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Gay Times, is a LGBTQ media brand established in 1984. Originally beginning as a magazine for gay and bisexual men, the company now includes content for the LGBTQ community across a number of platforms. Ängie did an interview and photoshoot for the magazine's segment Amplify.

Interview

“I get asked this question in every fucking interview,” Swedish pop-sensation Ängie says over a drink (it was four drinks) of Heineken in a Mile End, London pub. I brought up the fact that she was once labelled “the most controversial pop star around” by several media outlets, a label she vehemently disputes, while also noting that other mainstream male artists wouldn’t receive anywhere near the amount of flack as she does (for which she was grateful). “It’s so weird because there are so many men like Eminem and Tommy Cash doing it too. I got harassed by a fan two weeks ago because she thought I was too controversial and not a feminist because I said ‘motherfucker’ in Smoke Weed Eat Pussy… I’m always answering stupid DMs because I try to change people’s opinions. But often that doesn’t work and people just call me a whore.”

Ever since the release of her spunky, aforementioned debut single, the 24-year-old artist has become one of the most outspoken performers in pop because she’s not afraid in the slightest to discuss topics such as feminism, mental health and homosexuality. Everyday subjects, basically. “I like to see myself as a big feminist and a bit of a provocateur,” she explains. “I talk about suicide and mental health, and I think it’s an important question to bring to music, especially when Instagram is glamourising everyone as influencers.” As opposed to the picture perfect lives we see on our social media feeds, Ängie wants to be seen as a “real person and not some product”, which is refreshing. “It feels a bit narcissistic to say it, but I see myself as an artist artist, as opposed to a pop star. I work with difficult subjects and try to make people feel like they can be okay with themselves, and not be jealous over someone you don’t know. I see people on Instagram all the time and think, ‘I wish I could be like them’, but everyone feels like me and doesn’t admit to it. I think everyone should talk more about how fake the world is, so it can be real again.” She continues, before commenting on the lack of Heineken in Sweden (again): “I just want everyone to know that I’m struggling with different things all the time. Behind all the beautiful photos and clothes and the parties of people on Instagram, there is just a lost girl or boy or a non-binary person or a queer-identifying person feeling lost, trying to make their way.”

Ängie was raised in foster care as a child because her mum was “a bit troubled” and her dad was in prison, so she grew up alongside her non-biological brother in a house with lesbian mothers. “My brother is gay and he struggled coming out because of the town we were in. I grew up with options because of this family who were like, ‘Everything is okay. Do what feels right for you.’ Everyone was really understanding. People who just grew up in a house with a Labrador and a trampoline and a dad who fucks his assistant, they don’t get that.” When we spoke to Ängie last year, she told us that she identifies as bisexual. A year on, however, she’s torn between bisexual and pansexual, but expands further: “I don’t really go by looks at all, they can be attractive but persona is so much sexier than looks. If you don’t click with the person, there’s nothing sexy going on at all. And why do you need a fucking stamp? Like, ‘Here, you’re gay.’ I guess there’s comfort in telling people what you are.” Despite being a proud member of the LGBTQ community, Än gie is constantly attacked by ‘fans’ for being in a three-year relationship with a man. Because for some reason, if you identify as bisexual or pansexual, and you date someone of the opposite sex, you’re a fraud. “It’s really hard. On YouTube, when I upload videos that have my boyfriend in, people will say, ‘She’s not a lesbian! She’s a fake.’ I get super mad. Why the fuck would I make the kind of music I do if I wasn’t LGBTQ? I know I shouldn’t be mad at comments because it’s stupid people saying stupid shit, but I do get offended because I had a really hard time coming out.”

When Ängie was 12, she came out as a “full blown lesbian” which was unsurprisingly met with resistance from her “racist, homophobic town” (we say ‘unsurprisingly’ because she doesn’t have a lot of good comments to say about Sweden). She wasn’t very popular at high school because she was the arty type and would call narrow-minded peers out on their crap. “I was wearing these sweatpants and I had drawn this huge dick on my leg, and I wore those like twice a week. A huge dick. And I was wondering why I wasn’t popular. Everyone was like, ‘She’s psychotic’ but I thought I was cool and funny.” When we question Ängie on the queer scene in Sweden, she launches an attack on the country for its archaic views on homosexuality. “It’s why I love every other country than Sweden. It sucks so bad, and you can put that in there. It’s such a closed-minded country that only goes with the flow and follows trends. I think that’s why I haven’t been picked up there yet. I don’t fit into trends. Last year it was Swedish rap, now it’s soul… it’s just basic things all the time. Basic shit.”

