Agnes - interjuvad i England
Agnes Carlsson scored one of the summer's biggest hits with 'Release Me', a classy club banger that spent seven weeks in the top ten and still fills the dancefloor now the weather's turned cold. As she prepares to release her album in the UK – finally! – and gears up to tour with N-Dubz and Cascada, we hooked up with the Swedish pop sensation for a debrief. (Oh, and the Jedward debate just happened to come up too for some reason...)
Did you ever expect 'Release Me' to become such a big hit over here?
"Not at all! It's the first thing I've ever released outside of Sweden. When we wrote it I thought it sounded good, but you never know if anyone else is going to like it."
How important is success in the UK to you?
"I really appreciate people here enjoying my music. When I was told how well 'Release Me' had done, it didn't really sink in until I saw the reaction of the people I work with. Also, the Swedish media started calling my management a lot more as a result."
Are there plans to release it over in America too?
"I'm signed to a record company over there and also in Japan, but we don't know exactly when it will be released yet. America is such a huge country and it's a difficult project to take on. We were over there a couple of weeks ago to do my first promotion. On the second day, they told me it was No.1 on the Billboard Dance Chart, which was incredible."
What's the story behind your new single, 'I Need You Now'?
"It's about when there's a lot happening in your life and you need a person who you really trust and you can talk to. The songwriter Sharon Vaughn, who I co-wrote 'Release Me' with, knows me so well and it's kind of about my life."
How did you come up with your album title: "Dance Love Pop"?
"When we were thinking of a title, it was hard picking just one word, so we decided to use three! I thought "dance", "love" and "pop" were the best ones. It includes songs from my last album and some new ones that aren't on the Swedish version."
Your first two albums were really quite different from Dance Love Pop. Why did you decide to change musical direction?
"It was mainly just ballads on the first two albums, but I got to the point where I just wanted to do something totally different. I wanted to make music that people can have a good time to. I've always loved disco music and good pop melodies."
Have you watched The X Factor while you've been over here?
"A bit - I know that everyone's been talking about the twins! I think they're really cute when they do their own thing. I don't think that every artist needs to have a really big, beautiful voice. There are lots of different ways to be successful. They were charming and when you saw them on stage it made you smile. They were different and it's important to be yourself."
Do you think British people are obsessed with reality TV?
"It's so funny being over here when you don't know much about the people and singers. Then you realise that it's all about The X Factor, Jordan and this girl... one of the judges... Cheryl Cole! You all talk a lot about her."
Looking back, are you glad you came from Swedish Idol?
"Well, I had only performed solo on stage once before the show so I really, really learned a lot. I did it because I love music and I love singing. I didn't think about the fame side of it."
A lot of people compared you to Leona Lewis when you first came over here. How did you feel about that?
"Yeah, I heard that! I think she's very beautiful and her voice is amazing, so I'm OK with that! Of course I want to be my own person and, for me, we're very different. I don't think we look that similar and we do a totally different type of music."
Should Leona should take some lessons from you and record more dance songs?
"Haha! She does a lot of ballads, but she's very, very good at them. I think you should do the music you're happy doing. I heard her new album and I thought it was good."
Finally, have you chosen your third UK single yet?
"I don't really know yet. When I first recorded 'I Need You Now' it was a ballad, but then my label over here asked if I wanted to make it uptempo. I was like, 'OK, let's give it a try'. I really liked the result but never thought it would be a single. I know lots of people like 'On And On' and it's been a single in Europe, so watch this space."
'I Need You Now' by Agnes is out now. Dance Love Pop follows on December 7.