Swedish songstress Zara Larsson is coming off the recent release of her album So Good, which was flush with pop hits, including the hit “Symphony”. She sat down this week to reveal that she drew inspiration for the album from several strong female figures in the music industry, namely Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. In an interview with Nation.com, she gushed openly that “[she is] a really big Beyoncé fan, like a proper crazy fan.” She cited Beyoncé’s album B’Day as a “moment when [she] went from liking her to loving her.” She’s taken that inspiration and applied it not only to the sound of her records, but also to the way she approaches her public image, taking Beyoncé’s message of female empowerment and running in a new direction with it.
The 19-year-old was deeply flattered by comparisons between her and Rihanna, especially when it comes to her voice. Larsson made an active attempt to ditch her Swedish accent, which she believed wouldn’t be sexy enough for North American audiences.
Larsson’s particular brand of feminism is more radical than her contemporaries; she hinted to Entertainment Weekly that she considers herself a bit of a “man-hater”. She does her best to keep her messages about empowerment though, and wants women to feel good about themselves, especially when they’re thrust into the public light. She had high praise for Beyoncé again when she described Beyoncé as having “owned” her sexuality especially in the video for her song “Lemonade”. As good as her intentions are though, she openly acknowledges that she struggles to keep a wall between her music and her personal opinions. It’s no secret that Larsson has used Instagram and Twitter to garner attention on her way to the top of the charts, so she’ll have a delicate act to balance when considering the furtherment of her career versus the credibility of her cause.
Her success thus far seems to indicate she’s more than capable, and with role models like Beyoncé, she’ll be pointing in the right direction for the foreseeable future.