Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson, renowned by her stage name Tove Lo, is a Swedish songwriter and singer. Her stage and nickname was suggested by her grandmother for her love for lynxes signifying ‘Tove’ for lynx in Swedish and ‘Lo’ an indication for singular. She began her musical journey as a member of a short-lived band ‘Tremblebee’ writing songs and performing live onstage at different venues. The Math rock-band released some songs independently before getting disbanded. Tove decided to pursue a solo career and concentrated on pop-music. She started to work on her debut record writing, producing and developing it while living in her shed which she turned into her studio. During that time she did session singing assignments to make some money. Her demo was appreciated by A&R and next she earned a publishing deal with Warner/Chappel music and an opportunity to work with producers and song writers Max Martin, Xenomania, Shellback and Alexander Kronlund and started to release her compositions independently online amassing notable following. Due to her fan following and powerful content, Tove was signed to Island and Polydor label and released her first EP Truth Serum and breakthrough album Queen of the Clouds.
Childhood & Early Life
Tove Lo was born Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson on 29th October, 1987 in Stockholm, Sweden, to a businessman father and a psychologist mother. She was raised in wealthy Djursholm suburban districts under Danderyd Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden and received good education as both her parents were academics. She had a protected childhood.
Lo was a good student in school and always scored good grades in her subjects. While in school she grew a deep interest in literature and was inspired to write her own poetry and short stories. Soon her passion for writing her own prose evolved into a love for music and she formed a girl band with her friends.
She wrote her first song in her pre-teens (10-11 years) and in her adolescent years (15 years) she had already given two stage performances and had written collection of lyrical content of highest calibre.
Her interest in music made her join the prestigious musical magnet high school Rytmus Musiker gymnasiet in Stockholm from where she graduated after two years. While in high school, Lo developed a passion for pop-music and honed her skills in singing and song-writing. She drew a lot of inspiration from Amy Winehouse, Jeff Buckley etc.
After her graduation she went on to pursue her career in music although her parents wanted her to choose a more stable career path and they had other career preferences.
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Tove released her debut EP ‘Truth Serum’ in 2014, which talks about her intense love affair from the happy beginnings to the steps she took to move on after a breakup. The electropop EP was highly appreciated by critics for lyrics and production.
It reached 13th position in Sweden and 8th position on the Norwegian Albums Chart becoming 49th best-selling record of 2014. The singles ‘Out of Mind’ reached 39th position on the Finnish Airplay chart, ‘Habits (Stay High)’ reached 3rd position on Billboard Hot 100 and ‘Stay High’ secured 13th position in Sweden and top 10th position in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Tove’s next release was her album ‘Queen of the Clouds’ in late 2014 which turned out to be commercially successful selling over 190 thousand copies in the US.
The album reached 36th position on Danish Albums (Hitlisten) and 49th position on the US Billboard 200 charts of 2015 and secured top 50th position in Finland, Australia, Norway and New Zealand. The album’s lyrics explore the emotional pains faced in a bad relationship and showcases Lo using pain and substance abuse to cope with the break-up trauma.
This album received four Platinum certificates from Brazil (Pro- Musica), Poland (ZPAV), Sweden (GLF) and United States (RIAA). The single ‘Habits (Stay High)’ secured top three position on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was awarded the ‘Song of the Year’ award at the Grammis 2015 in Sweden.
The second single ‘Talking Body’ reached 12th position on the US Billboard Hot 100, 16th position in Sweden and 17th position in UK charts selling over 2 million downloads. The promotional single ‘Timebomb’ secured 4th position on Sweden charts.
Throughout 2015 and 2016 Tove featured in many singles of popular artist like DJ Alesso’s single ‘Heroes (We Could Be) for his album ‘Forever’ which became a hit reaching 5th position in Sweden, 31position on Billboard Hot 100 and 6th position in UK. Further, she featured on Urban Cone’s single ‘Come Back to Me’ from their Polaroid Dreams album.
Lo sang and co-wrote the song ‘Scars’ that featured on the soundtracks of the 2016 movie ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ and she won the STIM platinum guitar award of 2015.
Next, Tove released her sophomore album Lady Wood in 2016 which she said to be of a ‘darker and dreamier’ shade and the album scored 1st position on Sweedish Albums, 11th position on US Billboard 200, 7th on Norwegian Albums charts. The album’s first single ‘Cool Girl’ reached 15th position in Sweden charts and was certified Platinum by Sweden (GLF) and Gold by Australia (ARIA), France (SNEP).
In this song she describes herself as a cool girl interested in open relationships. She said that the lyrical content of the song was inspired from the psycological thriller film ‘Gone Girl’ where the femme fatale character Ammy Elliot-Dunne ‘goes from becoming a victim to a psycho’. Other songs of the albums were True Disaster, Fairy Dust and Influence (featuring Wiz Khalifa).
Next, Lo released her self-acted short film titled ‘Fairy Dust’ in 2016 on Vevo and YouTube channels. This film co-exists with the first six songs of her Lady Wood album. Tove is busy working on her third studio album and she said that her songs ‘Light Beam’ and ‘Pitch Black’ will feature in it
Lo has written over seventy songs for her albums and extended play and other artists as well. Her written song Heroes (We Could Be) for Alesso reached top ten positions in Sweden and UK charts and received two Platinum certifications in Sweden.
She co-wrote the track ‘Love Me Like You Do’ for Ellie Goulding which featured in the film ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and the track topped the UK Singles chart and secured 3rd position on the Billboard Hot 100. This song fetched her the first award nomination at the 58th Grammy Awards.
Tove has written for many tracks that have featured in films like ‘Scream My Name’ for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1’, ‘Scars’ for ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ and ‘Lies in the Dark’ for ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ movie.
She has worked with many artists of the music industry in musical projects like Nick Jonas, Urban Cone, Hillary Duff, Adam Lambert, Coldplay etc.
Personal Life & Legacy
Lo has had many affairs and heartbreaks but at present she is probably single. Regarding her sexuality she has stated that she sees herself as a bisexual although she never had a relationship with a girl. She refers herself as ‘hobby lesbian’.
Lo’s estimated net worth as of 2017 is $ 6.2 million and she has a collection of cars like Ferrari, BMW, Rolls Royce and Maserati. Lo also goes on musical tours and has endorsed many brands like Cover Girl Cosmetics which have added on to her earnings.