Loreen x Talhaoui
A website dedicated to the artist Loreen Talhaoui.

Not in anyway affiliated with Loreen, Mr Radar Music Group or Warner Music.

19/11 08:3819/11 08:38

Loreen has landed

The car barley fits on the road between the houses in the village Yaskin Bala. There are a few people out. But when we arrive at the open place by mosque the whole village stands there. How long have they been standing there, I don’t know, but it is an impressing lineup to welcome Loreen, the Swedish pop star.

There we have the village council with the oldest village member and all the other men, women and children. Everyone are gathered. Even the police chief in the district has come up to the village and with him he has 3-4 local armed policemen, which are “in charge of security”.

It feels both disappointing and impressing. Loreen would have wanted to arrive to the village in a more natural way. But this is how you do it in Afghanistan: The guess will be welcomed in a dignified way.

Loreen visit the village Yaskin Bala after the start of the collaborate with the Swedish Afghanistan committee. She will be like a ambassador for “SAK” in Sweden and make both the organization and Afghanistan more known. It is above all education for women she fights for. Therefore the school in Yaskin Bala will be visited.

We have been going a long distance in the beauteous and dramatic Warsaj valley. The mountains rise high on both sides of the wide and cool river. Beside the river the road follows it.

It started in Kabul. Loreen came to our compound and met representatives of SAK Sweden. She was extremely curious in the country and everything that got to do with SAK Sweden. During a dinner with SAK’s chief of education, Aminulhaq Mayel, the questions never stopped. Loreen wanted to know everything.

In Yaskin Bala we met the village’s council and the representatives for both men and women. Everyone were unequivocal about the village need: first and foremost they wanted a new school building. And then opportunity to make a living. The unemployment is big and many youngster go to Iran to work. We talk a bit pompous for a while. But the atmosphere becomes considerably lighter when the police chief goes home.

Then we got to split up. Me, The photographer Charli and Sanjar from our office in Taloqan will live in the village’s “gathering building”. Loreen and Katarina from SAK’s office in Stockholm have to go with the women to another building.

It becomes empty and quiet when the girl disappears. The dinner is excellent, but otherwise the place isn’t exactly lively. A few men comes and goes. We talk and ask questions with the help of Sanjar. Suddenly a man comes with the music instrument Damboora an the tension breaks a bit. Two youngsters dances a bit. Then the electricity is turned of and sleep is the only thing left to do.

The day after Loreen and Katarina talks about what a high atmosphere there had been with he women. Discussions had apparently gone high and there had been dancing in signing far into the night. All the women of the village had been there. A real party…

I the next edition of Afghanistan-New you can read about Katarina Hellström’s report from Loreen’s visit in Yaskin Bala and about her meeting with the village’s women!

The existing school will be visited now. I almost loose my breath when the gates opens…

Inside all the students and teacher are standing with placards and plastic flower garlands. The children have coloured the placards with many colours and imaginary greetings to Loreen.

Loreen takes her time to visit the four classrooms. She listens and asks many questions to both the teachers and the students. Wants to know more about what is said on the board. The existing school is located in an ordinary building, which isn’t suitable. When the children becomes bigger they have to go a long and and dangerous road to another school, because this one does not cover them all. But they are still quite little.

We take a walk down to an yard at the edge of the village.
”Here the school will be located!” The oldest of the village points out the place and says that the land has been given to them by a private family to make room for a bigger school. Now it is about starting to build and of course the hope is put on the Swedish Afghanistan committee.  Loreen says that she wants to come back and follow the construction - if and when the project starts.

On the way back Loreen visits a Model School for girls. Speeches are made and the fuss is big. Even here Loreen takes her time and wants to see as much as possible. After strong pressure from the girls, Loreen finally agree to sign a bit. In a crowded classroom - and with many students from the outside hanging on the windows - Loreen sings a song and the joy seams to be total for the girls. ”Imagine that a famous international artist came and sang for us…”

The trip home was adventurous. We must change plans since there had been attacks and fights along side the road leading to Kunduz, where we would take out plane home. Instead we have to go to Faizabad, where we went by an UN-flight. But Loreen seams to take it all in with calmness. The day after she will go home to Sweden and thereafter straight to Helsinki for a concert. But before departure from Kabul she has time to be interviewed for ”Korrespondenterna” on SVT.

