You grew up in Estonia and it is said that you have known that you were going to be a singer since age 14. What made you want to start singing and how did it become your emotional escape? Some people hit a pillow, many young teens selfharm…what made you choose music?
I am from the eastern-European forest, from a very narrow minded little town. I always felt like I needed more understanding and happiness around me...so I created my own little place. My own dream of living a different life from what I had seen. There were no fears in my dreams. No treating each other bad, no fighting. No judgment. It was a bit hard to keep that place alive though, because nobody wanted to be a part of it. So I always felt torn and a lot of my music HAS come through hitting pillows and selfharming. It's all a part of my growth. And I wouldn't change a thing. It was hard to feel much, until I learned to see it as a gift, not a burden.
What kind of music do you listen to? What are some of your favorite artists and
how has your love for that music affected your musical career?
I always feel like an asshole to say that I don't have any musical influences. But I really don't think I can name any. Everything that I listen to, influences me. Music begins from silence. I think a person can write a beautiful song without ever hearing any music in their life. I love bold females like Björk, Anouk, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin etc. If anyone has influenced my music, I hope it’s them. And maybe even not their music so much as their minds.
You took part in the Fizz Superstar 2002 competition and won. If you didn't achieve the success you eventually garnered from that, what would you be doing today?
Exactly what I'm doing. I knew the destination. I'm sure there were many ways to it.
If you could go back and eliminate all of the television appearances you had and start over as a relatively unknown artist getting her start without immediate public scrutiny, would you? Would you have done anything differently?
You know, I never really regret anything in my life. I believe that people have to do some shitty things before they learn what is good. Without doing things that weren't necessarily me, I got closer to who I was. It's like I started closing doors to rooms that I'd been to and that I didn't like. And every door I didn't close took me to the different part of me that I am proud of and am trying to keep growing.
How do you think that you'll fit into the US market with the recent boom of female solo artists such as Kate Nash, Colbie Caillait, and Sara Bareille finding success with mellow soft rock tunes while you have a more bombastic sound? Why should an American listener choose to listen to you over an artist such as Avril Lavigne? What kind of audience do you think will connect with you in the States?
I just want to be happy and write music and hopefully someone can relate to it and get something out of it. I am not really competing with any other artists. Each one of the ones you named is amazing. I don't care about selling more albums than someone else. I want to be a better person than I was yesterday. That's all I really want out of my life. I am not trying to connect with music lovers. I would love to connect to that deepest human part inside them. Everyone understands love. That's what my music is about. Love or the lack of it, inside a human being or in this world.
How has Island Records been for you? What plans do they have for you?
They have been great. They have let me grow. Through good and bad, I love them. I don't want to talk about what they are planning for me. We'll see.
You are on record noting lead single "Love is Dead" as your favorite song off of your debut album. What is your least favorite song on the album? Why? Do you think that it could have been made better with a different vocal effort, changed lyrics, or maybe even different production? How would you fix it?
My least favorite song on this album is “Strange Boy”. That's probably the only song that doesn't mean very much. I don't want to dis it though. It's still my kid, you know? You can't change a kid; you have to make a new one :)
How important is your image as an artist? Do you find that the way that the public perceives you will play an important role in your career or do you want the music to speak for itself?
My image is very important. I want every visual part of me to be as weird, beautiful, creepy, cute and fucked up and my music.
Where do you believe 2008 will take you?
I do believe that 2008 is the year of new beginnings. For many people, 2007 was very hard. This year is much, much better. New energy.
What do you believe American listeners need to know about you? Is there anything else you'd like to say?