Linda Varg is a Swedish pop artist who brings a unique and fresh sound with her empowering and uplifting anthems. With influences ranging from pop and rock to reggae and urban, her music is sprinkled with a punky attitude and a 90’s flavored tinge. Her musical career has been a colorful one – born in a small village in Sweden with a population of only around 25 people, it’s been a wild ride to where she is now.
From winning the TV show Popstars and landing multi-platinum status with the group Supernatural, to signing a major label deal with Warner Music, Varg has devoted every second of her life to music. She’s had the pleasure of performing as Annie in the musical Chicago in Copenhagen, living out her childhood dream, and was also one of the finalists of Swedish Idol in 2010. All of this eventually led to Varg deciding to take the plunge into a solo career and she has never looked back since.
Her latest single “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” was written from Varg’s own experiences with bullying. It’s a personal message giving off a much bigger meaning, with the track applying to those who have gone through emotional hardships and risen up from the ashes, despite the pain and battles.
Varg explains, “The message is that you should never let anyone, anything, or any circumstances run you over. What might seem like a failure, broken dreams, or insurmountable obstacles or challenges can instead be the passage or opening to something much greater than you could ever have imagined. So do whatever you want in life and don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.”
Tell us about your genesis of your project, how did you get where you are now:
I started writing music about 15 years ago.
Before that I had always thought writing songs was meant for other people and not for me, so it was a huge thing when I realized that I actually had the gift to do that.
At the time I started writing I was working as a singer and dancer on cruise ships from Stockholm to Helsinki and I spent all my free time in my cabin writing music. I taught myself how to play the guitar and I remember playing so much that my fingers were bleeding! LOL !!!
When I had time off from the cruise ships I took my guitar and traveled around to record companies both in Denmark and Sweden and knocked on the door and asked to meet some A&R to whom I could play my songs.
I had no demos of my songs so therefore I had to play live. It was just one record label out of a whole bunch that would let me in and play my songs and they LOVED them.
I was on cloud 9 until one week later when they wrote and told me that they had gone bankrupt.
I crashed and my self-esteem hit rock bottom but I was somehow still able to continue to write music
2010 I decided to audition for Swedish Idol and I made it all the way to the final. I have since toured in Sweden and Germany and released a bunch of songs, including collabs with other artists.
One year ago, I signed a management deal which is proving to be a very successful collaboration and my career is growing bigger and bigger as we speak.
How would you describe the highs and low of being an artist:
I can describe it from the point of view of me being an indie artist. As an indie artist the highs and lows are basically two sides of the same coin. Everything boils down to the fact that every decision, every next step, every creative idea etc etc it all falls on me.
The highs are of course the satisfaction you get when you see all your efforts bare fruit, knowing you did it yourself. The lows are then of course the other side of the coin when you see your efforts fail, knowing you did it yourself.
But even though I pride myself in being a DIY entrepreneur I know that you’ll never get really far on your own so I’m super happy to say that I’ve managed to build a strong creative team around me which includes my manager, producers&mixers, pr-company, publishing company, photographers, art directors etc.
It is absolutely wonderful to work with a lot of people, to create and share the joy together and I am incredibly grateful
It took a long time to get where I am now. .
What’s a guilty pleasure of yours?
Haha good question
Okay, I have a love for a song that has nothing to do with my style of music. It’s a really quirky and catchy song with funny lyrics and a funny theme.
It’s called “Pick her up” by Hot Country Knights, an American “parody” band
(the lead singer is actually the huge country star Dierks Bentley)
I can never help smiling when I hear it.
You can say that it’s Linda Varg’s Happy-song
What are some sources of inspiration to you:
A couple of years ago, I started listening to the band Imagine Dragons and I love their sound.
Fine melodies, good lyrics and cool production.
Some of their songs have served as a bit of inspiration for the sound on “Do you wanna Boom Boom”. It might not be that obvious when you listen to it, but something in their sound inspired me when I was creating my vision for my own song.
Sheryl Crow was a great inspiration when I started writing music, then over time I slipped more into rock and today I’ve completely changed lanes to pop that I spice up with different flavors.
Right now I don’t listen to other artists and how they write their songs, I’m more into my own creation and don’t want to be “disturbed” by anything that I’ve heard before. Even though it, of course, happens by itself sometimes because all you’ve ever heard before is stored in your brain
Who is an artist you look up to more then others today?