After a time after Loreen’s visit good news come: SAK has decided to build a new in Yaskin Bala. The construction should start in the spring next year.

And we are looking forward to Loreen’s next visit.

Creates new song - in Lappland [Translation]

They have three days to create a song with someone they have never met. Loreen is one of the artists in the next season of ” Sapmi sessions” in SVT.
- It was some of the sharpest creative people I’ve worked with , she says.
The challenge?
To write and record a song three days with someone you have never met.
The place?
An old abandoned railway station near the Norwegian border in Lappland (North of Sweden).
The recordings of the upcoming season of SVT ” Sapmi sessions” where famous artists collaborate with Same artists , has just ended .

'Distant and quiet'
Now Nöjesbladet can reveal all the participating artists. One of them is the Eurovision song contest winner Loreen, 29.
For Loreen the show was an extraordinary experience .
- It was powerful to write and produce in a place that is so far-off and quiet as Vassijaure. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been to and some of the sharpest creative people I’ve worked with. This trip gave me perspective on myself , she says.
While celebrating Same-people.
- Immense respect to the Same and their knowledge. We have much to learn from them and their way of managing the land we walk on , she says.
"Very grateful "
"Sapmi Sessions" is going to be broadcasted in early 2014. According to Henrik Burman, producer at SVT, the surroundings create unique conditions.
- It’s incredibly beautiful and to make a TV production in this place is very thankful, it’s like a bubble. Then the contestants have to both write the song and record it in three days with someone they’ve never met before. That creates an extreme focus and there will be a lot of emotions , he says.

(Article published on Aftonbladet.se, translated by me / loreenxtalhaoui)

Loreen about her new hair

The length is gone - but the fringe is still there.

The hair Loreen had when she won Eurovision is history.

– I want to feel my neck and cheeks, Loreen says to Expressen. 

When Eurovision-winner Loreen showed up at yesterdays night’s Lindex event, we saw a star in a new hair cut being photographed.

According to Expressen she got her new short hair two days before the event.

"Much energy lays within the hair"

– Much energy lays within the hair. It is quite heavy with long hair, I needed it to weigh a bit less. I want to feel my neck and cheeks, she says to Expressen. 

– I said to my hair dresser “Don’t cut so it looks good” So she has had a hard time, she continues.

Loreen Talks Slaying Eurovision, Conquering The World & Her Next Album

Loreen was my favorite interview ever. (I don’t say that lightly.) In person, she’s colorful, articulate and wise — radiating the same kind of primal energy that made her a star all over Europe. For the uninitiated, the Swedish pop chanteuse was rocketed to global stardom in 2012 with her Eurovision-winning single “Euphoria” (for my money, the best song of the year, buoyed by a series of witchy, mystical performances that feel supernatural in their intensity), then dropped the great, underrated, why-wasn’t-this-released-in-America LP Heal. 

She’s since followed it up with the new single “We Got The Power,” penned by EsterDean, but that Rihanna pedigree is misleading — in Loreen’s hands,with production from Patrik Berger (Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own,” among others), it’s transformed into a political anthem, a rallying cry, a call to action that’s bold and triumphant. (Incidentally, she was on her way to Afghanistan to do human rights work when we spoke; she’s internationally notable for her progressivism.)

I met Loreen at a hotel in downtown Stockholm to talk about, well, everything: Her journey since Eurovision, where she’s headed on her next album and — to my surprise — why she was elated that “Euphoria” never caught on in the United States.

Heal is a surprisingly moody record, given how straightforward pop Eurovision winners tend to be; the closest touchstone I can think of is Kleerup‘s self-titled album from 2008, vaguely spaced-out, ambient electropop with downtempo vibes. Loreen told me that it didn’t happen that way by accident: “That period of my life, when I wrote the songs on that album, was a phase where everything I did, everything I touched — I was just drawn to melancholy,” she said. “I couldn’t sing a happy song.”

As for her Eurovision debut? That, on the other hand, was entirely planned: “I didn’t know about Eurovision,” she laughed. “I didn’t know about Melodifestivalen [the Swedish competition]. I didn’t know shit about it. I didn’t have a television. So it was actually through a friend who knew the producer.”

