Soundtrack Of My Life: Lykke Li

Scandi noir sad-pop queen, pals with Megan Thee Stallion

The first song I remember hearing

Bob Marley – ‘No Woman, No Cry’

“My dad was playing that all the time while we were living in Portugal when I was a kid. Music has always been around me for as long as I can remember. Whatever your parents listen to is what you absorb. Bob Marley and Bob Dylan were his first two big Bobs, and this was part of a very natural progression for me.”

The first song I fell in love with


Madonna – ‘Borderline’

“I would have been about nine years old. I remember being obsessed with this song. I had ‘The Immaculate Collection’ [greatest hits album] on tape, and I remember the melancholy and bittersweet-ness of that song.”

The first album I ever bought

Lauryn Hill – ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’

“My dad said to me, ‘OK, let’s go and buy you your own CD!’ We used to go to all of these used vinyl and CD stores. We went to search for this, and I remember that being a very sweet moment. I haven’t listened to it in a while, but I listened to it religiously for years when I was riding the bus for hours to get to school every day.”

The first gig I went to


Dag Vag, Portugal, 1994

“My first gig would have been one by my dad (Johan Zachrisson, AKA Zilverzurfarn of Swedish punk-reggae band Dag Vag). That would have been when I was living in Portugal when I was eight. You’re always embarrassed whenever your parents are doing anything, so I was probably horribly embarrassed.”

The song that reminds me of home

ABBA – ‘The Winner Takes It All’

“It has to be something Swedish because I don’t live there anymore, and ‘The Winner Takes It All’ by ABBA just makes me go, ‘Oh, I’m Swedish!’ I’m not going to make any of their upcoming hologram shows, sadly.”

The song I wish I’d written

Bob Dylan – ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’

“I don’t know, but there’s something about the chords and the lyrics that are just genius. Maybe I should have a try at covering it at some point…”

The song I do at karaoke

Sinéad O’Connor or Prince – ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

“I hope it brings the house down, not in a bad way. Every time I do karaoke, it’s this song. I just love it”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Lykke Li – ‘Carousel’

“Sorry to choose myself, but it’s true. Even just the title, it’s all just looping around and I can’t stop singing it to myself. I’m really looking forward to playing this one live.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Reel 2 Real – ‘I Like To Move It’ feat. The Mad Stuntman

“It’s from a point of my life where you’re in the roughest part of your childhood – just going to dance parties. It’s just so aggressive. I was a fan of school discos, but it was just such an uncomfortable time!?”

The song I want played at my funeral

This Mortal Coil – ‘Song To The Siren’

“It just sounds like my funeral! It’s the most beautiful rendition ever [having originally been written by [singer-songwriter] Tim Buckley, and then covered by the likes of Pat Boone, Sinead O’Connor, Cocteau Twins and Bryan Ferry]. I suppose it speaks for me because I’ve always been trying to get back to the ocean. I’d never cover this, it’s quite untouchable.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion – ‘WAP’

“The nastiness of the lyrics, I just love it! I have Megan Thee Stallion’s phone number because she played my festival Yola Día a few years ago [a music festival organised in association with Lykke Li’s own YOLA mezcal company]. She can hold her mezcal, that’s for sure. She can hold everything, she’s a powerhouse!”

Lykke Li releases new album ‘EYEYE’ today (May 20), before a European tour in October