Never Mind the Genitals, Here's Lilla Lovis

The Local
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Never Mind the Genitals, Here's Lilla Lovis

With lyrics detailing oral sex and female rape, candy-haired Swedish singer Lilla Lovis leaves few listeners unperturbed, and offers no excuses for it, contributor Katherine Dunn reports.


A candy-haired Stockholmer with a bubblegum sound and a very dirty mouth, Lilla Lovis has been gaining a cult following for her singles about...well, most of them are unmentionable here.

Often associated with the könsrock genre – “sex rock” or “genital rock”, which is known for deliberately shocking, graphic lyrics, she has been accused of being both an assault on good taste and a girl just having fun.

Rooted in late-70s punk, könsrock features songs are often dripping with sexually explicit lyrics that touch on topics considered by many to be taboo.

In addition, könsrock melodies and music are generally upbeat, even jovial, making for what can be jarring juxtapositions when paired with lyrics sprinkled with profanity and scatological references.

Perhaps the most well-known könsrock band is Onkel Kånkel and his kånkelbär ('dingleberries'), considered by many to be the godfather of the genre in Sweden.

First formed in 1979, Onkel Kånkel was best known for songs with crude lyrics that mocked paedophilia, Nazism, and the disabled.

The band courted controversy in 1995 when Social Democrat MP Inge Carlsson petitioned then-justice minister Laila Freivalds to “prohibit offensive music” after being contacted by a teacher who was offended by Onkel Kånkel's lyrics.

Freivalds rejected the request, however, lamenting that the lyrics were “disgusting and tragic, but allowed” according to Sweden's free speech laws.

More recently, Sveriges Radio (SR) P3 was reported to the Swedish Broadcasting Commission (Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV) after a prime time August 31st broadcast which included an Onkel Kånkel song thought to encourage paedophilia with texts about having sex with the baby Jesus.

While Lilla Lovis hasn't yet been reported to authorities, she seems to be well on her way to carrying on the könsrock tradition of singing songs that leave many wincing in disgust.

Last summer, she released her first English-language single “Hard to Get”, a fast-paced electro-pop number where she chirps about a man’s failure to get it up.

Two other recent singles feature lyrics such as "I never spit out my snus before I suck cock" and "It is not rape if it is a girl who rapes".

And while Lilla Lovis leaves few in an audience unmoved, she makes no excuses for it, The Local learned after catching up with the emerging Swedish star to ask her a few questions and probe what lies behind the bitter-sweet façade.

TL: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are?

LL: "I'm Lilla Lovis. I love children and cake."

TL: What brought you into music, and the kind of music you're doing now?

LL: "I don't remember. Probably something stupid."

TL: Can you tell us a bit about "könsrock"? You're sometimes mentioned as a part of this genre, but do you consider yourself as a part of it?

LL: Some people write to me telling me that 'könsrock' must be made by men and be about women (and that I'm a fucking whore), and I'm not gonna argue with that. They can go bury themselves alive and take their precious 'könsrock' with them so I can piss and spill blood on their graves.

TL: This is your first English single - before now, it's been all in Swedish, am I right? What's this song about, and why an English single now?

LL: 'Hard to get' was actually first made as a birthday song for a good friend, so it's kind of a celebration song. When I played it to my record label boss he thought it was the best song I´ve made so far so, well, it felt kinda natural to release it as a single.

TL: Are you planning to play outside of Sweden? If so, where will you go?

LL: I'd like to play on Hawaii. It´d be cool to send postcards to my friends from there.

TL: Do you think having a career in Sweden, and in Stockholm - as opposed to, say, the US - has had an influence on what you do?

LL: It would of course be harder to write and have a career with Swedish lyrics anywhere else. But also since most of my friends live in Stockholm I got lots of support from them when I started doing this which meant, and means a lot. They're great!

TL: You wear the candy-coloured wigs, and the pretty dresses, and look so sweet. And then you sing these really graphic lyrics. What's with the contrast?

LL: People always used to call my style of clothing as 'child prostitute style', so I guess I just grew into that role, haha. I got very influenced by the Jenna Jameson biography when I read it a couple of years ago.

Her story really touched me and I loved the pictures of her and her clothes when she was young. I did a tattoo with her name after reading that book.

TL: Before a visitor can enter your website, there's a warning about "objectionable" content from Blogger, which hosts your site. And some of the things you post or sing about aren't for the weak stomached. Is there anything you won't sing about?

LL: Not as long as I think it's interesting or has some other kind of value.

TL: If you weren't doing music, what do you think you would be doing?

LL: I love hats and I want to learn how to make them!

TL: What's coming up next for you?

LL: To release the 2 new seven inches and make a cool video for "hard to get". Then I want to go on vacation.


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