Starting her career in 2010 and releasing her self-titled debut at 17, Tove Styrke, - a singer-songwriter from Sweden - has been a force this decade. Earlier this year, at only 25, she released her third studio album called Sway and spent the year touring with Lorde and Katy Perry. She's currently embarking on her own tour in support of the new album, but before her recent show in Toronto, I spent some time with Styrke to discuss growing up in Sweden, her discography, the new album, touring and more.

So, can you talk to me about growing up in Sweden and when you first discovered your love of music?

Oh my god, I mean, I think people often ask what’s the deal with the Swedish pop scene, like the music scene in general, there’s so much music coming out of here, for just being a small country. And I really think the affected the way I felt growing up, like being successful in music felt like a possible thing. People like Robyn for instance, who I grew up listening to her and I think having people that have done stuff before you, does a great deal.

It’s like a blueprint to follow?

Yeah it like opens doors. For every artist that does something, there will be more people that try it afterwards and I think that’s the case with Sweden. There are so many great writers and producers coming from here, it feels like an option because people have done it before.

And with the Swedish Idol, is it something you wanted to do?

No, I never planned to do it. I was just 16 when I entered, I was really young and it was definitely not planned. They do this thing and they got an anonymous tip and they called and asked if I wanted to come to this special edition. And they had to do some convincing because I wasn’t sure and I was in this jazz band and stuff, I was still in school, but I tried and it went well. And I’ve been going since.

And it’s interesting too because next year will be the 10-year anniversary of it.

Yeah, I know, it’s crazy. I feel so old when I hear that, even though I’m only 25-26.

Now when it came to crafting your debut album, I know you’re on your third album, but when it comes to every artist, your debut album is incredibly important, how were you then?

I mean, for me, the first album was very much a learning experience. It’s like what most people do when there in school. You try things, you write your first song, you start a band, you try stuff, maybe you try to start producing a bit, you put up stuff on Soundcloud, like that phase that you go through, that’s what I was going through on my first album. The first song I wrote is on there, I didn’t even try to write before that, so the first album was very much about learning. And on my second album, Kiddo, I had a vision of what I wanted to do. And I put it together myself and I’m still so proud, I’m proud of all my albums, like I look back on my first album and I can’t believe I made that when I was 17.

And it’s almost the 10-year anniversary of your first album too?

Yeah, and I still like a lot of those songs on that album, I still play songs on that album live. But Kiddo feels more like my real debut, like the first album I made. And now moving on to my new album, Sway, I gained so much confidence in making Kiddo that I put me in a really good place in making the new album.

Now with your debut album and Kiddo, there was this 5-year gap in-between releases, and with this album there was a shorter gap, can you touch on that?

I still think 2-3 years is a long time too. And like I love my fans and the people who listen to my music because they’ve always been patient with me. 'Cause I like taking my time because I need to know what I’m doing and I need to have the whole plan in my head for it to come out right. But I’m going to try and be more constant now and not take any big breaks.

And on this topic, have you ever felt any pressure to release music faster with the way albums are getting released now, with these constant releases?

Yeah, it’s crazy. I mean, not too much, because one thing that I choose to do with Sway is to keep it very short. It's only 8 tracks, short and sweet. And that way I could put it out without it taking ages, but I could still spend a lot of time with each track and make sure each track is the perfect thing that it could be. And I like working this way, rather than putting out a lot of songs.

And on Sway when it comes to the 'Liability' cover, what drew you to this Lorde record?

I mean, there’s just something special about this song. The moment I heard it, it just really resonated with me. When I heard it, oh my God, I didn’t write this! It feels so much like me. I see these images in my head when I hear it, like it’s my story. And what's cool about the song a lot of people like this song in particular. Like you should have seen when she performs that one, people love it, it just has something.

So, not only is it incredible that you got to open up for her, it must have been amazing for you to tell her all this stuff about how you felt about the record, how was that?

Yeah, I was a little bit scared doing it. I’d admired her so much, I love her work. So, before I released the record, I sent it to her to make sure she liked it. If she didn’t, I wouldn’t have put it out, but she loved it, so I was like yes, okay! And I even performed it on the tour and it worked out so well and the audience really appreciated it.

And I know you also opened up for Katy Perry, that’s another moment right there, can you talk about that?

Yeah, that was crazy! I mean this whole year has been a long pinch me in the arm moment, it’s all so crazy. The Katy tour, that production is massive, she has planet’s coming down from the ceiling, it’s insane! She’s flying on a big planet, playing guitar in a bedazzled suit. Everything is so much and it was so great to see that up close and get to know these people who I admire and look up to and to see all the work they’ve put in. Because they work really hard, every day and it takes so much to put on a show like that and it’s so inspiring.

And what kind of advice did Katy Perry and Lorde give to you on the tours?

I really think that the biggest thing I took away from it was this sort of... it was really cool for me to see that it’s actually possible. Doing big tours, playing arenas, all of a sudden it’s not a dream, it’s something you can do, you can get there if you work hard, it’s possible. I think that changed me.

Now you’re about to embark on your own tour, how are you feeling about that?

I’m so excited! Having gone on these support shows, which has been amazing and something of the best experiences of my life, but I really can’t wait to get out on the road and do my full show. Bring the whole album and whole vibe to a stage. A full night of me! What I love!

And how are you feeling about performing these new songs live for your fans directly?

I love that. The shows are where we get to live with the music and where we really get to experience it and meet and connect with the music. Like a live show is 50/50 me and the audience, it’s really this back and forth, passing this energy back and forth and I love it. And I also love at the shows that I get to meet people. I can talk to them and really meet them and it means a lot to me to have that contact with my fans.

Lastly, you’ve taken years to record and release this new album, when can you envision the next project coming out for your fans?

I think if I manage to multi-task a little bit, the next week, weeks, I can put something new out this year, but a full album or an EP, I can’t say yet. I have to focus on the shows, but when I can, I’ll dive in.