Zara Larsson talks life on the road and discovering her sound

At just 10-years-old, Zara Larsson shot to fame after winning the Swedish version of Britain’s Got Talent.

Now, with five UK top 10 singles and a debut album under her belt, I caught up with her ahead of her gig at O2 Academy to talk about her music and life on the road.

She’s collaborated with some of the biggest stars in the music industry, but Zara Larsson is just getting started on dominating the world of pop. After finding success at an early age, the now 19-year-old already has some pretty impressive accreditations to her name, including a number one track with Clean Bandit and her single Lush Life,  which catapulted her to international stardom as pop’s new It Girl.

There’s something special about being on tour and seeing the faces of the people that listen to your music.

Following the release of her sophomore album So Good, Zara’s preparing to embark on her first UK headline tour that brings her to O2 Academy on October 25. “I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time,” she says. “I don’t quite know what to expect from it, but I just feel like there’s something special about being on tour and seeing the faces of the people that listen to your music.”

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Zara’s no stranger to shows in England, having played some of the country’s biggest festivals with performances at Isle of Wight Festival, Parklife and Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium, but now she’s got the opportunity to share her music with her fans.

One of my favourite festivals was in the UK and I feel so accepted and welcomed into the whole UK scene. I really love the feeling of coming somewhere and seeing people sing along to my songs and creating great memories.”

Kicking off in Iceland on Friday (October 13), Zara’s tour will see her play eight dates in the UK including a gig at London’s Eventim Apollo before she heads to Birmingham. And although Zara admits that she loves life on the road telling me she’d “probably tour all the time” if she could, there are times where it becomes challenging.

I can’t lie, touring is exhausting. You work hard, almost every day is a show day, or every other. If it’s not a show day it’s a travelling day or something else. But at the same time, I have some much fun. I haven’t been touring like some A-list stars who are spending eight months to a year on the road. You’ve got to be extra careful when you’re on the road. You think that you can just live your life as usual, thinking that it’s ok to go out for a drink every Friday, but you can’t. That’s what’s going to tire you out.

I’m pretty bad at going out and exploring the places that I’m playing when I’m touring. It’s kind of sad, because I get to travel to all of these amazing places and I have no time to see them, and when I do I’m usually so tired that I just want to sleep. If you’re on tour, it’s about the tour. I get why people who are on the road for months get tired because you are completely committed to the tour. But of course, if you have the energy to go out then great, do it.”

2017 has been a pretty busy year for Zara, having begun with two BRIT Award nominations, an NME award nomination and a US tour with Clean Bandit. And the progression of her career hasn’t gone unnoticed. So Good saw her work with some of the biggest names in music including Charlie Puth and MNEK and went on to become the third best selling album on iTunes on the week of its release, as well as birthing singles I Would Like, Never Forget You and Ain’t My Fault.

“The feedback has been incredible,” Zara says of the album. “I’m really excited to get back into the studio and start on new songs. I don’t feel like I just do sad songs or dance songs, which does reflect who I am in a way because I’m the kind of person who likes to listen to a lot of different sounds. I love to experience new music, and even though I listen mostly to hip-hop, which is very different from what I sing, I’d say that that’s what I want people to think when they hear my music, ‘oh, she’s doing so many different things’.

“I guess that’s me, and that’s how I want people to view me. I feel like this year I’ve been so busy, it’s crazy and I hope that next year’s going to be as good to me as this year’s been.” 

Zara Larsson plays O2 Academy Birmingham on October 25, click here to get tickets! 

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