the life philosophies of ethereal pop vixen lykke li

28-year-old Lykke Li is the Drake-sampled singer songwriter who prefers seclusion to stardom. We catch up as she's set to release I Never Learn, the denouement of a conceptual trilogy beginning with 2008's Youth Novels, then 2011's Wounded Rhymes.

by Milly McMahon
11 June 2014, 5:30pm

Lykke Li by Josh Olins

Li Lykke Timotej Svensson Zachrisson has come of age through her art. Pouring every lust-fuelled, soul-crushing, head-fucked, tear-stained moment of herself into each and every lyric, this is a nine-track farewell to a past love. Lykke's heart rules her head, let her guide you on your journey through love and loss...

1. To experience melancholy is to acknowledge the raw sadness of human existence. Painful, liberating and addictive love-tinged lows follow deep unbridled passion. 
"Peace comes after a big ejaculation. There are high and lows in everything. Peace lies in the balance." 

2. A true understanding of life comes from knowing that there are no answers.
"When l write the most, it's when l feel the most. So that's me trying to resolve the melancholy. I think that life is always growing and feeling open and going out on thin waters." 

3. There are seven stages of sorrow: shock, denial, anger, guilt, pain, release, return to love.
"They say that when you separate from someone you go through seven stages of sorrow. It can be everything from denial to anger, to hope, to sadness. This album explores all those phases." 

4. Everyone experiences heartbreak differently. It's ok to be sensitive!
"I used to think there was something physically wrong with me because l am so sensitive. I used to get physically exhausted by people, by heartbreak. I experience heartbreak so physically l will actually go through a sensation that l have physically lost a part of my body." 

5. Los Angeles IS the City of Dreams.
"I love the silence, the light, the smell of jasmine, the sense of freedom, the sense of mystery and the darkness and the weirdness." 

6. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
"What can be difficult in this society is that we are searching for happiness as a destination or end - 'That's my stop, that's where I'll get off' - but not all of us are feeling that way. I think it's important to be open with being ok with not feeling happy. I'm just trying to be honest and capture how l feel, like a documentary. I, of course, want to be happy, but l also acknowledge that l carry some melancholy." 

7. There is something beautiful in reveling in sadness.
"I like sadness because for me it's an interesting tool to use, you want every colour in your toolbox if you're going to paint something. It's good to have the grey, the blue and the black, not just the purple and red." 

8. Don't underestimate someone because they're quiet. They may know more than they say, think more than they speak and observe more than you know...
"I think this time in my life has been painful. In making this album, l suddenly came to accept, 'Oh my God, I'm an introvert!' It's like coming out of the closet. I am a very introverted person who enjoys spending time alone, but l do occasionally like to pop out of my bubble and meet other people. When l connect with people, l connect very deeply. I'm not very surface, l can't cold talk. I always get straight to the core: l want to know what their biggest defeat is or such like. Introverts created the world: Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, they are all introverts. Those are the people that take the time to come up with an original idea. Push the world forward."

9. You have to find a balance when you're working in the creative industries.
"It's not rare that people are drug addicts or alcoholics or kill themselves in this industry. It happens to the best. It's rare that you see someone in complete balance. I wanna learn how to be a woman, in my own skin."

10. Don't let fear of failure keep you from trying something new. Believe in yourself!
"It's so rewarding to do something you never thought you would be able to do and then you just do it and it's like being a child again, when you first learn to ride a bike."


Text Milly McMahon
Photography Josh Olins
NY Fashion Director Alastair McKimm
Creative Director Karl Lindman 
Hair Tomo Jidai at Streeters using Shu Uemura Art of Hair
Make-up Francelle at Art + Commerce
Nail technician Bernadette Thompson
Photography assistance Lorenz Schmidl, Sam Nixon, Ithai Schori
Digital technician Andre Skjegstad
Styling assistance Katelyn Gray
Make-up assistance Ai Yokomizo

New Album
I Never Learn
new issue
Alastair McKimm
Milly McMahon
josh olins
summer 14
karl lindman