When “Euphoria” became a global smash in the wake of her Eurovision success, she says, there was pressure for her to launch the song in America — since it was but as it turns out, that wasn’t something that she wanted it at all.

“I was happy about that,” she said about the fact that “Euphoria” wasn’t released in the United States. “I didn’t want it to be released in the States. This is going to sound strange, but I see it as a European song. I don’t want Euphoria to be my first introduction to the States. And I don’t know why. It’s just a feeling that I have. They asked me, ‘Do you want it to be released?’ And I was praying to God — I can’t let it be this song.”

If her next record is more likely to take her stateside, she didn’t sound worried about cultural barriers. “Music is like different languages we speak,” she said. “If you want to speak to people, I feel you have to find things we have in common. Common ground. To me, music is about being connected. It’s about language. It’s a language that most of us have.”

But her signature sound — a kind of tribal dance-pop that’s soaked in sadness — might not carry over to her sophomore set. “I’m in a more hopeful place now,” she said. “I guess that’s natural.”

As she begins working with a new crop of producers, she explained that the formula is bound to change. “The sound is different,” she said. “I would say it’s much dirtier. It’s not so perfect. Some people when they record, they want it all to be perfect, but I’m actually looking for the primitive part. When you sing from the heart, you don’t really think. You just tell the truth about yourself. How would you sound if you were actually sad? I’m experimenting with that.”

She smiled. “I’m just trying to tell the truth better than the album before.”

Loreen: “I am going home only to sleep” (German interview translated)

Everybody knows her since the Eurovision Song Contest 2012: The “Ronia, the robber’s daughter” look alike with the great voice, conquered Baku, Azerbaijan, the European nation, in one night. Since then a lot has happened. Loreen released a new album and she will be on tour in December - also in Germany.

“Euphoria” brought Loreen’s breakthrough over a year ago. After her victory in the Eurovision Song Contest and the top positions in the charts, the 29-year-old singer has proven that she deserved the victory fairly. Her single “We Got The Power” has been available at music shops since May and hast left her fans craving for more. It is amazing that Loreen is coming in December for several concerts in Germany. She has already explained on “Spot on news” what’s changed in her life after her big victory.

-Do you write your music on your own?
-Yes, but I also like to co-operate with other songwriters. When I am writing a song by myself, I am often more confident about it and I know for what I stand for and what I want to say through my lyrics. With songwriters you have to be lucky, to find someone who understand who you are so that he writes down the proper lyrics.

-Is there any song on your new album, which is particularly important to you?
- I’m still working on the completion of the new album, so it’s hard for me to say. In “We Got The Power”, which is on my previous album “Heal”, there is a certain power. It also represents something different comparing to the rest songs. It represents a different side of me. It is quite aggressive and energetic. The reactions to this song were funny. Some fans asked seriously, “Is this really Loreen, who sings it?”, because my voice in this song sounds so different. For me is important that I develop myself through music and I can always show new parts of me.

-So, do you want your fans to see all the different sides of you?
-The truth always comes out sooner or later. My shows are so multi-faceted. I like to compare them to Yin and Yang. With “We got the power” i really felt an urge to show my aggressive side - a positive meaning of aggressiveness. People have in mind that I always am very quiet and introvert. This is true, but there’s more in me. One should observe me sometime while I’m working in the studio, that’s really crazy.

-So you try to surprise your fans every time?
-Oh, yes! I think I don’t do that intentionally but it happens inevitably when you try new things. As long as you are the same person as the person you appear to be on stage and this is true, then that is a good surprise. It also doesn’t help to constantly worry about writing music according just to the people’s taste, someday it won’t be real any longer. It’s important to come up with new things, because in the end everything is changing rapidly. Some people don’t like changes, but I love them.

-It is certain that all changes are not only positive. What helps you deal with bad situations?

- I believe everything is about determination (or destiny). Something that you learn in your childhood is how to deal with disappointments, there is no other choice. You have to believe in yourself, otherwise you will never go far. What helps me through tough times is that everything makes sense in their own way.

