Three years later, after her brilliant victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, “Euphoria” singer Loreen Talhaoui is still active. Whether it’s charity performances like this year’s Life Ball in Vienna, social engagement in areas like Afghanistan or charity projects for children in Finland – the 31-year-old wants to be more than the dazzling popstar in the flash of lightning. Is there still time for the muse, for the music?
In 2015, her second album will be released, the single “Paper Light” has already been released. And for Måns Zelmerlöw, this year’s ESC winner from Sweden, she has only praiseworthy words. An interview about balance, new beginnings and Conchita Wurst.
Subtext.at: Loreen, the first line of your current single “Paper Light” is “I’m coming back to the start” – why do you want to return to the beginning? Want to restart your musical career?
Loreen: Actually, the song is about something else. The topic has, so to speak, pealed out, it is very complex. It is about the question of what is male and what is feminine. I talked to my gay friend about it because there are so many rules and regulations that our society defines as someone has to be and what is right and what wrong. The song is about, that we should also think outside the box. It is not about me in “Paper Light”, but about the fact that people should return to their origin and think about certain things (agrees with the song a cappella).
Subtext.at: I can not decide which version I like better, the first or the “Revisited” version.
Loreen: The Revisited Variant! REVISITED (laughs)!
Subtext.at: Well, that would be clarified. It is also not about a personal restart.
Loreen: No. It is about behaviors. Where do you stand in life, are you where you want to be? Are you the person you want to be? Many people claim that they agree with certain things, but when they are confronted with it, it is suddenly no longer self-evident and in order. Sure, in “Paper Light” the topic is already somewhat cryptically packaged.
Subtext.at: After all, it is a song that seems to be open to interpretations.
Loreen: My record company said to me: “Loreen, please, what’s going on in the song, please tell us, we do not get it.” That’s how it can go (laughs).
Subtext.at: Nobody is able to travel back in the past and make certain things different, but if you can, in which time would you want to return?
Loreen: No matter what era? The late 80s probably, but not because of the style, because that was terrible, the hairstyles, but because of the record companies, because they had so much money available (laughs)! And the music! At the time there was also a different kind of respect for the artists in the music scene. Just think of one like Grace Jones, what she did. Now how old is she, 70? She comes into a room and still does what she wants. I would like to have the same attitude as her (laughs) at her age.
Subtext.at: Do you intend to change your style on your second album? The record company suggests this project …
Loreen: Not at all. You know, I’m open to anything that comes to me. I have respect for when things change and evolve, because they always do. I do not really care about it. There are artists who are developing a new facet with each new work. In my case, I would say that there are two sides of a coin, like Yin and Yang. From my own perspective I can say that I will show a different side of me. Now, at the “Paper Light Revisited” video, what version did you see with or without the nipples in the picture?
Subtext.at: That without, I think.
Loreen: You see, “Euphoria” was and is for me a spiritual song, with “Paper Light” I would like to show that one can feel comfortable in his own body, can be sexy if one would like. Of course there will be people who are upset about why I show more skin than before. It just means that they do not understand what I’m doing. If you want to like Adam and Eve naked stroll through the history of the world, just do it, but do not do it to impress others. Many people have the image of me that I am a vulnerable, spiritual person – that’s also true. Nevertheless, I am also someone who loves sex. The one and the other must not be ruled out. You would never claim from Grace Jones that she is a victim of our society and uses naked skin to sell more records. She rules over her body and no one else. She’s the queen (laughs)! Do you know what I mean? Do not get me wrong, self-esteem is very important to me. If I perform on stage half-naked, with men who wear high heels – so fucking what?
Subtext.at: Does success have to do with a number of coincidences?
LOREEN: I do not think so.
Subtext.at: With hard work?
Loreen: That is definitely. I believe that. You have to work hard to achieve what you have done. Each of us is somehow guided by external circumstances. Some people work hard for their dreams, but it never comes true. They are so focused that they are not open to other experiences. There are finally different ways to get to the destination. (Considered) If you’re into fame, then it will be very difficult for you. Glory itself does not make you happy.
Subtext.at: The career might be short-lived.
Loreen: It can also be very painful when the fame is gone.
Subtext.at: Do you feel as if you are climbing steps? Are you going to get a higher position?
Loreen: A wonderful metaphor. (Considered) Yeah, but with me it was always so. A staircase up, then maybe two down and vice versa. Personal development and development play a major role in my life. It is not just about the music and about being a star. What does freedom mean? Are we really free in our development or is it just the appearance? Do the reactions of others have an influence on us or not? Sure, I’m not free of such things, but I’m working on it. Maybe I do not think like usual artists, I do not know. Have I already mentioned that I love your questions (laughs)?
Subtext.at: Now. Are you really a patient person?
Loreen: Not really. Not at all. I am also working on this. You can ask my crew, because that is a challenge for me every day (laughs). That’s why I practice yoga to get down. Sometimes I feel like Kanye West because I just can not turn off (makes hand movements and laughs).
Subtext.at: Back to your single. “We’re born to be higher”, it says there and for me it seems as if you would propagate that everyone is here for a certain reason. What is the reason why you are here, Loreen?
Loreen: To drive my development (laughs). To work on my freedom. To be casual and informal. To remind me and my surroundings that there are even bigger things than us in the world. Sometimes I get this feeling when I’m standing on the stage and communicating with people. I am someone who sings live, and this spiritual side comes to the fore.
Subtext.at: Sometimes the Phoenix has to go up in flames to be able to rise again from the ashes. Keywords: Conchita Wurst. What do you think of her as an art figure?
Loreen: I love Conchita. I love what she does, for what she is standing and I love to look at her. Every step that drives people to bend over is welcome. This is reality or not? If you want to mix the gender roles, why not? I am not interested in what is feminine and what is regarded as masculine. When people begin to give themselves as they really want to be, then give me the inner serenity. I feel with and emotionally because I realize that we are on the right track. People watch as someone pretends and acts for what is important to him or her. Feel yourself free. Isn’t that great?
• Original link: http://www.subtext.at/2015/06/loreen-allein-gluecklich/
• Translation: Via Google Translate