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COBRAH has always been a rule breaker. As a teen, she was immersed in her home town’s metal shows, before diving into the worlds of kink, BDSM and queer clubs. Now, she’s bending pop music into new and unexpected shapes. 

In 2018, the musician stepped out with self-released single ‘IDFKA’. Layering the irreverent refrain “I don’t fucking know anymore” over gasps and bouncing, pendulum-like beats, the switchy, oddly sultry track quickly earmarked the vocalist-producer as a rising star for the deconstructed club era. 

This confident debut was followed up with a slew of sexually confident singles like ‘WET’ and ‘U KNOW ME’ and COBRAH emerged, clad in black latex, as an underground pop icon. With a following already within whip’s reach, she developed a daring artistry encompassing futuristic aesthetics, maximalist production and a distinctive vocal purr. 

This creative world-building comes naturally to the artist, who’s drawn to the escapist worlds of gaming, logging over 113 hours on the Dungeons & Dragons PC game ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’. And for COBRAH, demons don’t just exist in virtual gameplay – they’ve also inspired her latest project. 

Dropped in October, SUCCUBUS is a 7-track EP inspired by the lore surrounding succubi: seductive supernatural entities who use their sexuality to tempt men over to the dark side. An exhilarating creative display, SUCCUBUS shows COBRAH at her most powerful, racing through soaring tempos and genre-bending sounds with a devilish wink. 

For our latest AMPLIFY cover story, we catch up with the pop provocateur about her upcoming EU/UK tour, her new release and more. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Congrats on the release of your EP SUCCUBUS! How are you feeling now that it is out?

It’s always a mix of emotions when I release music. I love to share it with my fans and see the reactions it gets in the real world but it’s a little bit like giving birth (although I’ve never done that). While making SUCCUBUS, I had all the control of it. I was in a creative state where I could shape every aspect of the record. Once it’s out I can’t touch it anymore and it has to live its own life. I’m very happy with what I’ve done with it and so proud of the release – I have never made a record I like this much. 

Your music has previously been described as hyperpop. Since the release of ‘IDFKA’ to SUCCUBUS, how would you describe the evolution of your sound? 

When I made the first EP ICON I didn’t know what hyperpop was. I wanted to make something that resonated with me. But, when I was looking up reviews everyone on Reddit wrote about me in the hyperpop thread. So, personally, I think I’ve stayed very true to my sound while evolving it to a more pop world and people have started to get it more rather than comparing it to something it wasn’t intended to be.

‘With the release of ‘GOOD PUSS’ you said you wanted to mark “the new COBRAH era”. How have you challenged yourself in setting up this new era and your new music?

Haha, I think every time I do something I say it’s the mark of a new era. It’s because whenever I release something new I’ve approached the music from a different perspective. When ‘GOOD PUSS’ came out I felt like it was marking the era of me taking the first steps into a more commercial space, and I knew it was the last record I wanted to release on my own label. With SUCCUBUS, I’ve definitely been taking big steps, especially with everything that happens behind the scenes. I was enjoying writing the music rather than fighting against it which can happen when I overthink things. I got the opportunity to go full maxed out COBRAH this time.

You grew up in Gothenburg where you experienced the club scene as well as the metal scene. How have those two genres inspired you as an artist?

Yeah for sure especially when it comes to live music. Me and my friends used to go to metal concerts before we were old enough to go to clubs. That’s where we would hang out and have fun on the weekends. I think of that a lot when it comes to live shows, it’s supposed to be a fun party where the audience feels involved!

Your first releases were released on your label GAGBALL. SUCCUBUS sees you step away from that. What did that moment feel like for you?

GAGBALL is still a part of the current releases in many ways. I work in bigger teams now which I really enjoy because I can expand the COBRAH universe even more. I’ve had ideas of things I want to do but haven’t had the possibility when I didn’t work in a team. When we were filming the music video for ‘SUCK’ I felt this big thrill in my stomach like “shit it’s really happening”. With that said, GAGBALL is dear to my heart and I would never give it up completely.

You’ve previously spoken about how the BDSM scene influenced your art. What were the main pop culture inspirations for this EP? 

I never really use pop culture as inspiration because as soon as something enters pop culture it’s “done”. But it started with my gaming interest that spiked during the pandemic, I got more interested in folklore and discovered the Succubus that became the main inspiration for the EP. I also love to draw inspiration from nature, for SUCCUBUS I was really into deep sea fish and wanted the visual language to remind me of those shapes and colours.

What inspired the creative direction of the music video for ‘SUCK’?

I’ve had this dream of using suction cups for many many years cause there’s something about connecting Sex, BDSM and octopuses that intrigues me. I didn’t want to do something that’s “just sexy” because the whole record is about using sex as a force rather than being seen as someone who is sexy. So, with that, I created this dream land where I’m commanding my own alien abduction using ‘SUCK’ extremely literally.

The title of the EP is intentionally powerful and you lean into subjects of sex, power and playfulness across your discography. How do you like to blend those themes with your music? 

I lean into what thrills me, whatever gets the butterflies in my stomach going is what I want to be doing. So wearing latex, being tied up or slimed down is kinda unavoidable. The same goes with music, especially playfulness has been so important because if I was doing all this music in full seriousness it would feel kind of stupid. It’s about the vibe, the feeling and being silly while adoring being in control and on top of it all. 

What’s your favourite song off the new EP? 

Oh mega hard one! I am between ‘ACTIVATE’ and ‘BAD POSITION’. I think ‘BAD POSITION’ wins though, I feel like that song has opened doors I wanna explore in the future.

Can you explain what your song ‘MANIC’ is about and what inspired you to write it?

It was a hard time in my life because I was constantly feeling anxious and panicky about my career. It would come in waves and I felt like I couldn’t control my emotions anymore. ‘MANIC’ is how I struggled with being an artist and what it felt like at the time, being torn in different directions and constantly pending between extreme emotions.

You previously said: “People label music as queer music, sometimes, which makes it sound less good than regular music”. Who are some queer artists that you feel are understated? 

Ayesha erotica, Uniqu3, Myst Milano – if you haven’t heard them I highly recommend a listen.

You’ve performed with Charli XCX, been nominated for a Swedish Grammy, had a track remixed by CupcakKe and a song appear in A24’s Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. What collaboration would you love to have next and why? 

I want to work with other artists more and do loads of fashion as well. I have written a secret list with my favourite people but I’d also love to do a really unexpected crossover like doing a voiceover for a videogame or maybe joining a podcast. As long as it excites me I’m so down to do fun shit!

Lastly, what are you most proud of as an artist?

I’m most proud that I always try to stay true to myself, and I’m constantly pursuing that throughout what I do.

COBRAH’S new EP SUCCUBUS is out now.