If Ängie were a male, she wouldn’t have had as much resistance from the media and she wouldn’t find herself labelled as the “most controversial pop star around”. This isn’t my opinion, this is fact. And this is precisely why she is a proud feminist, even if others don’t think she is. “I don’t think people see me as a feminist. I’ve always been a feminist without thinking about it. Being a feminist is – in my opinion – just being a good person and caring about people.” She later explains that she’s confused towards women who claim to not be a feminist, saying they’ve “got the whole idea wrong”. “People are like, ‘But I’m not a feminist because I want my man to open the door for me.’ Like, okay… I like men too, I love them, but I don’t like it when they grab my ass in the club and don’t think it’s a bad thing. There’s this one influencer in Sweden who’s like, ‘But I want a man to pay for my dinner and come with flowers.’ That’s fine. You can be a feminist even if you want your man to pay for everything. I wanted my ex to pay for everything and I was like, ‘Come on, I’m giving you the blowies.’”

Throughout her career, Ängie has struggled to garner radio play and to secure a fully-fledged record deal because of her candid attitude towards subjects that are deemed taboo. Like we mentioned earlier, Ängie often incorporates her troubles with mental health in her music, which was most notable in her debut mini-album, Suicidal Since 1995. She received a considerable amount of backlash for the title of the project and for its album artwork, which depicted the singer serving emo glam realness as she’s being hung by a piece of rope. To all the people who criticised her for it, she says: “I don’t care. I honestly don’t care. I write songs for me first. I do my videos for me first. That’s why I speak about suicidal thoughts all the time, because I had them. It’s because of music I’m here. I was so ready to die because I had nothing to live for, I had distant parents, I had no money, I had no education, nothing. Music is what saved me. It can be hard to understand.”

She recalls her suicide attempt as we get onto the topic of her genre-defying, screamo-inspired new single, Orgy of Enemies, which features Australian singer Zheani. The single, which is due to be the second track taken from her upcoming album, includes lyrics such as: “I have lost my mind and my daddy don’t know shit / Razor bloody lines, suicide, I want it.” Ängie tells us: “The whole song is about being bullied and outcast by everyone in a small homophobic town. That was one of my hardest songs. I have a scar on my forehead from when I was 14, because I jumped off a cliff. I was super drunk and asked myself, ‘Is this life? Is this it?’ I was like, ‘I’ve been trying for so long, I just don’t get it.’ So I jumped. I woke up seven metres down, and I pushed my hands to the ground and was watching them in the moonlight. There were blood drops but I just saw black spots. I called out to my friend to say I fell down, because I was ashamed. My friend said, ‘What the fuck? Have you seen yourself?’ I was covered in blood and I had bruises all over my face. All these things happened because I was bullied, and everything is just inspired by how much I hated these people who made me feel that way. I was the good one, but I couldn’t see that until now.”

Now, however, Ängie says she’s in in a good place, and vows to record some more happy, trip- hop-inspired bops. After her upcoming debut full-length album is released – which she reveals is called Everything Is Fake – she wants to create a “feel-good” album, much like her fan-favourite pop single, Spun (her boyfriend’s favourite song, which confuses her because “it’s a different girl”). But don’t for one second think this is Ängie selling out, she’s always wanted to be a diverse musician who can flip from genres such as “rock, punk, pop, hip-hop, everything”. “I wanna mix it up!” she says enthusiastically. But first, if she wants to even release her official debut album, she needs to receive mainstream support. “I don’t care about radio, but it would be nice to have a spin! I want my debut album to have 12 songs, but I need a spin, I have to have something going on. If a label isn’t interested in me, they’re stupid. Find another artist with this many visuals! I’m a package, just fucking sign me. If they don’t, I just have to do it myself and that doesn’t bother me much because I don’t want anyone taking my money.”

If a record deal were to prevent the release of tracks such as Smoke Weed Eat Pussy, IDGAF and Orgy of Enemies, then we don’t really want any part of it. This is Ängie and yep, we’re in love, and it’s not just because one Heineken turned into four. The previous publications who labelled her “the most controversial pop star” were wrong. She’s not. She’s the most honest. Ängie leaves the interview with advice for those struggling with mental health, which again proves that whole honesty thing we just mentioned: “All these feelings and sad thoughts, it’s not weird. It’s more normal to feel shitty. Surround yourself with people who get you, love you and cherish you, and do your thing. While you’re here, make the best of it. You should never kill yourself because you think you’re fucked up. The world is fucked up, not you.”

Gallery

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