Dagny's debut Ultraviolet EP saw the scandi-pop star delivering explosive singles, from the enormous career-breaking "Backbeat" to the BORNS-assisted banger "Fools Gold." The singer's warm sound--consistently packed with glistening guitars and soaring choruses--helped assert her as 2016's most promising alt-pop sensation.
But this year, Dagny returned with a fresh, new direction. Her summer single, "Wearing Nothing," favored a more understated approach than Dagny's work before. With help from Swedish duo Ludvig and Alex, the track is perfectly polished, featuring effortless, breezy production that builds into a simple, ultra-cool chorus--more minimal than the maximal Dagny we've known.
"When I'm with you I feel like wearing nothing," she sings happily, complementing the music video, which sees her working through cheeky, playful choreography. It's a reflection of everyday life and relatable desires, further underlining her ability to pump out narratives that appeal to a wide audience. "You know the distance is just killing me, even when I lie right beside you," she admits.
Watch Dagny's "Wearing Nothing" video and learn more about the singer's music in an exclusive chat with OUT, below.
OUT: Where are you calling from?
Dagny: I'm in Stockholm, Sweden at the moment. It's such a beautiful city, I love it here.
Sweden is known for being a pop hub. What has your experience been like making music there?
It's super pop. They just seem to get it. Working here, people are genuine, nice and talented, and really kind of perfectionists in a way that's interesting for an artist like me. You learn a lot in the process.
Where did you work on "Wearing Nothing"?
I wrote it in August last year and it took another six months for me to come back [to Sweden] and finish it at the beginning of 2017. I was working with two huge producers, Ludvig and Alex. I actually write with a lot with other people, as well, but this seemed right.
When you wrote the song, did you anticipate it having such a clean pop sound?
I've always had a very band-type sound, but with "Wearing Nothing," I felt like trying something new--with the chorus going down instead of going up. I always get inspired by the people I work with, so I always try to make a song the best it can be rather than making it too much about, "What is my sound?" I don't ever want to sound the same and get bored of it.
How does the production of "Wearing Nothing" reflect the lyrics?
With "Wearing Nothing," it was me not being scared of minimalism, because it's actually quite minimal--especially the chorus, and that was such a new thing for me. It complemented the lyrics and song because it's about being there, being open and not putting anything in-between.
Assuming you're working towards a full-length album, what else have you been writing about?
I like to keep it to human relations, but it doesn't necessarily need to be a big dramatic thing that happened. It doesn't have to be groundbreaking news for me to write about it. It's more about the things that happen in your life, and hopefully I'm covering many emotions.
You first released "Backbeat" as an independent artist. What do you remember from that?
At the time, it was just me and my band. We were playing music and touring, recording and having a good time. Then we decided to release this song without any plan. Overnight, all these emails came in from different labels and everything changed. The track connected with people and kind of took on its own life. That song will always have its own little place in me. For me, it's a special song.
Are there any artists you look to for inspiration?
Right now, Lorde because I look at her lyrics and you feel like you were there when all the stuff went down. I think there's something about being so specific in songs. She's so specific, you can still feel it and connect with it. I am very impressed with her because she's been away for a long time and then comes back with this great album. I think that's really inspiring because it's so easy to get caught up in what you think people want to hear, but a lot of music that really connects with me isn't necessarily a big single, but a really personal album track.
Lorde took time to herself in order to make Melodrama...
There's like 30,000 new songs every day. So for an artist, there's so much pressure to constantly be visible to people and be on stage saying, "Hello, I'm still here." But if you want to be an artist, you have to have time and space to be creative. Even though it's hard to say, all artists should stand together against the pressure of constantly releasing new music because quantity is always better than quality. Lorde came back after so many years and had a great album. That's the most important thing.
When you're not in-studio, how do you get inspired?
I love surfing when I go on holidays and traveling. I have a dream that one day I'll have my own beach house. I'm mostly working this summer, but sometimes I allow myself a day to head to the beach with my friends and swim in the ocean, which I haven't done in way too long. But that's okay, I'm feeling like I want to create and play music. That's what I want to do, right now. I want to make a new album. Once I've done that, I can take a break.