Zara Larsson talks about standing up to middle-aged male record executives

Rising star also discusses her songwriting inspiration in her NME cover interview

Zara Larsson has spoken about her experiences standing up to older, mainly male executives at her label.

The pop singer-songwriter turned 18 last December, but she scored her first Number One hit in her native Sweden three years ago, when she was just 15.

“I was 15 when I started, and they’re all basically men and middle-aged and know what they’re doing, so when I was 15 and I was saying ‘No,’ that was scary,” she recalls in the latest issue of NME. “But I’ve had time to develop my self-esteem and the ability to say no, because that’s the most important thing that you can do.”

During her NME cover interview, she also talks about the inspiration behind songs like ‘Lush Life’, a Top Three hit in the UK earlier this year, and new single ‘Ain’t My Fault’.

“I think my thing is that… I don’t know,” Larrson admits. “And that’s why I don’t wanna sing about ‘This is me, this is who I am’ because, like, even the question ‘Tell me about yourself’ – what are you supposed to say? ‘Ooh, I’m a happy girl, but I’m sad too’? People are so complex.”

NMENME/Bella Howard

“Mostly I just write about feelings that people can relate to,” she continues. “Because, yeah, I don’t know who I am, and this is not my sound for ever… I’m a human, so hopefully I will always develop.”

The full interview with Larsson is in this week’s NME, which is available nationwide from tomorrow (September 16), and will be online in full soon.