March 20, 2017 / 9:05 PM / 2 years ago

Swedish singer Zara Larsson seeks to build U.S. fan base

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Swedish pop star Zara Larsson may have racked up more than 1 billion streams on music service Spotify within a few days of her new album’s release, but the 19-year-old knows she still has some work to do in the United States.

Swedish singer Zara Larsson performs during the Bambi 2016 media awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Her second album, “So Good,” came out on Friday. It is the first international release for Larsson, who is already a star in Sweden.

“It feels so good to have my record out - that I can actually go here and tell people, ‘Check out my album’ and stuff,” Larsson said in an interview on Monday.

“But it’s definitely difficult because it’s so big - it’s really, really big,” she said, referring to the American market.

Larsson gained fame in her home country at the age of 10, when she won the Swedish talent show “Talang” in 2008. Last month, she was named artist of the year at the Grammis Awards, Sweden’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards.

Larsson said she tried to accomplish a couple of things on her new, 15-song album.

“My kind of picture for it was just to create a really good collection of pop songs,” she said. “It’s fun, it’s positive, it’s uplifting and empowering.”

Larsson also likes to add her voice on social media to discuss politics and women’s rights. 

“I just grew up in an environment that allowed me to really question everything all the time,” she said. “I was always the one who was like, ‘Is it really that way, is it really?’”

The singer will tour North America with British electronic music group Clean Bandit from April to May before heading to Europe, where she will perform at several festivals.

Editing by Matthew Lewis

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