-You are now working on your new songs. How is a normal day for you?
- I love to work. Right now I spend lots of hours in the studio. Music is a part of me and I just can’t live without it, so I enjoy my work and I have so much fun. I am many hours in the studio and only go home for sleep, that’s my thing at the time.

-What kind of music do you prefer to listen to?
Right now I’m listening to the new album by Moderat. This band has totally flashed me. I have to sneak out and go to one of their concerts and hold a placard which says “I want to create a song with you”. That would be great. I love this album.

Thanks Georgia for helping out with the translation

Loreen travels to the war-zone. [Interview Translated]

Loreen is travelling to Afghanistan.

Before her trip, Loreen met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.

- She’ll go on a field trip, press contact Anna Rosdahl writes in an email.

Via social media Loreen, 29, reveals that she is involved in planning a trip and that she had an interesting conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.

Her press contact Anna Rosdahl is secretive:

- Loreen will go on a field trip directed by Svenska Afghanistankommittén (Swedish Committee for Afghanistan). She’s going there as a private person. Due to various reasons, safety reasons not least, we choose to not talk about this trip before she goes. 

Took position in Baku

Loreen independently decided to engage in Svenska Afghanistankommittén (Swedish Committee for Afghanistan), according to the organization’s press secretary Katarina Hellström.

When Loreen represented Sweden in Eurovision in Baku, Azerbaijan last year she showed her support for human rights organizations on numerous occasions.

Then she was accused of politicizing the event.

The war in Afghanistan has been going on since 2001 when the U.S. invaded the country.


Four Questions to Loreen - Elle Interview (Translated)

This year’s hair role model at ELLE Beauty Awards was Loreen. We talked with Loreen to find out how she fixes her hair, if she uses extensions, some beauty tips and her favorite scent.

How do you fix your famous hair?

- As little as possible, I like that it looks as if you come straight from the bed. I shower and then ruffle it. If I have some kind of television appearance, I use the straightener and hair dryer. And I also use a lot of softening hair products. 

But what about extensions?

- I mix my own hair with extensions, it’s my top secret thing. But that’s like asking a woman for the color of her underwear!

What is your best beauty tip?

- I’m careful about what I eat, and something that’s good for the skin is mango. Honestly, it gives your skin a completely different luster! No bumps. Try it yourself! Besides that, I prefer using Dermalogica for my skin, and probably 80 percent of my makeup bag is Chanel.

Favorite Scent?

- Actually prefer the scent of human skin. But when I want to smell a little floral, I use J’adore Dior.

I translated the little snippets of Loreen’s appearance in episode 6 of a show called ‘Fashion’, aired on SVT 30.05.2013. This is where I made my gifs from ;) Enjoy! 

Loreen was here [Blogpost, translated]

Yesterday our embassy here in Morocco invited a bunch of Moroccan stars: Mona Roukachi (more on this adorable man at a later date), Ahmed Soultan and Nabyla Maan. Yes, and Loreen, of course. The young (crazy beautiful!) lady was busy - everyone wanted a piece of her, myself (not least), Aftonbladet’s correspondent (and talented writer) Helena Trus who accompanied her during her days in Morocco, Moroccan men who understood that she (Loreen, that is) is from motherland (kisses on the hand and long greetings about health and prosperity for the family), Dutch diplomats, Moroccan cultural figures, Morocco’s largest radio profiles, - you name it.

A bunch of reflections:

The evening introduction
Thus, I’ll admit I was expecting a slightly more modest star (she’s actually a real star). No. When Loreen was presented by the ambassador’s wife and had to explain to the Moroccan audience who she was, she said:

- Who am I?

- Why am I?

- Yes. In won Eurovision Song Contest. I did. It was different. And different is a good thing!

Loreen is in place in the “sun, sea and mountain kingdom” Morocco to perform at the Mawazine Festival going on this weekend in Rabat.

Deep Purple, David Guetta, Rihanna (on drugs? It’s speculated), Enrique Iglesas - and Loreen. Awesome (Grymmers), as we said at home in Kopparberg when it was time for the Water Festival in Stockholm.

Tonight’s “I touched a star”
She gave me compliments on my Acne-jacket, I complimented her gorgeous (and extremely high) heels.

