Zara Larsson just released her third studio album, Poster Girl. This project arrives as the follow-up to her sophomore album, So Good, which was released March 17, 2017.
Poster Girl was Years in the Works
The project was actually years in the works. After dropping ‘Ruin my life’ as the first single off Poster Girl at the end of 2018, the single charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, the following singles, ‘Don’t worry bout me’, ‘WOW’ and ‘All the time’ didn’t make it to the charts the following year, resulting in Poster Girl being delayed by RCA and SONY, because it needed some more work.
While waiting for news, Zara Larsson’s fans have been able to enjoy her very successful collaboration with DJ and producer Kygo and featuring American rapper Tyga, ‘Like it is’. It ended up being the most-watched EDM video on VEVO at the end of 2020.
Eventually, Zara started teasing her album with the release of ‘Love Me Land’ in July 2020. During the song’s promotion, she affirmed that one of her inspirations for the upcoming album was ABBA; and that she plans to adopt a more mature sound, whether or not it made it to the charts.
Making it to the Charts
In August 2020, ‘WOW’ saw a resurgence in charts and got lots of Shazams thanks to being featured in the Netflix movie Work it, which stars singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter. The two women met and decided to remix the track. Once SONY pushed it as a single and it started charting in the UK (mostly thanks to radio plays), fans started speculating ‘WOW’ would be included in the tracklist.
In an interview for EUPHORIA magazine, Zara gave some details about the production process. “‘Love Me Land’ was the last song that I wrote for this album. It was written one day before lockdown in LA, back in March. I went back home (to Sweden) and have been putting it together since. We’ve had a little shoot for the album and are wrapping it up, it just takes time. The tracklisting is now there. Everything is there.”
She continued, “I’ve been able to record a few things; I’ll send them to people who are way better than I am at producing. A DJ might have something and they’ll send it to me so I can put down an idea and send it back. I actually didn’t write anything during lockdown. I think maybe future music will have some nods to lockdown, but I wanted this album now to be a form of escapism. Don’t want to think about lockdown here. This next one is normal life.”
Zara Made the Perfect Album for Her
Zara also spoke out about her insecurities. “I’m a perfectionist and wanted to learn how to produce, but when I open Logic, I’m so frustrated that it doesn’t come out and sound like Max Martin made it, or like why doesn’t it sound like a No. 1 hit? That’s why I don’t want to play the piano; because I want to be instantly good at stuff and that’s a really bad trait of mine. It’s either all or nothing, but that’s what I’m going to learn is how to produce.‘’
Still, during Fall 2020, Zara confirmed to The Forumist that Poster Girl was going to be a pop album. “I love how pop music can be allowed to be simple, and accessible to anyone. Though there aren’t any clear political statements in my music, I believe I can change lives just by making pop.”
“The title track (‘Poster Girl,’) is really about weed, another love song so to speak, as I don’t want to be the poster girl for it, but I do love it. The album title itself refers to me wanting to be the poster girl for many things, while also being a private person my Instagram followers don’t actually know. There is a complexity to a person that cannot be printed onto a poster, but then again it’s not up to me whether I’m a poster girl or not.”
She affirmed, “If you like what I have released before you will also enjoy Poster Girl. I have given this album a lot of thought, and now I finally feel ready to release it. Poster Girl has highs and lows, just like life, and I have written it with people whom I really love.”