Ace Wilder on Sexuality in Art, "The Wild Card" EP, and the Swedish Industry (Interview)

Photo: Lizel Strömberg (ZEL Photography)

Ace Wilder has qualified direct to the Melodifestivalen finals. Her bold artistry and killer stage charisma are a breath of fresh air each time she competes. But rather shockingly, this time around she has been tapped to be the show-opener at the finals. She remains rather unphased by this move, though.

"I think that we overanalyse these things. People will vote for what they like. There's always a favourite, that's just the way it is."

During her time off between the first semi-final and now, she has been watching closely what's been happening with the other qualifiers and eliminations. She was equally as shocked by Loreen's elimination as the international audience. She has a theory on why edgier artists tend to suffer in the results of Melodifestivalen.

"It's the format. The audience of Melodifestivalen, I'm sure they like other music, other artists, other stuff. In this format, they want something specific and it's pretty broad. I'm sure that everyone out there listens to Loreen at home, it's just that in this format they're looking for something that's more for the masses. I'm sure there's gonna be more edgy artists, and she has to be the first. Change comes progressively. Little by little, this is gonna change and one day people are gonna look back on this number and think, 'Oh that was nothing!'"

Wilder released an EP entitled "The Wild Card" a while back that we couldn't find any English-language interviews on so we asked her to share a bit about the creative process of developing the songs for it.

"That EP is based on the fact that I've been working as a songwriter so long. I'm influenced by all sorts of music, all sorts of artists, and I just sort of write whatever I feel like. It's also, that EP I didn't have one producer that I worked with. Usually an artist has one person that does the whole album so it feels more packaged. This EP wasn't like that. That's kind of how I like to work. I like to be with different people, see what they bring out of me, different styles."

One way that Wilder further makes herself stand out among her Swedish colleague is her fearlessness in incorporating sexuality into her lyrical narratives and artistic creativity. She has her own theories on why it is that so many Swedish artists shy away from doing so.

"I've actually thought about this. We're very gender-neutral in our society. We don't wear a lot of sexy, revealing clothing. We feel like we've evolved, we're that kind of society. 'We've evolved, we have sex, everyone knows that, we don't discriminate, you can be gay,' this is our vision of ourselves. We don't sing about sex because we just take it for granted that we're all having it and it's kind of cheap if you have to sing about it. It's just not in our culture to sing or brag about sex. But we can have clinical conversations about sex like 'if you insert the penis into the vagina,' we'll have those kinds of conversations but we won't actually make art about sex. It's actually pretty funny because in America, you're not really supposed to have sex before you get married so it becomes a little rebellious to sing about sex or make movies where it's Hollywood-sex and it's just so romantic and sexy. We all know real sex is not romantic and sexy. It's kind of weird. There's grunting and there's noises and smells... I think that's what makes us the most non-sexy people of the world."

Watch our full interview with Ace Wilder here:


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