Zara Larsson on Can't Tame Her's Official Chart success: "It hits you between the eyes, let's get it to Number 1!"
Here's a task for you - name a bigger banger released this year than Zara Larsson's Can't Tame Her.
We'll give you time.
No? We thought so.
An energetic re-introduction to Zara's unique and engaging brand of pop (in the best way possible, if this was released in 2012, it would have been over for everyone else) Can't Tame her is a kinetic synth-pop slammer, all about celebrating the huns in your life who just like to go out on the town and have it.
With the track - co-written with frequent collaborator MNEK and produced by Swedish duo MTHR - reaching its highest peak yet on the Official Singles Chart last Friday (Number 36, chart fans) and set to rise even higher this week, we thought it was high time for a catch up with Zara over Zoom.
We talk why Can't Tame Her has connected with a UK audience, her plans for an upcoming album with producers Rick Nowels and Danja and setting up her own label subsidiary, Sommer House.
Zara, I think I have to start by saying that I don't think you could have made a bigger banger if you tried
Oh, thanks! Thanks so much. It's definitely a very instant song, it hits you between the eyes.
It reminds me a lot of Blinding Lights, just a very tightly constructed pop song from beginning to end
Let's hope the rest of the album is going to live up to all these expectations! I'm super excited for you to hear the full thing, and I'm really happy we started with Can't Tame Her, because it sets the right kind of tone. It just hits you with the energy.
Can't Tame Her is really rising up the Official Singles Chart, it hit a new peak last week, and now it's set to go even higher - why do you think it's connected to the UK audience? We do love you here
I love the UK back. I'm so happy and excited...I feel like I'm kind of back! We [Zara and the UK, like the entire country] had our relationship for a long time. It's incredible that I'm still being received. I do care about [the song's chart position] because it does prove people are listening, but I also just really love making music, and I really appreciate seeing people engage with it.
The fact is, the song is really energetic and fun and it puts you in a good mood. I'm so proud of this project and this song. Like, I'm not crazy. But I hope it connects to even more people. Let's get it to Number 1!
You've been on quite the promo trail in the UK - the live performances of the track on Dancing On Ice and Comic Relief have been the kind of big pop girl shows we haven't seen on British TV in ages - you were literally skating
Thank you! You know, I love to perform, it's really what I do, and what I feel brings purpose to my life. I want to entertain people. I want them to have a good time! Even if it's just for three minutes, you get to escape into this world where nothing else matters. When I perform Can't Tame Her, I feel that energy. I feel like, super confident. That I can do anything and nothing can stop me. I hope that's the same for people watching me too.
Can't Tame Her is also a really special release for you, because it's the first from your brand new label, Sommer House, under Epic and Sony [Zara's releases also come through Sony subsidiary Black Butter in the UK] - it's nice that this empowering song is coming into a moment where you, yourself, must feel so empowered too
I've been in this industry for a really long time. Like, a decade. And that's crazy because I'm not even that old. I'm 25. But I have been doing [the job] for so long, and I've been really lucky, in my career, to be surrounded by people - especially in the really early years - who listened to me.
I'm not completely independent, I still have a deal with Sony, but it's a different deal [to what I had before]. At the end of the day, everything is ultimately my decision. It's my responsibility. It wasn't before, I was the face of it, so now I have more responsibility but also a lot more power. It's a new chapter. I'm like a boss lady.
Speaking of the album - what can we expect from it?
We can expect a lot of uptempo, fun dance songs, but also you know, we have the emotional balance. The ballads that just make you want to cry. It's a full-on rollercoaster ride of emotion. It's also just a collection of really, really well-written songs. I feel so proud of the people I've been working with, mostly Rick Nowels [Lana Del Rey] and Danja [Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado] and of course MTHR, who produced Can't Tame Her. It's going to be my best body of work so far.
Rick Nowels is such a legend with Born To Die and all his stuff with Lana - and he's also not someone I would necessarily think to pair you with in the studio
For sure. I mean, Rick is such a writer. He's such a songwriter, he really is bringing out the best in the lyrics and the melodies. He won't settle for anything mediocre. He expects me to come to the studio prepared, with titles or ideas of melodies. He puts a little pressure on me! Which makes me work harder.
Do you still get people pestering you for the song you did with MNEK that was scrapped for your second album, Wanna?
I love that song. I. Love. That. Song. It's kind of a shame that it's not seen the light of day yet but...I mean...nothing is impossible. It might look grim right now, but maybe one day! Maybe one day we'll birth that baby.
A lot of people feel about that song like they do about Taxi by Charli XCX - it's a lost pop girl classic!
You know?! The fans, the OG fans, they will know [when it drops]. But for the rest, it's going to be a surprise party, just a cool new song. But for the real ones, it'll be like Christmas.
Can't Tame Her is out now via Sommer House/Epic/Black Butter.