QX started in 1995 with the aim to create communication platforms for the LGBT-community in Sweden and Scandinavia. It is published in Swedish monthly by QX Förlag AB and is the largest magazine of its kind in the region. Ängie was the cover of their magazine in 2018, with an exclusive interview and photoshoot (by Anna-Lena Ahlström).
Let me introduce someone that you should recognize but that you have surely missed. Her name is Ängie, or Angelina if you run on her off stage. She is a bisexual songwriter and artist from Nynäshamn with several million views on Youtube. Her starglow is so strong that fans sometimes get so starstruck that they cry at the mere sight of their idol. In addition, she has been acclaimed by mastodont magazine The Guardian for "skillfully capturing the modern youth culture". But in Sweden, surprisingly, she is still a covert.
If you get the urge to check out some of her songs, you will be met by titles like "Smoke Weed Eat Pussy", "Housewife Spliffin" and from the newly released album Suicidal Since 1995 – "Coke Ain't Brain".
— Is it okay if I smoke? – she asks the photographer Anna-Lena Ahlström after sitting in front of the camera. And that's it.
Smokers die prematurely. Do not start smoking, it is very addictive. If you need help to quit smoking contact Quit-Smoking-Line at no cost on 020-84 00 00. So, with that out of the way I dare to say that it's fine for Ängie to have a cigarrete between her fingers. She looks much like I wished I looked when I used to smoke. I think it's the combination of eyeliner, raven hair, sleeves and cigarretes.
After the smoking, we sit down to talk. I ask what she thinks about being interviewed and she points out that journalists always ask the same questions.
— I worry about always having to answer how it feels to have been appointed the most controversial artist in 2016. Because I'm hardly the most controversial artist, I'm just a chick. So that's a delayed issue.
It was the British tabloid newspaper The Sun that crowned her the Most Shocking Star 2016 after the video for the song Smoke Weed Eat Pussy. The motivation behind the nomination was that "The Stockholm artist boasted about drug use and about participating in lesbian sex acts".
So you didn't feel the song was controversial when you wrote it?
No. I think the song is good and who the hell wouldn't press when releasing a single? You gotta to have some strategies. But I was not at all prepared for people to be so shocked.
What reactions did you get when it was released?
There were many 'what the fuck's, but that's nice. I honestly can't think of anyone doing what I do. And it's cool to have humor and art in the same package.
How important is it for you to smoke and eat pussy?
It was my everyday life, although I didn't actually eat pussy all the time. The song is about when I broke up with my first girlfriend and I did everything I could to try to get over her. Among other things, I smoked weed and lay around.
You sing about drugs. What is your relationship with that?
I have been drugging a lot and I have smoked grass because I have borderline and it has suppressed my anxiety. But last year I stopped taking drugs. Sure I smoke a goose sometimes, though I don't think it's the worst thing.
What made you stop?
My friend died and then I couldn't feel good about it. I got anxious about all the existential questions that came when I was scared. Like 'what happens after death?' And 'what really matters?'. It was like I went into a mini-psychosis. That's why I quit. I felt a need to put myself in the collar.
The fact that she has been so open with her drug use means she has influenced her career. For example, for some cities, she is not welcome to play.
That I am a woman and drug liberal has sabotaged my tailwind. I am not booked because I have been so open. At the same time, the same people can book Mwuana singing about exactly the same things, though no one will blink.
And she is right, if there was a grading institution in the scale of 'not politically correct' music, then Mwuana (who writes about selling drugs and pulling cocaine "until the blood drips through her nose") would probably get about the same points as Ängie.
I may have fucked myself and shot myself in the foot. But I see it as doing something very feminist.
Feminism and LGBT fights means everything for her, she says. With a bisexual mother, a brother who is gay and herself in the lead, she wants to strike an activist blow. Last year, for example, she performed at the Pride Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.
It meant a lot to me, and to play there is one of the best memories of my life. But unfortunately I can never go back to Russia again. I said "fuck Putin" in an interview. So now I have to keep my distance.
Despite great successes in Russia, the USA and Brazil, she has a hard time living on her artistry, and in Sweden she is still a covert.
It feels so weird. I have a good follow up and a strong fanbase. But Sweden sleeps on me.
Why do you think this is so?
To little Sweden is Astrid Lindgren's world. They are not ready, Sweden wants to be the USA so damn much, but they're not daring.
It sounds like you and Sweden have an infected relationship?
It's infected between us. We have a hard time keeping it cool. But I still want to hit here.
Her songs are not just about pussy and drugs. She writes a lot for the visibility mental illness, and she likes to get inspiration from her own list of diagnoses.
I have an impulsive borderline, which makes me super-sensitive and that I don't think things through fully before I do them. Then I have ADD and OCD, which was pretty serious when I was little. The OCD causes me to interfere with colors that do not fit together. Red and lime green together can make me feel physically ill.
What do your diagnoses mean to you?
The color stuff is just awkward. But my borderline means a lot to me. My dad usually calls it 'a blessing and a curse'. Most people who have borderline also have something creative in them. They like to express themselves in extreme ways and with art like me. But the diagnosis also causes me a lot of suffering. Although I rather suffer than feel uninspired.
Ängie's debut album Suicidal Since 1995 is out now, and in the autumn another album is expected when she releases "her real golden grains".