Paula Lobos is unique. She is indeed Swedish but is originally from Uruguay. You can hear the myriad of sounds & influences in her music. She's released a number of rnb albums which courted the interest of Latin MTV but its her new dance/pop material that makes me turn my head. She swirls the stereotypical Swedish sounds of Alcazar, ABBA, Velvet and Agnes Carlsson with the latin music vibes that you'd usually hear the likes of Monica Naranjo, Paulina Rubio, Soraya and Marta Sanchez perform. To me, this makes Paula an interesting artist to watch. She brings something unique to the wonderful world of pop. Anything is possible these days. Agnes has just gone top ten in the British Itunes store. I remember months ago chatting away with fellow blogger PopPosterGirl about the immense greatness of her Dance Love Pop album and Release Me in particular. The success of Agnes has opened the playing field for singers like Paula who is not only in charge of her direction, but owns her label making her one to certainly watch out for...
Easy! Pop is my first love! The melodies, the arrangements, so catchy!
What is your background?
I was born in Uruguay and moved to Sweden, Stockholm with my parents when I was 3 years old.
How did that influence your sound?
I´ve always loved music and singing so when I was 12 I started in a music-school. But it wasn´t until years later singing in a gospel/choir that I felt that music, singing and performing was something that I really wanted to do. My parents listened to a lot of that era´s pop music, such as The Beatles, Supertramp, Bob Marley but also a lot of tango and Uruguayan folkmusic. In 2002 I started my label “Ladybug Records” and I released my first pop/r&b album Aura 2003 and my pop/latin/urban album “Una Vida Más” in 2007.
What I love is that you bring together my two favourite Euro-sounds: Hispanic/Spanish pop and that distinct Scandipop baseline made famous by the likes September, Eric Prydz and Velvet! Bringing the two sounds together makes you sound so unique. Makes it different. That collective sound…was that your intention?
Thank you! Yes, I wanted to take the Latin music and Swedsih sound to the next level. I wasn't brought-up listening to the classic latin music (as many assume just because I'm Latin...haha...) such as salsa, merenge, etc and I could never find the kind of pop/r&b I loved to listen to in Spanish, so I decided to just create it myself. And the mix turned out to be pretty hot! I don't know if the Latin market is ready for it though. I´ve been a lot in Los Angeles, working and promoting my first latin album “Una Vida Más” and they´re pretty conservative...haha...but I think that´s changing, getting more edgy, more open.
Touch The Light certainly reflects that. The sound has completely taken over that traditional rnb sound that shaped the early 2000’s. Will you reflect this change on your record?
I'm definitely going more pop/club/dance. My earlier albums have always been more mid-tempo, this one will be more party, more club!
Agnes and Robyn are two acts from Sweden who’ve made it over here. Are you interested in releasing your music here or is Sweden your main priority at the moment?
I would LOVE to release my music there. I really think “Touch the Light” would work! It is more a question of how and with who...Any suggestions...haha...? No, but honestly, I´m very interested in collaborating with other labels to release it.
Lets talk about the album. Have you got that hybrid sound sorted then?
I want the album to be full of energy, attitude, edginess and hopefulness, a positive party-album...haha..I wouldn't mind a little electro/house flirt either! Yes, definitely with the touch and air of “Touch the Light” and like my new songs “Hasta el Final” and “Extatic/Loca por ti”.
Ok, so how have "Hasta el Final" and "Loca Por Ti" gone down live?
I'm actually just back from a months touring round Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark performing all these three songs. The response has been awesome!! I really enjoyed it...haha
Who is working on your album with you?
It's not all settled yet, I'm talking to different producers right now. Since I haven't done so much pop/club, this genre before I want the right people for it!
My favourite track Touch the Light. Who wrote it?I think it would be huge in Spain. Are there more party pop anthems of that type on the album?
Thank you so much! Yes, “Touch the Light” really affects people, it's so positive! I co-wrote it with RamPac, a Swedish production team here in Stockholm.
Tell me, what do you make of Monica Naranjo and Marta Sanchez: two huge Spanish pop divas. Could you see yourself sharing the same fanbase as them in Spain?
It would be a total honor to share the same fanbase as them! And you know what? I think so! Because even if their genre, Monica Naranjo at least, is more typical latin, very dramatic, their style and image is quite edgy and fierce! So, I would say yes!
If you could cover an English version of the following iconic schlager pop songs which would it be: (and Why!) Alla Flickor, Många Karlar. Lite Tid or Min Kärlek.
That's a tough one! I worked in a showgroup, a couple of years ago, performing on a cruiser ship and I actually did both "Alla Flickor” and “Min kärlek”! But I´d have to go with....”Alla Flickor”. I love the tempo in it and the lyrics, it´s kind of flirty. It also has that typical swedish schlager vibe..haha!
Why do you think so many artists have come out of Sweden? Music seems to be a running thread that weaves through its national discourse/narrative.
It's pretty amazing when you think about it right? Both artists and producers coming out of this tiny country. Hm... I think the swedish people are very open to new things and that might have helped them getting inspired and creating. They've also always been very good speaking and writing in English.
So its early days yet but things can only get better for Paula. She's set up her own very label and is making great pop music that is very international in nature. It could easily find itself number one in Spain while also getting huge airplay on the Swedish radio stations such as RixFM. Moreover, just as Agnes scores her well-deserved UK chart position the distinctness found in Paula's sense of pop just might make her another Swedish pop princess to follow in the footsteps of Robyn. But hey, the night is young & enough of the plaudits and predictions! Tis better to sit back and enjoy the pop she produces. Its gonna be a fun one to watch....Paula, welcome to planet pop!