(All photos by Amanda Elsa Larsson)

FLAWS, the creative handle for Swedish-based producer, writer, and R&B artist Anton Alvin, has a new single out. We don’t get the chance to follow up with artists as much as we like, but “Prove Me (wrong)” showed such artistic growth that we knew we had to pick Alvin’s brain about it – you can read our original interview with him here.

His latest single is built on rich blends of elasticity that slowly kindle flames rather than dousing them in gasoline. It’s an exercise in temperance, one that definitely pays off. It’s always nice to talk to someone so ingrained in the creative process, so to find out where his vision was pointed to during the making of the single was well appreciated, especially from someone who is, to put it mildly, quite busy.

Give a listen to the new single, and check out what he has to say:

It’s been about a year since we’ve last touched base like this – what’s been keeping you busy in the meantime? Where have you been heading artistically?

You’re right. Almost a year has gone, and this time I’m a bit more prepared. The sound has gone from this atmospheric and dreamy… (laughs) – dreamy. Is that the most overused word describing reverby pop?

I think I’ve grown musically, and my songs are a bit more focused, a bit more straight forward, shorter, rougher. The sound is different, and I think they’re probably more honest than before. I was on my way writing, “I take myself less serious these days,” but then I realized that would not only be wrong, it would also be a lie.

“I need the music to have some kind of itchy feeling to it.”

Also, a lot has changed in the world needless to say. Have these changes in the political shifts of Europe and the US affected your writing or creative process?

I wouldn’t say that I’m personally affected in some kind of direct way. Even though I guess the situation is probably changing the general feeling in parts of the world. I don’t know what I can say really, don’t know anything about anything, and with all my privileges, I’m probably one of the least affected from all the craziness going on.

And is everything okay in Sweden? I mean, if the President said it, it’s gotta be true, right? 😉

(Laughs) I don’t know. I don’t take too much notice. Too busy emailing and getting rejected from different labels and stuff.

I know through your personal work that you get to interact with an array of artists. Has that helped you to grow in what you make, and have you been given the chance to collaborate in any new forms through that avenue?

Yeah, this year has been interesting in that sense. I’ve done so, so much all the time, been up in so many different projects, and really met a lot of cool people. I’ve been working with a wide variety of people and this year has really put me in some interesting situations. I have a lot of super cool things going on a bit under the surface. I’m hoping to be able to reveal some of the super mysterious FLAWS-happenings soon.

“I don’t think that lyrics needs to be about one specific moment or subject. I think that it might be more about one certain mindset or creative atmosphere maybe.”

With the new single, it starts out stretching itself, and then it snaps into a different pacing immediately, and then the back and forth continues. Can you tell us a little bit about the production and how you created that tug-of-war in the song’s movements?

First of all, thank you so much! That’s exactly what I always try to do when writing. I need the music to have some kind of itchy feeling to it. I feel that when it’s too safe or too slick or good or whatever it just turns out really uninteresting. No one has time for perfection. Practice makes perfect, and it might also make boring. I don’t know – I often keep bad vocal phrases and production mishaps. I think they’re summing the music up to something that’s more, something that might matter.

Just for this specific single, I feel like a lot of the tension and interesting parts lies in the song not really taking off into some kind of bombastic super chorus. I feel like the intensity and dance lies within the small movements and the soundscape. I think that itchy feeling would get lost in a more commercial production.

“Prove Me (Wrong)” sounds like a title with a hidden meaning to it. Is there a story behind the words being expressed?

Of course there is a personal dimension to the song. As there is to everything I do and write, but I’m trying to describe my music with some kind of wider perspective or angle. The music I do, the lyrics I write, they’re all affected by my modes – they come directly out of this basket of brain and feeling that is me. I don’t think that lyrics needs to be about one specific moment or subject. I think that it might be more about one certain mindset or creative atmosphere maybe.

It seems like you’re starting to push yourself a bit more as a creator. Do you have the next step in mind for where you’d like to go, or do you prefer the next creation to be organic and build it from there?

It’s hard to tell. I do more now than I’ve ever done before. More work, more writing and production, more thinking, less social. It’s going to be interesting to see where this might take me. I’ll probably end up hiding in some cave somewhere, Bon Iver style!

I hope that my upcoming production will go in the same direction. I feel like I’m on to something here. Maybe the next thing should be to let other people in more. Maybe let someone besides György Barocsai (producer, mastermind, friend, and fellow dreamer) play some kind of part.

And do you have a next single or even and EP planned? How about any tours or anything else you’re looking forward to?

Here we go… After this single there will be one more and videos. Then there will be an EP, then there will be touring, and then there will be world domination. Or maybe not, but you gotta dream, right? And, GUYS! Listen to the new Sampha record if you haven’t done that yet! It’s a meaningful peace of art.

(Editor’s note: You can listen to Sampha’s album Process here on Spotify).