ABBA's Frida: "Alone, but not lonely"
Frida, the popular singer from the succesful Swedish group ABBA, has gone through a difficult time. Her second marriage ended. Still, she kept on seeing her ex-husband, Benny, almost on a daily basis. Frida is now working hard on a solo career. Her new album has been received very well and Frida is beaming again. Openly, she tells Story that she does have a boyfriend, but she'd rather be alone for the time being.
Singer Frida (from the group ABBA) has made some important decisions concerning her private life as well as her career. She left her husband, Benny Andersson, and some time after that she surprised everyone with a solo album. On top of that, the appearance of the singer underwent a drastic change. In an exclusive interview with Story, the 36-year-old Frida was willing to share her reasons for these radical changes in her life...
“I’ve made amends with the past,” Frida Lyngstad starts our conversation. “I want to lead a whole new life!” During the two (fully booked) days that Frida is in Holland, the sympathetic singer still has found the time for an interview with Story. And the first thing that strikes me, sitting opposite her, is that she looks incredibly youthful. “I thought that my new life needed a new look as well. That’s why I changed my hairdo and my clothes drastically. Firstly, I’ve let my hair cut short and about every three months I change it into a different colour. At the moment I like purple very much, so that’s why my hair is that colour now. But I might change it into red next week. Furthermore, lately I wear only clothes that I really like myself. I don’t think twice whether specific clothing suits my age. Age doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. I just wear what I like. And that’s it.”
It’s truly unbelievable how radiant and young she looks. With her bright coloured hair and mini skirt, the 36-year-old Frida looks at least ten years younger. “That’s how I feel as well,” she continues cheerfully. “When I was fifteen years old, I met my first husband. And when I was sixteen, I became pregnant with our son. So I hardly had the time to be really young, and I’m making up for that lost time now. Now I’m doing a lot of things that I missed out on being a young girl. For instance, I finally have the time to go out shopping with some girlfriends. I think that’s delightful. And I’m really planning to enjoy this life of freedom for a while to come. After my divorce from Benny I haven’t met anyone whom I’d want to marry again. I do have a boyfriend. His name is Bertil Hjert and he’s a fashion designer. I love him very much, but I’m not ready for a commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against marriage. And I’m not saying I will never remarry again, but for the time being I have no plans in that direction.”
From her first marriage, Frida has a fifteen-year-old daughter (Liselotte) and a nineteen-year-old son (Hans), with whom she’s very close. “Liselotte is attending highschool in America,” Frida says. “But during the holidays she stays with me. Lotte thinks it’s wonderful that I look so fashionable nowadays and after the holiday she returned to America with a suitcase full of clothes that she found in my closet. Hans is in the music business as well, but he’s mainly interested in the technical side. Since one year he’s not living at home anymore, but he still comes to visit his ‘old’ mother on a regular basis. By the way, it was Liselotte who gave me the idea to record a solo album. She played a solo album by Phil Collins to me and I thought his arrangements and drumsound were just marvellous. I suddenly got the urge to record an album of my own. Luckily this was possible at Polydor. And I wanted to ask Phil Collins to produce this record. It all came together and since a few months my solo album ‘Something’s Going On’ is out in the shops.” Of course, after all this everyone wondered whether this album would mean the end of ABBA, but Frida says very decidedly that all four of them don’t consider that yet. “We work very pleasantly together,” she says with emphasis. “That’s why we don’t see any reason to put an end to ABBA. On the other hand, the group has now existed for ten years and of course we can’t go on forever. In the near future, a new album and a special album will be released and probably that won’t be the last ABBA-records.”
“Still, I’m considering doing another solo album in a while. Because I enjoy it tremendously.” Agnetha, ABBA’s blonde singer, has recorded a solo single as well. And that single, ‘Never Again’, is also a taster for her own solo album. “I know there are rumours going round that Agnetha is trying to copy me because she would be jealous of my success. But there’s no truth in that whatsoever. Agnetha and I are good friends and we both have been playing with the idea of a solo album for a while. Only, my album was released before hers. Just like me, Agnetha wanted to try a different kind of music after ten years of ABBA, and of course this wasn’t possible within the group. Hence our solo albums. For me personally it was important to not only make some changes in my private life, but I thought my career needed a breath of fresh air as well. That’s what happened now. And I haven’t regretted all those changes for one second. On the contrary, I feel like I’ve started my second childhood. I think that's delightful!”