Lykke Li

On homesickness, stereotypes and stardom.

Lykke Li’s relationship with her Swedish heritage is complicated. When her hook-driven debut album, Youth Novels, was released to critical and popular acclaim in 2008, Li resented the inevitable comparisons to the Scandinavian pop singers that had come before her. Journalists who innocuously referenced Abba or Robyn during early interviews were met with not-so-subtle indignation.

“I’ve gotten over that,” she says today, speaking from Los Angeles, where she’s lived for half a decade now. “I think it can be frustrating when you’re starting out and you’re constantly getting compared to other female artists, but I realize that’s just part of the system and being a woman. We’re taught from an early stage that there isn’t room for all of us, which is wrong. In my opinion, the more women, the ...

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