This is my translation of an interview that I received thanks to Jeffrey de Hart, Anita Notenboom and Helga van de Kaar.
"I want to act in TV theater"
She seems to be a puzzled girl. The 18-year old Svensktoppen comet Agnetha Fältskog. She’s the one with “Jag var så kär” from last winter, if you remember. But she’s puzzled in a good way. For Agnetha is a girl with many irons in the fire.
Agnetha wonders and longs. Should she give it a try in Germany right away, make big money, or should she try to become what she really wants to be, an actress?
It’s a difficult choice, just as difficult as it was last spring in Jönköping, to stop singing with Bernt Enghardts orkester, which she toured with in her spare time for a couple of years. But then again she waited for the longest time before she took that drastic step.
It’s largely thanks to Enghardts orkester that Agnetha has become a big name. As a venture, the orchestra’s conductor Bengt (actually, his name is Bernt. Claes’ note) Enghardt sent a tape to Lille Gerhard, who now is director of production in a small recording company. And Lille Gerhard got interested in Agnetha’s voice right away and immediately called her. Guess if she was surprised!
She was even more surprised when her first album with a title song which she had written both lyrics and music to all by herself, entered Svensktoppen at number 3. The record sales increased and after a couple of weeks “Jag var så kär” had sold more than 80 000 copies – a very nice sales figure.
There were others than Agnetha who also were surprised. Most people in show business thought it was a great achievement by Agnetha to get a song that she had written by herself up on the charts. But Agnetha doesn’t think the song is particularly special, no more special than her other songs.
-I have written songs for a long time, she says, ever since around the age of ten. When I get in the mood (for composing. Claes’ note), I light two candles – preferably red ones – and sit down by the piano. And then I come up with a melody. Mostly a melancholy one.
Agnetha isn’t a melancholy person, quite the opposite, she’s always glad and she herself thinks she’s very happy. But she needs the sadness in her songs as a counterbalance. And maybe as a release of her feelings when she’s not happy. Both of her Svensktoppen songs ”Jag var så kär” and ”Utan dej” are both melodies of love, which were inspired by guys Agnetha had dated and then the relationships ended.
But in the future we’ll probably get to hear her sing about happy love. Because now Agnetha is really in love! Since last spring she’s together with Dieter Zimmerman, a German schlager composer, who she met in Berlin when she was there to record an album. At the end of July they were engaged.
That engagement could mean a lot to Agnetha. Not only is he a nice guy, who she fits very well together with, but also a skillful composer and producer who can launch her in the German market.
-I really believe in Agnetha, says Dieter. Her romantic and a bit melancholy disposition is exactly what is needed in Germany right now. She has all the prospects to be the next one in the long line of Swedish artists who have hit the jackpot there.
But Agnetha doesn’t really know which leg to stand on. Because her big dream is the theater.
-I have always wanted to perform in front of an audience, she says. But I’ve never had the chance, except just for fun – when we acted in school and at similar occasions. Of course I’ve been on stage a lot during the summer in the folkparks – but it’s still not the same to just stand there and sing…
But now she’s made up her mind: the plans for Germany have been put on the shelf for now, and the contract with Enghardts orkester has been dismissed. Because Agnetha is going to study at Calle Flygare’s theater school. Her goal is the TV-theater, which Agnetha thinks is a very favorable medium. As seriously aiming as the regular theater, but with the advantage that it reaches a lot more people.
But Agnetha won’t completely disappear out of the picture as a singer. This fall she’s going to be hugely promoted here at home as – Sweden’s Nancy Sinatra! The Lee Hazlewood that she has chosen is Jörgen Edman. Together they’re going to come up with a new sound for Svensktoppen, which is expected to be a great success.
We will also get the chance to see her live on stage. Because she’s going to participate in a package tour with among others Sten & Stanley. It is also expected to be something favored by the audience.
And maybe there will also be, despite of the happy love, a few melancholy songs this fall. Dieter has gone back to Berlin to produce records, and Agnetha has to be content with writing him letters each night and talk to him on the phone once a week. And spend her time longing for him, write her next Svensktoppen success “Längtan”.
By Birgitta Forslund and Benny Möller