Tove Lo and SG Lewis. Credit: Nikola Lamburov

Tove Lo and SG Lewis have teamed up for a new collaborative EP ‘Heat’ – inspired by their fans in the queer community. Check out our interview with the duo below.

Released yesterday (June 14), the four-track dance project came with four interlinked music videos directed by David Wilson, who has previously worked with Lady Gaga and Christine And The Queens. Lo and Lewis only appear in the first video, ‘Heat’, which was filmed at Electrowerkz, an iconic London club that hosts LGBTQ+ and fetish nights including House of Trash, Slimelight and Roast.

“We’re trying to highlight other people and the queer community more than ourselves in the videos,” Lo told NME. “The through line is someone discovering their full self for the first time in a club space – in Club Heat.”

Lewis said that the videos “amplify” the mood of the EP’s four tracks, which each represent “different pockets of a night out”. He explained: “The title track ‘Heat’ is kind of the celebratory party moment. ‘Let Me Go (Oh Oh)’ has a lustful, sexual energy. ‘Desire’ is more emotional and tender, and ‘Busy Girl’ is very much the catwalk moment.”

Singer-songwriter Lo and DJ-producer Lewis previously worked together on ‘Pineapple Slice’ and ‘Call On Me’, two fan favourites from Lo’s excellent 2022 album ‘Dirt Femme‘. More recently, they teamed with Nelly Furtado for the Canadian singer’s comeback single ‘Love Bites’, which dropped in May. “This EP was meant to be a casual fun side project, but it has ended up not being very casual because it’s hard not to give it your all,” Lo said.

They are supporting the EP with a series of Club Heat pop-up gigs including a Glastonbury set on June 28. “We’ve only done one Club Heat so far but the response from the audience was incredible. Me and Tove going back to back [as DJs] with Tove popping out for performance moments creates this really chaotic party,” Lewis said. “I’m really excited to see how that translates to a farm in Somerset.”

Here, the friends and collaborators talk about infusing the EP with an authentic sense of queer liberation.

NME: Hi Tove and SG. So, why did you guys decide to make a full EP together?

Tove Lo: “Obviously we loved working together [on ‘Dirt Femme’], so it was a very natural sort of progression. But it was also because our mutual fans were like: ‘Why isn’t there more? We need more of you guys together – give us more to dance to!'”

SG Lewis: “It’s kind of extreme on Twitter. I’ve seen various memes where I’m on all fours on a dark leash and Tove is like my BDSM [master]. Honestly, I’ve seen all kinds of things but that’s the general dynamic.”

The EP slaps from start to finish. What were your main musical reference points?

SG: “I was reading Sheryl Garratt’s book Adventures In Wonderland, which is all about the birth of acid house in the ’90s. So it was kind of that bleeding into ’90s trance and stuff. But really, the only rule was to make songs we’d both want to play in our DJ sets.”

Tove: “I knew I wanted it to be mainly for the queer dance floor. Because most of the fans we share are queer, the idea was kind of like: ‘Thank you for all the support. Here’s more bangers.'”

What do you think characterises a queer dance floor?

Tove: “Love, freedom and liberation – with kindness. Not to like hate on straight people, but in a straight club, there can be a kind of aggressive energy. At least for me, when I’ve been in a queer club or space, it feels like there’s more of a kindness and respect in general. Even though people are way more naked and at times there’s a very sexual energy.”

SG: “As a guest in those spaces – I’ve been fortunate enough to provide a soundtrack to queer parties as a DJ – the most obvious thing to me is that there’s a lack of fear of expression. They’re safe spaces for the queer audience to truly be who they are. So that adds this kind of undercurrent of liberation that you just can’t create in the standard Saturday night club environment.”


Tove, you’ve also said that ‘Busy Girl’ was written with “drag queens and sassy bitches” in mind?

Tove: “I was binge-watching a lot of RuPaul in the pandemic, and I had this revelation: ‘Why am I not bringing this kind of confidence mixed with weirdness to my performances?’ I just got really inspired by the multifaceted confidence of these drag queens. So that song is how I want to feel when I’m on stage.”

That song also feels like a relative of ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ by Mason and Princess Superstar. Was that an influence too?

Tove Lo: “Vocally it wasn’t, but it’s so funny because I feel like ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ had this revival moment right around the time we finished the EP. And then I was like, ‘Oh, they definitely exist in the same world.'”

SG: “We started working on ‘Busy Girl’ before ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ had that moment in Saltburn. I was playing a lot of 2000s electro in my DJ sets so ‘Busy Girl’ is as much an ode to Fedde Le Grand. But now when I kind of zoom out retrospectively, I’m like, ‘I definitely feel there’s a certain homage to ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ in there.”

You shot the ‘Heat’ video at Electrowerkz, a London club that hosts some iconic queer and fetish nights. Is that why you chose it?

Tove: “It was the incredible director we worked with, David Wilson, who suggested Electrowerkz. I’ve been there before and… had a great time! It has everything you want in a venue: the walls are sweaty and it has all these secret hallways, but there’s also this beautiful light coming in. The video definitely isn’t for the younger audience, but it really plays into what this EP stands for.”

SG: “It’s one of those venues where you walk round and think: ‘If these walls could talk.’ We knew we wanted to work with a queer director who could amplify the voices in that community, and full credit to David Wilson for helping us to execute the idea. His vision was fully there from the first call.”

You’ve said Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ was a reference point when you made ‘Let Me Go (Oh Oh)’. What about Kylie’s song did you channel?

Tove: “There’s like a mystery sexiness to that song that we wanted to harness. But then our lyrics are obviously way more blunt!”

SG: “Obviously the offbeat M1 organ bass is not an undiscovered sound as such – it’s very much a hallmark of ’90s and 2000s house music and stuff. But I think we really wanted to capture the lustful energy of that track. ‘Let Me Go (Oh Oh)’ is kind of a darker, hornier version, I think. I really love that dreamy, lusty sound in club music.”


Finally, what’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen on a dance floor?

Tove: “People having sex. Everywhere you go in Berlin, it’s like, ‘Oh look, those people are fucking each other.'”

SG: “I went to Berghain and I don’t know what could be printed, but I saw everything.”

Did you have to throw away your shoes afterwards? A lot of people have to when they leave Berghain.

SG: “I think I kept mine.”

Tove: “I don’t know what happened to my shoes – was I even wearing shoes?”

‘Heat’ by Tove Lo and SG Lewis is out now via Pretty Swede Records. The duo be DJing at Glastonbury 2024 at the Lonely Hearts Club Stage on Friday June 28.

The post Tove Lo and SG Lewis tell us about their EP made “for the queer dance floor” appeared first on NME.


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