Nina on Sweden in 'Sverige!'

Nina Persson appeared on Swedish television this past Monday, 7 November, to discuss her views on Sweden and the Swedish identity.

The show Sverige! is dedicated to exploring the Swedish cultural life and investigating what exactly fits into the terms "Sweden" and "Swedish". Each week there are new invited guests interviewed in a typically Swedish location of their own selection.

You can see the interview by going to Sverige!'s website: and following the instructions there. Nina appears at around 16 minutes. You can also catch it when it's aired again on the 15th and 16th on SVT1.

And of course, for those of you who don't understand Swedish, here is a translation:


When you write songs and songlyrics, how much inspiration do you draw from Sweden and Swedish environments that you've had around you?
I think that, honestly, that I haven't been inspired by anything that is particularly Swedish at all. Or rather, not more than anything else. I don't recognize anything of that. I live in Sweden. I mean, I don't think that I would have written differently... I didn't write differently when I lived in the U.S.A. for example. I don't think it's like that. I'm not coloured by my locality when I do music.

You got to choose a typically Swedish location Nina. Why this Falafel/Kebab restaurant?
There is nothing more "Malmö" than falafel for me. [laughter] And this is home for me too because I live here... at this falafel place practically. I don't really know but... I don't want to sound all goody two-shoes but Sweden is so much about multiculturalism, at least I think so. And it can be about the americanization and everything as well and not only the great immigrant food. Sweden is like a magnet, making use of tendencies and doing it well.

Better than other countries?
I think that, since it's music I can really talk about, that nobody can "mimic" great music like swedes can. And it almost sounds... "for real". When the Germans do hip hop, or something else, then it still always sounds so German. Sweden is so very... the Swedish identity is not that clear. It's kinda vague because, I mean, it could fit anywhere.

What do you think yourself is good right now?
Swedish music? Erhm... what does one like? I like... there are so many good kinda Jenny Wilson, so many girls that do great stuff. What's her name? Frida Hyvönnen and acts like that are fantastic.

What image of Sweden do you think that you've supplied abroad?
I think, I don't know exactly, but I think that I have muddled the image a little bit so maybe people are confused. But there was a while, when we were doing great in Britain, and every damn article about us was all "the ice queen!" kind of about me being cold and having blue eyes and blonde hair and singing about dark subjects. They thought it was... it kind of was the Swedish dream for them. English journalists came to Malmö and they only wanted to hang around the sea bath-house because it was cold and windy and just damned awful. They wanted us to stand there in the horizontal rain and then they made a thing out of it like: "We've gone to the north pole to meet The Cardigans." The polar-bear myth of Sweden kind of.

We're making a painting of Sweden on the show and the viewers are going to decide the motif. What would you suggest?
I would have drawn a magnet because I think that it's super obviously Sweden this thing that we absorbe tendencies and phenomenons and people that comehere. I think I would have drawn one of those big horse-shoe magnets.
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