The Swedish singer talks us through her new album: – Ugh, those feels again.
It’s hard to believe was almost two years ago that Swedish-Iranian singer Snoh Aalegra dropped us into her own hazy dream world with her debut album FEELS, and we’ve been impatiently waiting on another dose of magic ever since. Snoh’s been easing us back into her world once again with a string of releases over the past few months, and today her follow-up project – Ugh, those feels again arrives in full.
Across 14 R&B tracks and introspective slow jams, her soulful vocals glide over bluesy melodies and twinkly percussion, building on her distinctive signature sound with new eclectic influences. Divided into two moods, – Ugh, those feels again documents her personal growth over the past year, as well as her struggles with anxiety and feelings of alienation. From pining for love on “Find Someone Like You” to conflicting emotions in “Situationship” and moving on from a toxic ex on “Nothing to Me”, Aalegra maps out the highs and lows of romantic relationships – ultimately deciding that self-love is the most important of all.
We caught up with the singer on her hopes for the album, what she’s learnt this year and why she’s still caught in her feels…
Congratulations on the album release! Does its title – Ugh, those feels again follow on from your previous project FEELS?
Yeah, it’s definitely a continuation of my last album. It just felt right, and it was a little bit funny at the same time…
What’s changed for you since then?
When I did FEELS and the project before, I was in this really long relationship with one guy for about three years and now that relationship is over. So this whole year of being single, I took time to do some soul searching and really analyse myself, kind of trying to understand why I took so much shit in the past. I’ve found myself in some really toxic situations when it comes to relationships. I really took the time to become more at one with myself.
Is that reflected in the new music?
My music is like a time capsule – you really know where I am in life and what I’m going through. I’m making music the way I usually do, but I just noticed I’ve never been more free. I’ve been having so much fun in the studio and laughing so much making this music. Two of the three singles I [first] put out are happy and more positive, and that’s because I’ve been in a more positive place. I’m also going to touch on other subjects in the album, so it’s not all jolly and happy.
Is it intimidating to put such personal material out into the world? Or therapeutic?
It’s therapeutic to me to reveal more and more layers about myself. I’ve had panic attacks for ten years that I live with, severe anxiety that started when my Dad passed away. That’s something I never really talked about, so I talk about that on the album as well and express those feelings. Its a mixture of everything.
What inspired the track “Find Someone Like You”?
When I wrote “Find Someone Like You”, I was in the really toxic relationship and I kind of had enough one day. I wanted to do something I’ve never done before, which is to visualize what I actually want in a relationship. I’m so good at visualizing what I want out of my career, but I’ve never really visualized “what do I do deserve from a guy in a relationship?” So the song is basically about meeting the opposite guy of what I usually attract. “Find Someone Like You” is dedicated to that future man that I haven’t met yet. It’s not that I’m with someone now and I’m super in love, because that’s what people seem to think…
What do you want people to feel when they listen to the album?
When I listen to music, I love something that I can cook to, that I can listen to in bed, that I want to have on when I do my makeup, or when I’m out. My own taste is very broad, I love everything. But as a musician, I like to think “ok, what should a fan take away from it?” Hopefully it will help them in some kind of way. It will make them feel something, just like the title… Hopefully it makes you feel good or you can relate to something I wrote about; it can comfort you or help you. Honestly whatever you take away from it, I appreciate it. People can do their own thing.
What’s your process for creating the visuals?
Most of my videos – almost all of them – are shot on real film. Texture is always important to me, that’s where I go from. Also, what will make the song feel better when you watch a visual for it? How do you make the song come to life even more? I think like that, and don’t overthink it much more. Sometimes you can just keep it super simple.
Are you excited to perform the album live on your upcoming tour?
Absolutely, yeah. I can’t wait.
What else have you got planned next?
Preparing for tour! Hopefully I get to go to Sweden soon to visit my family really quick before I start touring. Swedish summers are so beautiful. And I have a dream that I want to visit Japan this year, I want to go to Tokyo.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Stevie Wonder is my hero – that would have been a dream, to collaborate with him. I’m a big fan of Frank Ocean and Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Drake. I was sampled before on his album but I’ve never worked with him or met him face to face. I’m a big fan!
What do you want to be remembered for in music?
My dream is to be remembered for something greater than my music, to be a part of something bigger than just my music. To be able to affect people on a great scale. The goal is that I can leave a legacy behind me that lasts long after I’m gone.