Elliphant is caught in a cycle. Like most of us, she's just looking for a little peace. But for the 29-year-old Swedish genre-bending artist who's spent the past two consecutive years on the road touring and now anticipates the release of her sophomore album Living Life Golden next month, peace appears in scarce quantity and not always in the most placid places. Whiskey and cigarettes, like a modern-day Janis Joplin, binds the provocative popstar together through her global endeavours from one stage to the next and it's all starting to catch up to her.

Elliphant isn't reluctant to acknowledge her flaws, but she's not hesitant to still call herself a role model either. Grit is human. The cycle is relatable. And so is the need for it to end.

Surrounded by the backstage madness on the first night of Helsinki's Flow Festival, Elliphant joins me outside her trailer post-performance for a drink and cigarette to talk about her new album and old vices.

You're a festival queen this summer, so I'm assuming you've seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst when it comes to crowds this season. How would you describe the perfect crowd?

This was the perfect crowd, one that listens to you, and not only screams along to everything you have to say but to actually react. That's why I had to stop and say thank you. But things happen naturally in my set. I never do anything planned or calculated. When shit happens naturally, I know that not only is it a loving crowd, but they are listening. It's nice to have a festival crowd early, because when you have a really drunk and wasted crowd, it's not the same energy. This was perfect.

One of my favourite parts of festival season is the post-festival dreams but you probably don't get those since you've constantly been touring for the past two years.

I just had my first vacation in thirteen months. I had seven days - well, it turned out to be ten days but I had to struggle for the last few ones. I was dreaming so much. That was probably my come-down. But even my boyfriend was like, "It's probably because you haven't smoked so much," because I like to smoke weed. But that's never happened before. Sometimes I don't smoke and I don't dream anything. So that wasn't it. I think it was what you said. I was dreaming so intense and it stayed with me the whole day. They were stressful. Just weird, stressful stuff.

What are some things that have disrupted your stability while on the road for the last two years?

I think when it gets messy. It's not about the performance, it's not about the traveling, it's about when it comes to finding a routine. When can I wash my clothes? What am I going to wear every night for my shows? This is the hardest part. Every night, you want to put something fresh on to go up there but that's not happening. I'm putting on the nastiest stuff when I go up, because I never really have the time. And when I do, in Stockholm, I'm going to go meet my family and I'm not going to wash my clothes. I'm still new so it's not like I can give it to an assistant and she'll wash it. So, the small routines in life are difficult. How is it to cook food? How do I eat? Food is a problem, because I'm never hungry when I'm on tour, because you have that stress inside. I have a rider that saves my life. I put hummus and yogurt and vitamins and I stay stable. But it comes to a point sometimes where I'm so sick.

(Diplo walks out of his trailer and the two exchange contorted faces on his way to Major Lazer's headlining set)

He hates me. He hates and loves me.

But you two have great creative chemistry.

Yeah, he's cool.

So, back to what we were saying. How do you find your peace lately?

I don't find peace. [Diplo] is pretty good at that, I think. He's not drinking like me. I'm a drinker. I'm an alcoholic. I don't find peace. I find peace in my whiskey. If I'm going to be honest, that's what it is. I talk a lot with my boys, especially after shows. They've learned how not to take me fully serious. It's not like I have to feel shame the next day because I've said a bunch of stuff and they're going to hold it against me. It's not like I'm screaming but I can be really emotional and question things.

You're coming out with an album Living Life Golden and I know you'll be tackling more emotion-based concepts so it's great that you can use music as your outlet for that.

When I was listening to it yesterday, it's really all about love. It sounds like I had the most broken heart this year. And I didn't at all. But I feel like you can't really write a love song when you're in it. It's when you're away from it for a long time is when you start to really get a perspective for what life is all about. It's a lot about love. It's a lot about home. It's a lot about family, I guess. But I'm not a very deep songwriter. I write very easy simple lyrics. Because I look at it the same way with my photography and other types of art. I always struggle to get the paradox and to find the simplicity. I like simple things. It's very simple.

And it's really more about the way you emote those feelings. You've stated before that the album is less club-centric and more from the heart. So, what parts of yourself are you showing that you've never shown before?

Just probably the 'Love Me Badder' song because it's the first and only song that I didn't write myself. But with the first album, I was still working as a waitress. I had no knowledge of music at all and I was just running to the studio between working and I created that album. I'm super proud of it still. I still tour that album. All the songs, I released as EPs. Those songs were made at the same time as what's on the album, but I just found that the EPs are more interesting for DJs and clubs. I put all my club tracks there and saved the more pop songs for the album. The title track 'Living Life Golden' is an amazing song that I made with Dave Sitek. He also made the 'Look Like You Love It' song. I just felt like, fuck it, I have one song from Dave, I'm going to name the album after it, because he's one of my favourite producers. I wanted to lick his ass a little bit. We have so many songs actually. We have like seven more songs but it's not really what Dr. Luke and everybody wanted on the album. I really fought for it for a long time. But then I realized, I can just do a little album with Dave without involving all the Sony people and all this craziness. Dave has his own record label, so I can just make a seven-song EP with him and it will be much more our project.

That sounds like a win for everyone. So, you're super honest and you're not scared to say or do what you like, whether that's talking about alcoholism with me or communicating with your fans on stage. So, how do you feel about the concept of 'the role model' and where do you think you fit in with that?

I'm not a fresh girl. One of my songs was used for an anti-smoking commercial and all I do is smoke. When I was in meetings with these people, I was presenting it like, if you really want these kids to stop smoking, you can't put a fresh person that doesn't smoke. You can't put fucking Katy Perry there. That's not going to change anything. For me, if anybody would like to talk about it, it's actually the absolute biggest mistake I've ever made in my life starting smoking. It's been a constant black wing in my life. I cough. I'm sick. I'm tired. It affects my voice and this is what pays my salary now. It's really my worst drug.

Have you ever thought about getting hypnotized? I used to smoke nearly a pack a day at one point and I haven't smoked since I was hypnotized and that was like three years ago.

I tried that but it didn't work for me. I also bought the electric pen but that shit didn't work. I think I need to get pregnant.

Is it from that stress you were talking about earlier?

Yes and I worked in the restaurant business since I was 15. It's been a moment for me. It's that moment you finally get out and try to take in some fresh air and silence and smoke your fucking cigarette. It's still in me. In every interview, I want a cigarette. After a show, I want a cigarette. It's there. It's my moment. But, it's probably going to be the thing that kills me in the end if I don't get rid of it. That's going to be my death, for sure. I'm lucky otherwise. I don't break anything. I've crashed many times on the motorcycle. I'm a very blessed person. But if I do have problems, that's what it's going to be.

When you really want to, I have faith you'll be able to quit.

I think the only thing that's going to make me stop is a baby.

Discover: Elliphant on Facebook.