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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

EQ Interview With Agnes - "When I go back to Sweden, people see me a little bit differently..."

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A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting rising international pop superstar Agnes as she was on the promotional trail for her new single "I Need You Now".  I must say, that girl is as beautiful as she is in-person as to how she appears on TV and I think for any gay man - like myself, it was even a little hard for me to concentrate during the interview.  I felt like I had a grade school crush after the interview even!  But aside from that, I really wanted to chat to Agnes about everything that's been going on in her world since her rise to fame with "Release Me" and how she's been coping with her huge rise to international fame.  We talked about her upcoming live appearances and comparisons to Leona Lewis to what she misses most about Sweden - enjoy!

EQ: Well hello Agnes - how are you today?
Agnes:  I am good, nice to meet you Raj!

Nice to meet you too!  So I must ask you - how does it feel to have such a huge international hit like "Release Me" under your belt?  Did you ever anticipate that it would be such a big hit single outside of Sweden? 
I feel really really blessed to be singing this song that many people like - everytime I hear the song on the radio I just feel so happy.  I don't think anyone can understand the feeling you feel inside when you hear your music on the radio - it's really rewarding!  To find your own thing - do your own thing and really believe in what your doing and to have good people around you is so important.  It's so funny because now when I go back to Sweden, people see me a little bit differently - I got two prizes from MTV.  And when I read about myself in the papers (I never do that) but I did this time, they said things like "the international star!" and things like that [Laughs].  It's so funny because I don't quite feel like how they describe me now - it's so funny, but I just really want to show people that I can do this and I want them to see that.

Do you mind that "Release Me" will probably be your trademark song now?  Are you used to the idea that you'll probably have to sing that song for the rest of your career?
You know, I don't mind at all that I will have to sing that song for the rest of my career - I really love the song and I hope to be singing it for many years - I hope [Laughs]!

You actually filmed two videos to "Release Me" one for the Europe and on in LA for the US Audiences - which one was more fun to film?
I loved filming the video in LA, but you know filming videos is never easy - lots of early mornings and lack of sleep, but when I saw the final video I was really proud of it and it's just so much fun so everything was worth it in the end! [laughs]

Tell me about your new single - "I Need You Now"...
Actually it's a little different than the original version you might have heard - more up-tempo.  The original version is more of a ballad, but my team thought for the UK it would be well-received if we made it more of an upbeat song and what you hear now is the song, but remixed and it gives the song a whole different dancey feel!

Did you enjoy filming that video with Indians and wind machines and cool space age cars in the desert....
You know, even though we filmed that video in the desert - it was so cold - I was freezing especially with the wind machines and that open flowing dress! [laughs]


Do you mind that people compare you to Leona Lewis here in the UK?  Is there enough room for two international Idol/X-Factor winners with big voices in pop music?
I heard that!  But I think that when people meet me they can see that we are really different.  And also our music is is so different...

You're more disco pop while she is big ballads...
Yeah! [Laughs]  Exactly, so you know, I'm ok with that!

Now I always ask Swedish pop stars this question...but when you're travelling around the world, what do you miss most about Sweden?
I miss my family and my friends - sometimes I miss them SOOO much.  But I have my mobile phone and Skype -  it's really good!  [Laughs]  If I have an amazing moment, I can just call them and share it. 

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Are you excited about your UK tour coming up with Cascada and NDubz?
Yeah!  I'm going to do the Clubland tour.  It's the first tour I've done here.  I've only been performing for club appearances so far like "In The Park" and "G.A.Y" and the audiences have been so wonderful so I think I am going to have a great time! 

So how did your shows out in Los Angeles go - I saw some of the footage of you performing at Tiger Heat - the crowd was really diggin your tunes werent' they?
Those shows were really lots of fun - it's nice to see young people really into pop in America enjoying my music.  But I have to say, playing at "G.A.Y." is really a highlight for me here in London because so many big pop stars have played on that stage and the London audiences really have a way of making me feel welcome!

You know, Basshunter and September did the Clubland tour as well, I think the Clubland kids are really starting to dig Swedish pop...maybe a new trend?
Yeah! Actually I'm going to do the Jingle Bell Ball too! 

That's coming up soon - you might get to meet Lady Gaga then...
Actually in the US I work with exactly the same people as her so I heard a lot about her this last months - she's great!

So tell me about the new UK album - Is it going to be a mixture of songs from your previous albums that were released in Sweden?
No - it's only going to be the last Swedish album, but a little bit different - some new songs.  "On And On" is going to be different.  "I Need You Now" is going to be different on the UK album - the new version - and we are putting some additional remixes of it on there and I am going to be doing a new duet I did on there - but that's a surprise for now...a lot of good stuff will be on the album - I promise!

So tell me - is there anything in the music industry that has caught you by surprise, perhaps something you weren't expecting when you were dreaming of being a pop star?
Right now I'm working so so hard and sometimes you don't realize how hard you have to work to get to where you want to.  I was in the US and did two weeks promotion and I was only getting like 3 hours of sleep a night - that was crazy [Laughs] !!!  I really had a good time and I just am so happy that I can release my songs outside of Sweden.   Travelling around and meeting new people is just fantastic.

My friend in New York said she had a crush on your guitarist...
Really [laughs], yeah - he is cute!

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Raj! I'm so in love with her right now. I'm sad that the US/UK releases have been pushed back :(

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