Lykke Li Zachrisson was born in 1986, the middle child to a photographer mother and a musician father. Her mother giving birth to her standing up and without anaesthesia was a manifestation of the revolutionary hospital’s credo – “Being born on a woman’s terms” and possibly the first confrontation with womankind to found Lykke Li’s struggle with the concept of belonging.
The Zachrissons were the family that wouldn’t sit still, moving from Sweden to New Zealand, to Portugal where they settled in a mountain village to escape radiation in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. A compliant rebel child whose first steps were taken barefoot on sharp pebbles to the sound of peacocks and thunder, spending her winters in India, Nepal and Morocco, her school years in 11 different establishments, Lykke soon turned to scribbling poetry and dancing, not out of interest but out of necessity. When the family moved back to Sweden several years later, the now nine year old was already a wanderer by nature, restless and ancient at heart.
At 19, dancing was no longer enough of an outlet for Lykke Li’s increasingly loud soul, singing what she felt became the beginning of a cure for the ailments of youth and the confinement of Stockholm suburbs. So she took her business to New York, toughed things out in Bushwick, hustled and bustled, uptown and down. Waking up in her rat infested closet of a flat the morning after getting booed off stage at an open mic night with the hard knock conviction that “This is as rough as it gets. It’s all downhill from here”, she knew that artistry in what ever form would always be her life.