The Swedish pop singer discusses 'In a Talk With Nature' and why she needed it to be her most honest EP yet.

Imagine leaving the village you call home to join Swedish Idol. Amanda Fondell was living this life in 2011 and eventually went on to win the singing competition — becoming the youngest winner in the show's history. Fastfoward a few years, and now she's ready to take her fame from her home country to the U.S. and beyond. She is releasing her new EP, In A Talk With Nature, on June 2. We met up with Amanda when she was in New York City and spoke about her views on honest music, the EP and plans for the year.

Homebase: Stockholm, Sweden

You won the eighth season of Swedish Idol. What was that experience like? And how did it help you as a performer?

It helps a lot. I got confidence, and it helped me figure out who I was as an artist.

You were the youngest in the competition. Were you nervous about that? Did you have to grow up a little faster because of that?

Honestly, I didn't know I was the youngest that had ever won. It was after the show that I knew that. I feel like that moving from my village to Stockholm when I was 17, I had to grow up fast and learn how to handle life. I was no my own. But it was very good for me.

Now onto your EP, it's really great!

Thank you!

You're really honest on it, and you wanted to show who you are as an artist on this new project. Can you talk about that more?

I have written so many songs [over the] years, but I got to a point where I felt... I didn't want to write something that has been written. So yeah, all artists want to be honest nowadays. I think that the artist is more in the process now than before. It depends on what [kind of] artist you are. I think it's more honest nowadays and general for artists, but it all depends on who you are as an artist.

Why do you feel you need to be this honest? How do you know when to make sure you're not too honest?

I don't know. I just write what I feel. I may regret it somehow, some day when I'm older or something. But I feel music needs to be that raw if it's going to reach people.

Out of the songs on the record, have any of them given you a lot of trouble when you were writing it?

Well, I put myself out there. I really tried to say something. So it wasn't too hard.

What is "Permission" about?

"Permission" is about giving myself permission to live how I want, and realizing that I don't want to follow any rules [given] by the world.

"Naked" has been doing very well on Spotify. How do you feel about it and that more people are getting to know you outside of the Sweden?

They do? I don't know. [Laughs.]

Yes, so how does it feel, especially since you previously talked about songwriting honestly. And this is pretty honest.

Yes, yes it is. I think it's awesome that so many people hear it. It gives me confidence and I want to keep on going because of this. So it's awesome!

When I've talked to other artists, we start talking about how good Swedish pop music is.

Yeah. [Laughs.]

What is it about Sweden, for you, that you think so much good music comes out of there? You're part of that.

Yeah. I think we have a lot of darkness in our country. And for six months, it's dark, so dark. I think we are living inside our basements and just don't have anything to do than doing melodies and writing our own stuff. I don't know. I have talked about this with other artists and writers, and it feels like [the music] is the light in all the darkness.

Dream collaborations?

That's hard. I want to write with a lot of people. Max Martin, Sia, Kimbra.

What's next for you?

We're doing this promotion tour in the U.S. now. We're doing some shows in Los Angeles, and I'm releasing the EP. And then I'm going to do some gigs in the summer and perform more. I hope to keep on writing, too. 


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