Melodifestivalen 2011: Our chat with Sara Lumholdt!

Last month we met Sara Lumholdt for a talk about her forthcoming debut in Melodifestivalen next month. And we’re not embarrassed to admit that she totally brought out the squealing childhood fanboy in us. C’mon – she was an ACTUAL A*TEEN!

So we were delighted to see that she was more than happy to talk about her time in the band, and about a possible reunion for them one day. We could tell that she really does have fond memories of her time in A*Teens, and also towards her former bandmates too, something we’d thought wouldn’t be the case – either because of what we’ve read in the Swedish press, or perhaps our own pre-conceptions of what sort of situation actually exists amongst them.

Naturally though, first and foremost, we spoke about her Melodifestivalen entry, ‘Enemy’. It’s clearly going to be a corker, as it’s been composed by Anton from Le Kid, and Niclas Lundin. And we also wanted to ask what we can expect from her after the competition, and what sort of sound she’s developed for herself after all these years out of the spotlight.

And here’s what she said;

scandipop: Ah Sara!!!

Sara: Yes!

scandipop: We loved you in A*Teens. And even though we’ve heard some solo music from you before, the songs that you’d uploaded to your myspace page, Melodifestivalen does feel like your proper launch as a solo artist. Would you agree?

Sara: Yes, definitely. I had a few years where I was trying different stuff along the way, but I think now it’s a lot more solid, and I’ve had a couple of years to grow. I tried being an acoustic singer/songwriter, and I tried to be all crazy dance/pop. And I figured that I wanna be an entertainer, I AM an entertainer, that’s what I do, and I decided that I wanna have danceable music but to find something different. And I’ve been trying to find that for the last year. So this song was actually written for me. And when we recorded it, it was great. And so we finally found the sound to the record! So it’s great that it actually ended up in Melodifestivalen, ha ha!!! It was really wow!

scandipop: Yeah it’s the best launch to have for a pop artist isn’t it?

Sara: Yes, definitely.

scandipop: Ah ok. So to your fans who’ve wondered what you’ve been doing all these years, the answer is that you’ve been trying different things musically, and creating your own sound.

Sara: Definitely, and growing as a person too. I’ve been writing a lot of music in LA for two years, going back and forth. And I’ve not only evolved as an artist, but I’ve also found myself along the way.

scandipop: And how would you describe this sound that you’ve found for yourself?

Sara: The sound is a mixture of pop, r&b, and rock. And it doesn’t really sound Swedish, it sounds more Americanised. Which I like, as it would definitely work everywhere in the world. Which is important to me because I wanna launch everywhere! Of course we’ll see what happens after this, but I’m really excited.

scandipop: And Anton from Le Kid was involved in writing ‘Enemy’ wasn’t he?

Sara: Yes, he did. And Niclas Lundin also.

scandipop: Do you think it’s got a bit of a Le Kid touch to it? Have you heard their music?

Sara: It’s actually not at all the same sound. I’ve heard Le Kid and a lot of other songs he’s written too, and I heard the song he wrote for Le Kid in Melodifestivalen. And it’s totally different! Which is why I like him so much! As a songwriter he can do whatever, it doesn’t matter for whom. He can find different sounds, and make something different.

scandipop: Ok. And as for after Melodifestivalen, how soon will we be getting an album from you do you think?

Sara: We’ll see. We’re definitely thinking of an album, and we have a few songs that have already been written for it that we’re working on. The hardest thing about being in Melodifestivalen is then finding a second single. That’s a really big challenge as it’s the most important song. The Melodifestivalen song is really important too, but after that, you have to come up with an even better song, to pop out of the bubble. And so that’s basically what we’re working on right now.

scandipop: Oh ok. So there won’t be a single before Melodifestivalen then?

Sara: No, it’s gonna be Melodifestivalen and then following that up with different stuff.

scandipop: And what about the performance at Melodifestivalen? Because obviously to a lot of Swedes it’s going to be their introduction to Sara Lumholdt the solo artist, so you’re gonna wanna have a pretty special performance, right?

Sara: Definitely! We’re working a lot on the number. We have an idea in our heads and it’s really clear what we’re gonna do. And of course there’s gonna be dancing. I mean, I’m a dance girl! But we’re gonna try to put a new twist on it so that you haven’t seen it before. Before this Melodifestivalen. We’re gonna try to do something very different.

scandipop: Wow, sounds exciting. Ok, so now I hope you don’t mind but I REALLY REALLY wanna speak to you about A*Teens now. Even though I’m sure you’re so tired of always being asked about it.

Sara: Ha ha! Don’t worry about it, ha ha! It was a good trip!

scandipop: Good! I think a lot of pop fans still feel a certain happy nostalgia towards A*Teens and the music they released……

Sara: Definitely, yeah.

scandipop: ….and so I think that the question most people want answered, is if you think that there might ever be a reunion. Either a one off gig, or perhaps even some new music one day.

Sara: I mean, it’s not impossible. You should never say never. But I think that we need to wait a couple more years. It’s not been that long a time, so it makes sense to wait a bit longer until we come together again. But definitely yes. I have no restrictions. And I could definitely think of us doing a performance, doing our old songs, that would be fun. But not right now. Like the Backstreet Boys had a lot of years apart and then they came together. So yeah, we should wait a few more years.

scandipop: Your relationship with Marie Serneholt has been well documented in the Swedish press, and perhaps a little over dramatised. I imagine that it’s just a case of you two simply not being in contact with each other anymore, and that that there’s no more drama to it than that. Is that correct? Or is there something more to it?

Sara: Exactly, ha ha, there’s NO drama!

scandipop: And I’m sure you’ll probably be in touch with her again when you start rehearsals at the arena in Gothenburg, and she’s there. You won’t be ignoring each other.

Sara: Exactly!

scandipop: And are you in touch with the other two members of A*Teens, Dhani and Amit?

Sara: No, not really. It’s the same for everyone. I mean, I’ve run into Amit at a couple of things, but nothing more than that really. But there’s no drama. There’s more love than ever when we meet each other, because we had so much together. It’s always fun when we see each other because we go a long way back. It’s great.

scandipop: Well it’s good to hear that you think that there’s a chance that you might perform together again one day. And if you do ever perform together again, you MUST sing ‘Closer To Perfection’, it’s one of my favourite songs of all time!

Sara: Ha ha, yeah it’s a great song isn’t it?! It’s a good song. I have a lot of favourites from our old stuff, ha ha.

scandipop: It’s so nice to hear you speak fondly of your time in A*Teens. And best of luck for Melodifestivalen, and thanks for your time.

Sara: Thank you!

You can see Sara’s artist presentation on the SVT website here.

And speaking of ‘Closer To Perfection’, EVERYONE should hear this song. So if you haven’t yet, listen here, and be prepared for something quite magnificent;

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