Pop's New Björk?

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com May 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

There's another
eccentric, electronica-influenced European pop star on
the scene: 23-year-old Lykke Li. The Swedish singer's star
is rising thanks to a well-received album (
Youth Novels

), a fan in Perez Hilton, and a big slot at last
week's Coachella festival. Last week was big for Li in
another way: her song "I'm Good, I'm Gone"
was featured on
American Idol

. But before middle America heard Li's memorable voice, the
soft-spoken beauty spoke to Advocate.com just hours before she
stepped onto the Coachella stage.

With you, Robyn, and the vampire movie
Let the Right One In

, there seems to be a mini Swedish invasion. Do you feel part
of a Swedish sensibility sweeping America?

I don't really think so because my family, and myself, had such
a different upbringing from the Swedish people (Li grew up
in Portugal), and I've kind of been on the road
always. I've been taking in a lot of Swedish culture, but I
don't feel very Swedish.

What are your musical influences?

My taste is so wide. I think what really shaped me is the
variety of things I've listened to, everything from hip-hop to
jazz to soul. Right now I'm listening to lots of doo-wop
actually.

Is there any way to describe your music in a sentence or
two?

I always see my music as quite cinematic; the soundtrack to a
really interesting movie.

Your videos are amazing. Who comes up with the concepts?

They're from me, they're always from me. I'm very visual in the
way I think.

I know Perez Hilton championed you a while ago. Was that a
boost?

Um, I don't really know -- I mean, I don't know so much about
that world.

Is it too early to start thinking of a second album?

It's in my head. I'm doing some investigation because my
music always comes from my life experiences, so apart from all
the touring I'm going to have to gather some more meat, you
know?