A Dutch magazine article, featuring an interview with Frida about the Something's Going On album and pictures of the recording sessions and the press presentation.
She did it. Frida Lyngstad is now conquering the world without ABBA. With a Phil Collins-produced album and the brilliant hit record ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’. In an exclusive interview, Frida explains what’s going on...
Frida doesn’t have any peace and quiet anymore. Ever since she took a temporary (?) break from ABBA to record her own international debut album, her life has turned into a rollercoaster. At Stockholm’s Hamngatan, the employees are busy working for Frida day in and day out. There, at the ABBA-office, the Swedish supergroup seems to be completely overshadowed by one group-member: Frida Lyngstad.
At one blow, the dark-haired singer has proven that she’s able to do it without ABBA. Indeed, ABBA hasn’t been involved at all in her new solo-album ‘Something’s Going On’. For the recordings, that took place at ABBA’s Polar Studios, producer and Genesis-frontman Phil Collins took his own musicians with him. Including Earth, Wind & Fire’s horn section, that had helped Phil out already on his solo-album ‘Face Value’. A lot of hard work must have been put into those recordings. You can tell by listening to the record, for which no expenses were spared to turn it into the best product possible. And Frida herself is singing like never before. As if she has never had the chance to develop to full extent vocally in the ABBA-framework. A lot has happened to Frida and there’s a lot going on...
The dark-haired ABBA-singer has a dark voice. With that voice, together with Agnetha, she has just been busy working on recordings for a brand new ABBA-album. The two tracks for the hit-album, intended as a Christmas-present, are finished already. So ABBA is working on new material already. Because solo-recordings or not, ABBA goes on. Frida makes no mistake about that.
“I get so tired of all those sensational rumours. It is understandable that there are rumours, the journalists must have something to write about. After all, we’re still popular. I always think to myself: that’s the consequence of being famous.”
Prepare yourself, Frida, there will be a whole lot more rumours now you’ve made a solo-album and are having success on your own.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the facts. The single ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’ is doing exceptionally well, I’m extremely proud of that. It’s almost the same feeling as winning the Eurovision Song Contest with ABBA in 1974. It’s a triumph, suddenly I feel very self-confident.”
Aren’t you that confident in ABBA?
“Firstly, in ABBA I’m not alone, but I’m singing together with Agnetha. That’s something completely different than recording an album on your own. But I mainly felt insecure because of the difficult period I have behind me now. The divorce between Benny and me didn’t leave me unaffected. I don’t want to get into any details, the gossip-press has already done that. In any case, I have the feeling that I’ve made a mark for myself with ‘Something’s Going On’. I’m extremely proud of that album.”
What do Agnetha, Benny and Björn think about the album?
“In one word, they think it’s fantastic. I think they didn’t expect this, although they knew I was working with Phil Collins.”
What did they expect?
“That’s a good question, I’ve never asked them. It never entered my mind. They had full confidence in the project, that was enough for me.”
Why did you want to record a solo-album anyway?
“Like I said before, I wanted to make a mark. Something had to happen. I wanted to show that I account for something on my own as well.”
Is that the reason why the album reminds one of ABBA so little?
“I take that as a compliment. My intention was for the album to have nothing to do with ABBA, otherwise I might just as well have not recorded the album at all. That’s why no other ABBA-member, apart from myself, has co-operated on the album.”
Why did you choose Phil Collins as your producer?
“That was more or less a coincidence. My daughter adored his solo-single ‘In The Air Tonight’ and she told me to listen to it as well. Phil Collins? At first, that name didn’t ring a bell. Yes, I know, my general pop-knowledge has never been exceptional. In short, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After that, I bought his album ‘Face Value’ and I played it every day for two months. It was my favourite album and Phil my favourite producer. Then I went to London to meet him. From the word go, he was enthusiastic about the idea to work together.”
What were your intentions for this album?
“A record with much variation, with lots of different types of music. I was willing to give any song a go. When that became known, I received five hundred cassettes with songs. Believe me, it took quite some time, but I listened to all of them. Unfortunately, there was nothing there that I would like to sing. That’s when Phil and I decided to ask composers for a song, of which we knew in advance they would be good. That’s why so many well-known songwriters worked on the album.”
One is missing. The song that Paul McCartney would write for you?
“He actually would, but in hindsight he didn’t have the time. That song will surely come eventually, on my next album.”
Are you already thinking about a next solo-album?
“I dream about it, of course.”
ABBA isn’t thinking about performing any longer. Are you?
“The idea is tempting, but when I think I’d have to be in a different city every day and so on, I can’t imagine doing that. Still, anything is possible. I don’t want to get ahead of the facts. Look, if I were to do another album in some time that would become an even greater success and I’d get the opportunity to perform live with Phil and the other musicians, then I’d probably wouldn’t have to think twice. But we’re not at that stage yet. It may sound strange coming from me, because I’ve had a career with ABBA for ten years, but this is only the beginning...”