By Lena-Katarina Swanberg
9-year old recording debutant Christian is satisfied. At least quite satisfied.
37-year old mom Agnetha Fältskog is pleased to finally having administered LP-justice between both her children and says what if this children’s album also sells 160 000 copies, just like the Christmas album with her Linda did when it was released seven years ago.
In any case, there’s constantly a small group of fans outside the property and it shows that there’s a big interest in Agnetha Fältskog even six years after ABBA’s breakup.
Out of sight for these fans, wet from the rain, as well as for others, behind fences with alarm, surveillance cameras and doors with pictures of aggressive German shepherds and surrounded by the Mälar* landscape’s large green fields, Agnetha Fältskog lives together with her children Christian and Linda.
There, at her house under surveillance, we met yesterday. Because before the release of a single at the end of this month and an LP at the end of next month, Agnetha had after consultation with her new record company WEA, decided to grant one of her rare interviews.
Agnetha thought of recording an album with Christian already when she recorded the LP with Linda. She can’t always be perfectly fair, but she tries to keep a balance between her children.
And I think you should know, before you continue reading, that this discussion in Agnetha’s garden wasn’t a pleasant and unconstrained one.
Quite soon we had finished talking about the fact that the musicians who participate on this album are the same Agnetha always work with,- that it took one year to pick the 16 children’s songs by Lennart Hellsing, Gullan Bornemark, Stig Olin and Michael B Tretow, that Christian took seven days off from school because of the record and he often thought it was quite difficult to have to concentrate for such a long time in the studio, that it’s the first time Agnetha is the producer for an album (but together with Michael B Tretow) and that the reason why Agnetha chose the songs she did, is that they “felt right”.
A regular, worried mom
It was once we had finished talking about these basic facts that I really realized how upset Agnetha Fältskog is with “all damn speculations about my private life”, as she expressed it herself.
I won’t present the outburst word by word, because Agnetha isn’t really the kind of person who curses.
Instead she’s just as well mannered and calm as she is blonde. As repudiative and cool as she is a regular, worried mom, when the dark clouds appear and her daughter Linda has just ridden away to practice some more for yet another horse jumping competition.
Linda is quite good at it now so the hurdles are so high and there are cars on her way to the practice…
So in other words Agnetha isn’t the kind of person who curses all the time, but she’s not that different from Greta Garbo when it comes to her awkward attitude towards publicity. Just like a hedgehog her spines stick out when I wonder if she has anything else planned, now that this children’s album is finished.
Agnetha doesn’t know what I hint at or what promises the record company has given me, but she only wants to talk about this album that she has made with Christian that’s coming out now. Nothing private.
Private?? There I sit and suddenly I feel as if I’ve been snooping around in this famous singer’s bedroom. And there Agnetha is sitting and she doesn’t even want to say if there will be a collaboration with the American singer Peter Cetera who Agnetha met at TV’s refugee gala last fall. Even that is too private.
The children keep her busy
Furthermore, there won’t be any video for this new children’s album with Christian and no TV-appearances either. It’s not easy for the children to have two famous parents and Agnetha doesn’t want them to suffer.
Is Agnetha still as engaged in the fight against drugs?
That subject was also too private, even though Agnetha several times have spoken in media about her worries about drug use among teenagers and she’s used her celebrity to spread knowledge about the danger of drug abuse.
Artists are always supposed to have such firm answers to everything, Agnetha says now. She has two children and everyone who’s a parent knows that two children certainly keep you busy. There’s no time for relaxing being a mother of two children. And because of that there isn’t enough time to stay active and get engaged in everything.
The reason why Agnetha hasn’t written any songs for this album that Christian and herself have recorded is because the children take up all of her time.That statement is possibly a bit astounding to most mothers with two children, since Agnetha’s children have been going to school for years now.
Then we listened to two of the songs from the album. Agnetha thinks that’s enough.
So I can report that Christian sings high and clear, that natural way that young boys sing in, just like Gullan Bornemark’s children did once upon a time. The sound of the album is typical Tretow and Micke himself speaks in a grating voice, protesting against the requests for “more ice cream”, just like Stig Olin did on the original recording.
The rest is private.
And being asked, Agnetha doesn’t know why she’s become so reclusive and sometimes difficult:
She thinks that some people just are like that and she is one of those people.
And in the pouring rain, out by the road, out of sight for the surveillance cameras, the fans are probably still sitting there drinking soda.
But the photo is nice, isn’t it?
And you should have seen Agnetha beam with mother’s pride when I said that her boy sang very well.
* (region in Sweden)