I never had any concerns or uncertainties about achieving success, reflecting on her journey, Zara Larsson shares.

I never had any concerns or uncertainties about achieving success, reflecting on her journey, Zara Larsson shares.

Zara Larsson, a famous pop star, was born in Stockholm in 1997. She rose to fame in 2008 when she won Talang, known as Sweden’s Got Talent. At 14 years old, she signed with Ten Records in Sweden and achieved success in her home country. In 2014, her career expanded internationally. Along with her own albums, including the highly successful So Good, which remains one of the top-streamed debut albums by a female artist on Spotify, she has also been featured on hit singles such as Clean Bandit’s Symphony and Tinie Tempah’s Girls Like. Larsson’s latest album, Venus, is now available.

This photo is me celebrating winning Sweden’s Got Talent. What was going through my mind? Probably just,“Weeeee!” – I was excited but not surprised. Throughout the whole competition, I knew I had a good chance.

I created the dress on my own. During the finale, I sang Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and I wanted to wear a blue and ocean-inspired outfit that would flow in the wind. I wanted to feel like a mature woman, even though I was only 10 years old. While it appeared nice from afar, it was actually just a collection of scraps held together with pins.

In the past, I was confident in my success as an entertainer and never doubted it. This is why I participated in Talang. My only concern was how quickly I would achieve success. After the show, I expected it to happen immediately and for me to become a superstar. However, four years went by without any progress. This caused me stress and made me fear that my career was over. I returned to my normal life.

Growing up in the spotlight as a youth did not significantly alter my life or the way people treated me. Attending the Royal Swedish Ballet School meant that my peers were all involved in music and dance. Being in the performing arts was a common pursuit among those around me, so any attention or recognition I received was not a major concern. Additionally, this was before the era of social media, so any negative remarks would not have reached me and had an impact. However, even if they did, it would not have been a big deal. In Sweden, there is not a strong emphasis on celebrity culture. Instead, our mindset is rooted in equality, where no one is considered superior or inferior.

At 14 years old, I was finally signed and since then, I have been consistently releasing music. My mother, who is in the photo behind me with short hair, accompanied me everywhere. Until I turned 20, she was always by my side, whether it was traveling the world or meeting with producers in studios. I am grateful for her presence because this industry can be challenging without someone advocating for you – someone who truly cares and wants to protect you. If I only had a label representative looking after me, I could have found myself in uncomfortable situations. For example, if someone had asked me to do drugs at 15, I would have likely agreed without hesitation.

During my teenage years, I had a rebellious attitude. I enjoyed going to parties, but my behavior was mostly characterized by stubbornness and rudeness towards everyone, especially my parents. I was not particularly focused on academics, but I was outspoken and enjoyed engaging in debates, often expressing strong opinions. However, as I reached the age of 25, neuroscientists say that the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and impulse control, fully develops. I distinctly remember feeling a sense of calm and maturity at this stage in my life. Although I am still someone who holds strong opinions, I have changed significantly for the better.

One of the major changes that occurred was the decision to distance myself from certain social circles, including an ex-boyfriend. We met when I was 14 and our relationship was on and off for an extended period of time. In early 2016, my career reached new heights with my involvement in David Guetta’s song “This One’s for You” and the release of my own track “Lush Life.” However, despite my success, I never felt like the main character in my own life – I was merely a side character in his. I found myself being pulled into his world, spending time only with his friends. He was also an artist and it seemed that after our breakup, his only goal was to surpass my accomplishments. He couldn’t seem to be happy for me and would make comments like, “I want to make more money than you and be more successful.” Since then, I have learned the importance of surrounding myself with people who genuinely support and celebrate my achievements.

At the age of 17, I was signed to Sony and as my success continued, I began to question myself. I was worried about maintaining my momentum and meetings were centered around creating a product and marketing myself for sales. The team worked hard to make my career a success and I had stylists, choreographers, and songwriters. While I was writing my own songs, I lacked confidence in sharing them with others. As I grow older, I realize that being involved in the creative process is truly what brings me fulfillment. When I was 10, I never dreamed of achieving a billion streams. To truly feel content, I must create something.

This is why I am drawn to this image. It embodies the beauty of my enthusiasm and captures the excitement of my first experience as a performer on stage. I can’t recall the last time I felt that exhilarating feeling. It’s a bittersweet reminder of getting older – things that once felt extraordinary now seem mundane, like meeting other famous individuals. I have come to realize that they are just regular people, not as thrilling as I once thought. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to do what we love.

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I am not implying that I do not experience happiness. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend where I expressed my gratitude for being alive. Maintaining a positive outlook is crucial. During my younger years, I owned a shirt that I absolutely loved and would wear daily. I found it at a thrift shop and it was a red shirt with the words “I am the best” written on it. It was not meant to come across as arrogant, but rather, it gave me a sense of confidence and belief that I could achieve anything.

At times, I long for the early days of my career when everything felt more genuine. I never worried about how my music was being received or how many streams it was getting. It’s difficult not to measure success by numbers. Even now, I struggle with defining my identity. I am confident in who I am as a person and never doubted my talent as an artist, but with my diverse taste in genres, it can be challenging to establish a distinct niche and convey my true self through my music.

I have a strong sense of contrast between my present self and the young girl depicted in the picture. I have grown to view her as a cherished daughter, someone whom I deeply care for and take pride in. Although I may not experience the same level of enthusiasm, I am immensely appreciative and can handle any challenges that come my way because of this bond. When faced with adversity, I simply think, “That was unpleasant, but let’s keep moving forward!”

Source: theguardian.com