Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson (born October 29, 1987), better known by her stage name Tove Lo (/ˌtoʊvˈloʊ/ TOHV LOH Swedish pronunciation: [ˈtuːˈvɛ ˈluː]), is a Swedish singer and songwriter. She was born and raised in Djursholm, a suburb north of Stockholm, where she graduated from musical magnet school Rytmus Musikergymnasiet. Lo formed the Swedish rock band Tremblebee in 2006. Following the disbanding of Tremblebee, Lo pursued a career in songwriting, earning a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music in 2011. Working with producers Alexander Kronlund, Max Martin and Xenomania, Lo became a successful songwriter while recording and independently releasing her own compositions. In 2014, she was signed to Martin’s songwriting collective Wolf Cousins, and offered a recording deal, signing to Island and Polydor Records.
Lo rose to fame with the release of her debut studio album Queen of the Clouds, which opened at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 in October 2014. The album spawned the sleeper hit single, “Habits (Stay High)”, which peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In addition to her solo work, Lo has co-written a number of songs for other singers, including Hilary Duff’s “Sparks” and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do”, which garnered her first Grammy Award nomination on 7 December 2015.
Deemed “Sweden’s darkest pop export” by Rolling Stone, Lo is known for her raw, grunge-influenced take on pop music. Her characteristically honest, complex and autobiographical lyrical content has led to Lo being dubbed “the saddest girl in Sweden” by a number of media sources.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 2.1 2006–13: Career beginnings and collaborations
- 2.2 2014–present: Breakthrough with Queen of the Clouds
- 3 Artistry
- 3.1 Musical style
- 3.2 Songwriting
- 3.3 Influences
- 4 Public image
- 5 Tours
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 Discography
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson was born on October 29, 1987 in Stockholm, Sweden. Her mother is a psychologist and her father is a businessman. She has one older brother. Her lifelong nickname and adopted stage name, Tove Lo, was given to her at age three by her godmother because of her love for lynxes (singular: “lo” in Swedish). Lo grew up in Djursholm, Danderyd, Stockholm. She describes her childhood as being “very protected” and her family as “pretty posh”. With her parents being academics, Lo achieved good grades in school and became fond of literature, writing poetry and short stories. In an interview with the BBC, she explained, “Growing up so safe, I think I was looking for something else”.
Lo then developed a love for music and formed a girl band with her friends. With the band, she wrote her first song at age ten or 11. By age 15, Lo had written a compilation of lyrical content which “nobody ever saw” and had performed twice on stage, before enrolling at Rytmus Musikergymnasiet, a musical school in Stockholm. During her time at Rytmus, Lo developed a friendship with Caroline Hjelt, who would later form the Swedish duo Icona Pop. After two years, Lo graduated from the school and felt assured that her career would be in music despite her parents preferring otherwise.