Swedish singer-songwriter Lina Horner released her new single ‘Lights’ at the end of November, the third single from her upcoming third studio album The Sea. Women In Pop recently spoke to Lina to discuss her music and in particular her feminist empowerment anthem ‘Women’.
When did you first become interested in music?
I think the first time was when I listened to Joan Jett & the Blackhearts when I was around seven. I used to listen to old cassettes and mime to her. And then when I was around fifteen I discovered The Doors. They were really the band that opened everything up to me musically.
When did you decide you wanted to make music your career?
I started learning piano when I was nine, but unfortunately I didn’t like to practise! Then when I was sixteen I started a music program at school – I didn’t realise [until then] that I had the opportunity to do that. After school I got involved in the jazz scene and it was then I really learned how to use my voice and do a lot of improvisations. I didn’t start to write my own music until I was twenty-five, though.
The Swedish media have compared you to Debbie Harry and Amy Winehouse – they are big shoes to fill.
Yes! I’m very happy they can make that comparison, but I have never thought of that myself. I don’t compare myself, but it’s fun that people can see that within me.
In October you released the single ‘Women’, a powerful statement on the role of women in society. What was the story behind the song?
In the music industry, for years now a lot of female artists have [competed with] one another. It is like, ‘I’m glad you can do your thing, Lina, but you should know you’ll never be as good as me, so just know your place’. And now I’m in a position where I meet a lot of younger female artists and I don’t want to be like that. And that’s where the song came from. We shouldn’t compete with one another. We should share the stage. It’s something I also wanted to show in the video – that we can be who we want to be, we can dance if we want, we can pull ugly faces if we want. We just have to share the stage.
Do you think we have a problem with sexism in the music industry?
It certainly exists and we need to work against it. That’s why it is so important that, as women, we don’t compete with each other and that we realise we are strong and can change this. Women have to stop trying to please all the time, and trying to change themselves, to get attention. I also think it is important to not throw dirt at men. It’s not like women need to take over everything. We should all work together because we are all human and all humans need to share this space.
You have a new album, The Sea, coming out early in 2018. What can we expect from it?
The songs came from me wanting to change my world and wanting to find other parts of the world, not by travelling but by travelling inside myself. It’s nine very different tracks and I want the songs to transport the listener to another world. It came from me sitting and writing for a couple of years and doing my thing in my studio and playing and trying to find sounds. I didn’t know it was going to be a full album – I wrote the songs separately.
What was your process when writing this album?
Almost the whole album was written in my studio in Gothenburg. It’s an old studio, a really nice attic. Unfortunately they are tearing the building down now, to build fancy apartments. But I had my own space there so I would just sit down with a cup of coffee and start to write some words, then start to play and speak those words through different instruments. So I built the songs from there, and produced the album myself.
What’s next for Lina Horner?
Well, I have found a new studio. The album will be out in January or February, and then I will be touring. I am still deciding on the dates though, so watch this space!
Lina Horner's Top 10 Women In Pop
1. Janis Joplin - 'Move Over'
2. Patti Smith - 'Dancing Barefoot'
3. PJ Harvey - 'River Anacostia'
4. Cat Power - '3,6,9'
5. Nina Simone - 'Feeling Good'
6. Billie Holiday - 'Strange Fruit'
7. Joni Mitchell - 'Blue'
8. Grace Slick - 'Somebody to Love'
9. Haim - 'Forever'
10. Sinéad O´Connor - 'All Apologies'
Listen to Lina's list on Spotify here