That’s easy! Pink!
She is a strong female artist who has been in the spotlight for many years.
She’s creating new music all the time and that’s why she’s still here going strong.
It’s all about being creative and loving what you do and that’s what’s shining through in her artistry.
I’m gonna be like her when I grow up
Favourite activity to blow off some steam:
Well there a two opposite things that I do to blow of steam.
No 1 is taking a power walk or, if I’m not too lazy, a run
You would probably think that as a musician/artist I’m listening to music when I’m out for a walk/run but Noooo!!!
I like to listen to satsangs with for example Sadhguru or Mooji
Sometimes I’ll throw in a little Bob Proctor or Dr Joe Dispenza.
The second thing I do to blow off steam is almost the total opposite to the first. I put on some make-up and I go to the pub and drink more than one beer
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about:
The first thing I wrote for the song was the chorus. I was standing in front of the tv watching Pink and Gwen Stefani performing “Just a girl” together and I was inspired by their strength. I felt that I’d had it with being run over by circumstances, people, my inner voices etc.
I wrote “Standing in the middle of the road” from my own experiences from being bullied, and not in my younger years but as an adult.
The song carries a personal message but it’s also giving off a much bigger meaning, applying to those who have gone through emotional hardships and risen up from the ashes, despite the pain and battles.
The message is that you should never let anyone, anything or any circumstances run you over. What might seem as a failure, broken dreams or insurmountable obstacles or challenges can instead be the passage or opening to something much greater than you could ever have imagined. So do whatever you want in life and don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.
After writing the chorus I finished the rest of the song together with my husband Ulf Nilsson who’s also an artist and songwriter (he won The Voice SWEDEN) and he has also had his own experiences with being bullied.
What are some things you do to deal with anxiety and creative blocks:
A year after I was on “Swedish Idol” I crashed totally.
I tried so hard to find producers to record my songs and when I finally found someone and it was time to find a record label I was turned down over and over again.
I laid down on the couch and I couldn’t move, it was like something inside of me had died.
After several weeks I started to recover and I was born again. I had no expectations on anyone or anything , I just had my music that still lived inside of me.
That experience made me grow and it helps me today. When ever I start getting creative blocks I just remind myself of that time when I “died” and I’m able to calm myself down and remember that it’s not a matter of life or death. I let the guitar be for a while and don’t push myself. I meditate and go for long walks, meet happy people and spend time with the love of my life
What’s the future looks like for you:
At the moment I’m working on my next single which will be released some time after the summer.
My goals and ambitions and also my focus for the near future is getting back on the road doing gigs and PR-tours and spread my music to the masses.
And, of course, create more music.
What inspires you visual, videos, looks etc.
My visuals are inspired by the roots of the songs.
For example in “Russian roulette”, which is a funny song, I pictured a receptionist named Barbara sitting at the front desk of
She’s sick of being harassed by her boss and decides to have a little fun with him. She buys a revolver and kicks in the door to his office to make him play Russian roulette! Lol!!!
Talking about my looks I can tell you that I cut bangs 2014 because I was tired of my dull hair-style and needed a change. It turned out that I look good in it
I got my first tattoo 2009 and been adding new ones when I feel the urge. It has also become part of my look I guess
What is the most embarrassing memory and most proud moment in you career so far?
Hmm most embarrassing moment, lets see!
It must have been when was doing a show and I saw that a lot of people in the audience were laughing and pointing at me. I continued singing but in the end of the song I saw that the top I was wearing had slipped down while I was dancing around and one of my boobs was showing
That was pretty embarrassing I must say!!!
Most proud moment was when I wrote my first song. It’s called “It’s your fault” and it has never been released. Maybe never will be.
And, of course, when I won the TV-show “Popstars” on national television.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
I have to try and quote Bob Proctor on that one: “See yourself already living your goals and don’t pay any attention to your current circumstances”. I might be paraphrasing a little but that’s more or less the advice.
Where do you think the music and entertainment industry is headed after this past year?
To be completely honest, I have no idea!
But I know that there are people who are longing to go to concerts and experience live music again so hopefully we all get to enjoy that soon.
Everyone needs music.
Music makes us happy.
The more the merrier
Personally I’ve changed a lot during this pandemic and I’ve tried to use this time to slow down and find the right focus for what I want to create for the future.