If we have the same zodiac sign?
No, but the topic was up for discussion.

About the new single: We got the Power
Comment: We, the people - are the power!

Morocco + Loreen
Loreen - who talk Berbers and has spent much time in Morocco - don’t intend to use the obvious tricks to impress the Moroccan audience during the concert.

- I can’t impress the audience by saying that I’m Moroccan. I always want to communicate, but that’s done with the heart.

And a little (very little) criticism to Sweden
- The Swedes would do well to be a little more like the Moroccans, a little more direct. They have a different energy. Are straightforward. We need to throw the glass in the wall a little more! Now we go to therapy instead.

Tonight’s “oops”
Loreen didn’t really like it when her own music played in the background during the festivities. Changed to a little Ace of Bace and Abba instead.

About the previous year - “ESC year”

- So, imagine coming from my space where it never was soooo many people - I like to be alone - to this. From performing on small stages to performing in front of 20 000 people in Romania. It has been … overwhelming.

- But it’s important to me that the focus isn’t too much on me, I don’t want life to get too much “ego”.

Tonight oh really!?

2005 Loreen participated in the Moroccan equivalent of Idol: Studio 2M. She didn’t win, instead the winner was Mona Roukachi, the Swedish-born nursing assistant from Umeå who took an entire country to its heart and in the process has moved back to Morocco (her parents are Moroccans). You get it, it was a stellar evening.

The evening’s personal Loreen-tribute

She’s lovely. Some nice words for everyone she met. Interested and interesting. “What an artist, your eyes, they shine,” she said to the photographer, Ingrid. “So multicultural!” to my friend Abdou. What a nice Acne jacket (to me) (repetition, well aware of it). You get it, you melt.

Tonight’s “moment”

When Loreen performed “Wonderwall” in a jamsession with the Swedish ambassador Anna Hammargreen’s teenage sons. Goosebumps.

Loreen back in her mother’s homeland. [Interview Translated]

Nöjesbladet was exclusively invited to join Loreen on her journey to Morocco.

Persecuted, wired and threatened.
Loreen has taken big risks to stand up against dictatorships.
- I was scared for my life, she says.
Nöjesbladet’s Helena Trus and Robin Lorentz-Allard had the exclusive opportunity to join Loreen Talhaouis journey back to her Moroccan roots.

The questions are many. And everyone wants to talk about the same thing, her involvment in human rights.
Loreen, 29, is sitting all dressed in black and sky-high heels, in a mustard colored armchair and calmly answers the questions at the preess conference for domestic and international press.
- It’s hard for me to not get involved when I see poverty and the lack of human rights, she answers with a mix of English and Arabic. Some people didn’t like what I was saying, but I keep on fighting.

Turned down by the president
Loreen was the first artist in Euovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku who dared to dissociate from the totalitarian regime, and openly criticize it.
Something she’s also become known for in Morocco.
- 90 % av all the questions were about that particular part, incredible, Loreen says.
But, as she describes it herself, her position was not appreciated by everyone.
She received tough critique from the Azeri government for her statements and meeting with human rights organisations and women’s groups.
- The president invited all the delegations to a party, except for us. We went out celebrating that fact since it means that teeny-tiny Sweden opened up for a discussion and it reached all the way up to the country’s highest level.


Nöjesbladet had the exclusive opportunity to join the singer’s journey back to her roots.
To Morocco, her mother’s, Choumicha Talhaoui Hansson, homecountry.
Her village is in Nador in Northern Morocco, where Loreen has spent many summers.

“We all have the power”
Last night she played in Morocco for the first time at the annual festival Mawazine Rythmes du Monde in Rabat.
Worldknown artists as Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna and David Guetta have also performed here.
Except for “Euphoria” Loreen performed the new single ”We got the power”, which also has a political message.
- It’s about the fact that we all have the power within us, the people have the power. It’s also an important message to women, Loreen says.
That’s one of the reasons she was nervous about this evening.
- I’m very nervous. As an artist I have an intense need of connecting with the audience. The Swedish audience knows who I am. I’m mostly nervous about not being able to communicate. You can feel it right away when you’re on stage. I’m worried about how they’ll receive me, as a woman, taking space. There’s a difference if Bob Marley stands and sings “we got the power”… We’ll see how it’ll be received, she says before the concert.
After the show she was praised by Enrique Iglesias, whom she was a supporting act for.
- Good job. Nice to meet you, the Spaniard says and extends his hand.


