Beauty And The Beat: Sweden’s Amanda Mair Is On The Rise
With a heartbreakingly beautiful voice that lends itself to songs about love and loss, it’s hard to believe that Amanda Mair is only 17. The Swedish vocalist—who also happens to be a whiz on the piano—caught the attention of Labrador Records in 2010, and her life has been the stuff of fairy tales ever since: Mair got signed, put out an album, and had toured the world all before graduating from high school. The comparisons to artists like Lykke Li and Kate Bush seem inevitable, considering Mair’s wide range (the songs that make up her self-titled debut, which came out in the U.S. earlier this month, go from icy electro-pop to plaintive piano ballads) and striking looks (think: large, Kewpie doll eyes with fluttering eyelashes, thick face-framing brows, and a sly smile untouched by modern orthodontics). But the more you listen to her—singles “Doubt” and “Sense” are good places to start—the more you realize that the Swede is her own woman; the only thing more exciting than listening to her music is watching to see where she’ll take it. In between rehearsals for her upcoming tour, Mair spoke with Style.com about stealing her sister’s shampoo, becoming obsessed with blue nail polish, and not giving a damn about the gap between her teeth.
As a young artist, did anyone ever sit you down and talk to you about creating a “look”?
No, never. Johan [Angergard], who runs my label, is not like that at all. I’m just being myself. I like to mix chic and tailored stuff with vintage [or] rock style. My go-to shopping spots in Stockholm are Weekdays, Urban Outfitters, Acne, COS, and H&M of course.
Is your onstage style similar to what you wear when you’re not performing?
My onstage look is really similar to my day-to-day style—just more intense. I go a little heavier on the drama. There’s a slight difference, I guess, but I’m always being myself. And I love to go with red lipstick onstage.
Gap teeth have become a “trend” over the past few years, thanks to models like Lindsey Wixson and Ashley Smith, but did you ever consider straightening your teeth?
I got my gap when I fell in the stairway as a child. I’ve never considered getting braces—I think [it] gives my teeth some personality! It doesn’t bother me at all. Does it bother you?
No—it makes your face all the more striking. You’ve also got incredible skin helping with that. Do you subscribe to a strict regimen?
Thank you! I use the Body Shop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream. It’s perfect for me because I have really dry skin.
What about your hair—with such long strands, is it ever difficult to keep it healthy while touring?
I have two sisters and they’re each very picky when it comes to using shampoo. But I can go with anything…whatever is in the shower—even shampoo for men! Maybe that’s my trick?
Maybe! As a teenager, do you feel like you can be more adventurous with makeup, or is there a pressure to look your age?
I don’t feel like there are any rules or limitations when it comes to makeup, but it’s kind of hard to answer because I use very little makeup—usually just mascara. I use L’Oréal Telescopic mascara and it is awesome! You get long lashes and it never clumps. Another thing I love is colorful nail polish; right now I use a bright blue color that makes me happy every time I look at it.
Anything you always pack when you hit the road?
My rings! I’m always wearing my rings; I have at least four rings on me every day and feel almost empty without them. My favorite sweater—it’s a big gray hoodie that’s comfortable to have in the tour bus. I also always bring a special pillow. I’m very picky when it comes to pillows; it’s not like I can sleep on any pillow!