but I think Love Me Senseless maybe - to do a radio edit .....

Now, I read that Love Love Love was actually a duet with you and Marie Serneholt? Is that true?

No it was only a rumor...

Well, Agnes thank you so much for doing this! Dance Love Pop was the poptastic album of the year! Are you prepared for the international adoration hehe

I'm sooo glad that things start to happen abroad (smiles). And, I'm starting to prepare (smiles)

Oh, you looked amazing at Globen! Who designed that outfit?!


Poster Girl said...

An interview with Agnes! DSTP brings the pop royalty again. "Release Me" is still (goes into broken record mode again) the Swedish pop song from last year that everyone needs to listen to the most--it's perfect and I know so many more people would love it than have given it a chance. I'm not going to get my hopes high for its UK results, but in a just world, it would be a smash.

Anyway, lovely interview again, Bobby. You're being so good to us!

AcerBen said...

Great interview. I've seen Release Me quite a lot on The Box but she needs to get some radio support if it's gonna be a hit. I'm confused why On And On is on the new MOS album. Has that been signed by them?

BTW if you wouldn't mind removing your link for Pop Unlimited and replacing it for one for my new blog Throw The Groove Down I'd be grateful :) thanks

Lance said...

Great interview! Bring on the Swedish invasion!

Fredrik said...

I LOVE AGNES!!! Tack tack tack!!

Tack så mycket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the Play the girls, I adore Agnes! You know she nearly didnt win Pop Idol! She was a wild card winner. Oh oh, and brilliant interview. I wonder what happened to her 2008 Melodifestivalen song!

PurePopPrince said...

Omg! Agnes! Talk about pop royalty. I wasn't fond of her debut album but isn't that the case with so many pop idol/x factor releases. Now Leon really has to play his cards right. Will Young did it correctly. As has Agnes. But it can go wrong. Where is Shayne Ward?

I don't care if Release Me is successful in the UK (I am basically repeating PPG's sentiments). It was a great record. Thats all that matters. And, its bloody brilliant that it has some exposure in the UK.

As they both verge on the UK shores, if i could pick one act over the other: Velvets material or Agnes' Release Me I'd go with the latter. Velvet, as much as i like her, has a sound that is just a touch too manufactured. Agnes has that soul thing going on.

Great interview Robpop (ditto with Rosanna!).

Aaron said...

Awww....Jealous Much!!! - I'm impressed!

Great review - the album is FANTASTIC!! - And I'm with Poster Girl, I've not got massive expectations for the UK release - but It deserves everything and more!

Persoanly, I can't wait for the album re-release! Even though I already have my version - I think Love Me Senseless and Look At Me Now would make a great Double A-side - What do you think?

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Anonymous said...

love,love,love agnes god it's so what the tired uk pop scene needs my fav off the album is on and on it's brill even though it's a direct copy of the early nineties classic heart to heart by sweet connection