Pride Yearbook 2022

Tove Lo Wants A Safer World For Trans Youth

“Trans rights are human rights. It’s really painful to see how ignorance continues to harm the trans community.”

Originally Published: 
Tove Lo Wants A More Accepting World
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Tove Lo knows a thing or two about self-expression. The 34-year-old Swedish singer-songwriter, also known as Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson, first skyrocketed to global fame in 2013 with her breakthrough single “Habits (Stay High)”, a catchy, high-octane pop song about getting high to forget an ex, which topped the charts, along with its accompanying Hippie Sabotage remix. Since then, Tove Lo has released banger after banger, each song as raw and unfiltered as the last.

To date, Tove Lo has released four studio albums (Queen of the Clouds, Lady Wood, Blue Lips, and Sunshine Kitty), and written tracks for the likes of Hilary Duff, Adam Lambert, and Ellie Goulding. And she’s earned recognition at the Grammys and Golden Globes. Her tracks have attracted more than 500 million streams on Spotify, and she’s become known for her raw, grunge-influenced take on pop music.

It’s Tove Lo’s unapologetic openness about her sexuality that has made her stand out. Born in Helsingborg, Sweden, the pansexual artist says her proudest moment as a member of the LGBTQ+ community was headlining NYC Pride and LA Pride in 2018. “It was such a beautiful moment, the energy was incredible,” she tells Bustle, adding that fans can see her high-energy presence again on tour throughout 2022. She also has new music on the way. “I just finished my fifth album, and I’ll be putting that out this year,” she teases, referring to Dirt Femme, due out on Oct. 14.

Below, Tove Lo looks back at some of her earliest musical influences, shares her thoughts on trans rights in the UK today, and more.

Tove Lo On Trans Rights & Her Love For Robyn

How do you feel about trans rights and discrimination against trans students?

Trans rights are human rights. It’s really painful to see how ignorance continues to harm the trans community. Our leaders should lead on this issue and when the law doesn’t protect everyone’s basic rights, it means the wrong people are in charge.

Our trans youth should be growing up in a safer, more accepting place thanks to the hard work and effort made by the LGBTQIA+ communities around the world. I try to think that these steps backward are a sign that real change is happening on a bigger scale and it’s scaring the sh*t out of the people who have failed to keep up as humanity continues to strive for a more accepting world.

What superlative would you give yourself for the the 2022 Pride Yearbook?

Most likely to dance and cry at the same time without a shirt on but covered in glitter at all her shows.

What were some of your go-to songs or artists in high school? How about today?

I was a grunge girl in high school, but I loved Robyn! And I still do.

Who is an important role model in your life, and what has that person taught you?

Since I’m thinking back to high school, I want to say my vocal coach at the school, Maria Benhaji. She showed me how to use my voice and find confidence in it. She also showed me that with practice and hard work you can get really good at most things. Don’t give up just because it doesn’t come easy to you.

Tell us about your self-care routine and mental health tips.

I talk to a therapist, check in with my loved ones, and have days without social media. I also do a lot of saunas and ice baths, which is a great stress reliever for me. I also take hot to really cold showers.

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