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Meet Tove Styrke, the Swedish Pop Star Whose Songs (and Style) You're About to Be Obsessed With

She's Lorde-approved and her new music video "Mistakes" is a throwback to '90s-era wedding dresses.
Tove Styrke. Photo: Whitney Bauck/Fashionista

Tove Styrke. Photo: Whitney Bauck/Fashionista

When you've got the stamp of approval from Lorde, chances are you're onto something very good. Such is the case for Tove Styrke, who just signed onto a 15-date U.S. tour opening for the "Melodrama" pop star next March.

Styrke, who hails from Stockholm, already has a huge following in her native Sweden. Born in Umeå, Styrke has been singing for as long as she can remember. "My best friend used to complain to my mom," Styrke tells Fashionista over the phone from Los Angeles. "She'd say, 'You can't take Tove out because she's always singing to herself." 

Styrke's parents nurtured her passion for music from around the age of 10; she discovered Björk, and the rest was history. "It wasn't about the songs or the voice," she says. "It was the whole sound that really hit me." By age 17, Styrke had already competed on "Swedish Idol" (winning third place), signed with Sony Music and started writing songs. She released her debut namesake album in 2010; her sophomore album, "Kiddo," came out in 2015.

Now 24 years old and ready to take on a bigger, more global fandom, Styrke is back in the studio, traveling between Stockholm and LA to write and produce new music. "What I'm doing now is the opposite of what I did with my last album," says Styrke. "The sounds were more and more — everything was big. This time, I'm trying to really strip down the production and the songs are more about the personal stuff, the stuff that goes on inside your head."

Earlier this spring, Styrke released the catchy-as-hell, electro-pop track "Say My Name," and on Wednesday, she debuted a brand-new video for the song "Mistakes." The "Runaway Bride" inspiration allowed Styrke to live out a pop-star-wedding-gown-trope, a la Madonna's "Like a Virgin" or Gwen Stefani's "Simple Kind of Life" — although Styrke's ensemble was more of a throwback to '90s-era wedding dresses. (More on that later.)

We caught up with Styrke ahead of the video debut for "Mistakes" (watch above) to learn more about her own personal style, what brands she's loving right now and what she enjoys shopping for when she's New York City and LA (hint: vintage and "witchy things").

We are loving the vintage-style wedding dresses in "Mistakes." How did you manage to get them?

It was the craziest thing. We found this guy in Uppsala in Sweden who collects '90s wedding dresses, like the "Rachel" dresses basically. He had hundreds of them. It was so perfect and exactly what we needed. We even decorated the whole studio with them during one scene. It's a landscape of wedding dresses and me in hot pink. I'm so happy that guy exists and his collection. He was very kind to lend us a bunch of them.

How would you describe your personal style?

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Constantly changing. I like to switch things up. I don't like the feeling when I have myself figured out. I want to keep surprising myself. For me, fashion and clothes — and makeup as well — are a way of getting out of character and into character, like playing around with my own idea of myself. If I put on a fancy dress, it will make me feel way different than if I wear my trashy Beavis & Butt-head shirt that I wore to the shoot. That's the fun thing about it.

Does your style change for when you're performing?

Yeah it does. On stage, I do more. I exaggerate more and I tend to wear crazy things that may not be very wearable or comfortable on a daily basis.

Do you work with a stylist?

I'm working with Selam Fessahaye. She's amazing.

What's your creative process like with her?

I go through different phases with each song. So for 'Say My Name,' I had one vibe that I liked that's very much in that video. We used a lavender suit that was oversize, it was a little bit more sporty and and graphic in a way. It was a very pronounced color theme that we were working with. For 'Mistakes,' it's this romantic theme with the wedding dresses, pink, red lips and lots of lashes. We go through different styles with interesting fabrics and cool silhouettes.

What brands are you really into right now?

The last thing I fell in love with was a sunglasses collaboration between Chris Habana and Prabal Gurung. He's done a bunch of cool things, like the earrings that Rihanna wore in her Paper Magazine shoot. I've also been loving Ganni. They have that Scandi-touch but they still keep it fun and a little bit street. I have these pink shoes from them that I love so much.

What do you like to shop for when you're in the U.S.?

Compared to home, I always find a lot more vintage things and cool thrift shops in NYC. I love that. You can always find weird or interesting things there. In LA, I've been trying to shop for clothes but I end up buying a lot of witch gear, like oils and incenses — witchy things, like sticks you can burn. [Ed note: Must be palo santo.] I'm such a sucker for it. I need to have it.

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