Loreen steps into the dilapidated terracotta coloured castle.
On her nose tip there are round, bluish John Lennon sunglasses and she wears rough, black boots in the morning heat.
Today the old castle is a building with notched towers and dilapidated walls.
We’ve come to Amesip, an association who works with supporting street children and youngsters who come from rough paths in Morocco.
The school is in Northern Rabat, in Salé, and is one of several schools and supported housings that the association runs in the roughest parts of Morocco. The center in Salé is also one of two receptions in the entire country to help youngsters with drog problems and rehab. Inside there are lessons in circus arts. The youngsters get to learn everything from acrobatics to cooking, which is combined with regular classes.
- We help children and youngsters that come from rough paths to have a livable everyday-life. It means a lot to have Loreen here, says one of the founders of Amesip, Touraya Jaidi Bouabid.

“Many strong women”
Loreen sat down and spoke to several of the youngsters after class.
- They’ve been through so much and this is a sanctuary to them. They are so strong and they have such discipline. There are many strong women in this male-dominated society.
- I get very emotional when I get here, I can feel frustration. But there’s been such a development here, people want to see change and it makes me so happy, says Loreen.


Loreen’s commitment to exposed people has been praised all over Europe. During an interview with Nöjesbladet at the singer’s hotel restaurant in Rabat, she talks about the negative sides of her commitment. Like that one time in July last year, where Loreen performed for the controversial Belarussian president Aleksander Lukasjenko at a broadcasted opening ceremony for the Belarussian art festival Slavianski Bazaar in the city of Vitebsk. She was criticized because her participation could be perceived as propaganda for the regime.
- We found out two days before we were going, that it was Lukasjenko’s own festival. I felt completely scammed. They hid it from us and I was so f*ing mad. Obviously it became a poblem and I always have to think about what signals I send out when doing the things I do. We put a lot of thought into it, how we could work our way around it.
- So I did a turnover, and found a way I could have my payback.
During the visit she met the human rights organisation Civil Rights Defenders, and for everyone’s safety Loreen had to, initially, keep the meeting a secret. Loreen also donated 75 000 SEK of her fee to support that work in the country.

“I felt threatened”
Her revolt resulted in several risks, like having her phone bugged and that she and her team were persecuted.
- I felt threatened. That situationen was so madly pressured, it was chaos and they were so angry and and provoked since I refused to follow their lead. They had no amount of respect. The situation became unsustainable.
- It’s one of the worst experiences in my life and where I was scared for my life. I was scared something was going to happen.
- Sure, sometimes I act stpid upon my aggression. But I refuse to let people have power over me.

It’s not easy as a woman to tell your parents you want to be ac circus artist.
It’s one of the worst experiences in my life and where I was scared for my life.

Loreen’s days in Morocco

Landed in the evening

3 PM Press conference with domestic and international press. She mostly received questions about her Moroccan heritage and human rights. Journalists from Sky news Arabia, the Tunisian radio station Jawhara FM, Le economist and also domestic press and press from Algeria were on site.
6 PM Party at the Swedish embassador Anna Hammargren’s residence in Rabat. There Loreen met Moroccan musicians and embassy people.

10 AM Visited the association Amesip that works with supporting street children and youngsters that come from exposed parts in Morocco.
2 PM Interview with Nöjesbladet at the hotel
17.45 Soundcheck on the festival scene, where supposedly Enrique’s entire team have been listening and jamming
21.45 Showtime. Performed for 30 minutes as support act for Enrique Iglesias.

Journey back home.

This is Loreen
Name: Lorine Zineb Nora ”Loreen” Talhaoui.
Age: 29.
Lives in: Stockholm
Family: Single.
Up to date: The new single ”We go the power”.
This is where Loreen’s heading this summer:
In the middle of june she’s going to Los Angeles to meet song writers and write for the new album.
She will also perform in countries like Finland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Lebanon, Moscow and Latvia.

[Interview by Aftonbladet. Thank you to Rania for translating]