Little Dragon’s lead singer talks Prince, her bad temper, and baby-making music.
This feature appears in Complex's June/July 2011 issue.
Swedish band Little Dragon is reportedly named after its petite Swedish-Japanese lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s temper, and all of her fire-breathing moods are on full display with their third record, Ritual Union, out in July. Think ’80s vintage Prince at his horniest, fronted by Björk, and you’ll get an idea of the band’s funked-up and odd sound. Sticking to their all-synths, no-guitar policy, the record is sure to be your sultry summer soundtrack. Or at least it’ll be the shit your girl plays to explain why she’s breaking up with you.
Do you even have ugly people in Sweden?
[Laughs.] I think everyone here is beautiful.
You’ve talked before about how Prince was a big influence. What do you make of him censoring all of his old dirty songs?
I have not really listened that much to his recent stuff. I didn’t know that he stopped singing those songs, actually.
He’s gone Jehovah, so he’s not allowed to talk about sex anymore.
I think that’s a shame.
What’s your favorite dirty Prince song?
I don’t know which songs are classified as really dirty ones, but I like “If I Was Your Girlfriend.”
So does the name of your band really come from your bad temper?
It’s a funny way to put it, but it sort of came out that way. It was something that the guys called me once in Sweden, and we liked it as a band name. I have definitely had my fits in the studio.
Little Dragon’s music touches on a lot of different emotions. What music would you put on in the bedroom when you’re trying to set the mood?
Not Al Green, that’s too much of a cliché, but I’ll probably put on something strong and weird. Some Brian Eno.
Has anyone confessed to conceiving a baby to your music?
Not necessarily confessed to that, but I have heard people say that their girlfriend called them up and broke up with them and played “Twice.” I have heard more of that, actually, than people making love.
You have blood on your hands!
WATCH THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO:
(HAIR) Tara Jean Mann. (MAKEUP) Gloria Noto. FIRST & SIXTH IMAGE: Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti / Jewelry by Delphine-Charlotte Parmentier. SECOND IMAGE Swimsuit by Jungle Girl / Shorts by Marco Marco.