German alt-pop sensation FLØRE‘s debut album, SCARYTALE, is an exciting twist on classic fairy tales.

Inspired by the untold stories of villains and outcasts, FLØRE seeks to shine a spotlight on these often overlooked characters across the album. SCARYTALE invites listeners to explore the human side of these mythical beings, drawing parallels to real-life events as well as the artist’s own experiences with feeling like an outsider and finding solace in music.

Challenging herself to make the pop record she always desired to create but steered away from, SCARYTALE blends FLØRE’s core influences of punk and emo with pop sensibilities to produce a multi-faceted body of work.

Celebrating the release of SCARYTALE, we dive deep into the album’s layers with FLØRE and also discuss her inspirations, influences and career aspirations.

SheBOPS: Congratulations on your debut album, SCARYTALE! Can you share with us the inspiration behind the title and the overall theme of the album?

FLØRE: I wanted to give the villains and bad guys of the classic fairy tales their moment to shine and to tell their story. The record is a concept album with all the freaks and creatures on it. The only song that has a different title is the opener “HAPPY NEVER AFTER”, but the stories of the outcasts will be told after their ‘happy never after’ – that’s why it’s the first song and the only one with a different name.

The album seems to explore the stories of those who haven’t received a traditional happy ending. What motivated you to delve into these unconventional narratives?

I think the origin stories of the villains are super interesting. No one just ‘turned bad’ without a reason. Often these characters were deeply hurt in the past or were always the ones who were left out. I identify with that. Music was always my safe space after I came home from school, just being an outsider. That was always my ‘superpower’. 

Can you tell us about the creative process behind SCARYTALE – how did you approach songwriting and production to convey the album’s themes effectively?

I always like to start with the title. So, with writing that concept album, it was always pretty clear what creature we’re writing and I immediately had a story and a certain mood in mind. After “ZOMBIE” and “WEREWOLF,” I felt that this could really be a concept and at some point the album wrote itself. There was no session with a lack of inspiration. 

You mentioned that the album is dedicated to “all the freaks, witches, and outcasts.” Can you elaborate on how this influenced the creation of the songs on SCARYTALE?

I never felt part of a scene or a group, so feeling like an outsider was always something that influenced my personality and my writing. Writing about these characters just felt natural to me. These are all real-life personal stories. 

I thought it was interesting how the songs are titled after different characters. Can you talk more about this creative decision – how do you hope listeners will connect with the characters and stories portrayed in SCARYTALE?

Even if the songs are called “WEREWOLF” or “FRANKENSTEIN,” behind every song is a real life story. It’s not about the actual creature. The whole record is about telling the other side of the story. Sometimes you’re even the villain. I think everyone could find themselves in one of the creatures as well, either being the misunderstood “ALIEN” or the bad guy in someone else’s story. 

The album is described as your “pop dream with the perfect edge.” What elements do you feel contribute to achieving this balance?

These are all pop melodies. I wanted to make a record which feels like it could be only singles, so every song has a strong approach of finding the best pop melodies I would say. But also we just went for what we felt at that moment. There are punk and rock inspirations, but also early 2000’s vibes and the emo aesthetic will always be a part of me. The approach was to make a Pop album, which doesn’t try to fit in. 

The album artwork and visual aesthetics seem to complement the themes of SCARYTALE. Can you elaborate on the visual representation of your music?

I worked with one of my best friends Jared Asher Harris together for the visuals. He really took the visual representation to the next level. Music videos were always the part I disliked the most about being a musician. Now it has become my favorite thing. It’s just so fun and always pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is something super inspiring. 

SCARYTALE is your first album and follows a series of EPs. In what ways do you see SCARYTALE as a departure from your previous work, both sonically and thematically?

This record shows the variety of my voice and my sound. It combines my roots with styles that really pushed me to the edge. It is also a Pop record; I always wanted to make Pop music, but maybe I was weirdly afraid of it. So SCARYTALE feels like I really went out of my comfort zone but at the same time it’s the kind of music I always wanted to make.

Your focus single, “HAPPY NEVER AFTER,” seems to challenge traditional fairy tale narratives. How do you think your reinterpretation of these stories empowers women and challenges societal norms?

I think women are easily portrayed as ‘the villains’. If you’re too confident, wear a skirt that’s too short or are just really emotional, people like to put a ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous’ label on it. But the songs encourage you that you’re just right the way you are. I like to play with the things people say about you and put them in a song, like really playing the role they give you. Bringing that irony into the music is something that’s just fun. 

Women have historically been underrepresented in various roles within the music industry, including producers, engineers, and executives. How do you see your own journey contributing to breaking down these barriers?

When I started to work with a male producer and just told him how I wanted the song to sound like and what I liked and disliked about his production, he told me that I seem really ‘difficult to work with’ just because I know what I wanted. I know about these issues, especially in this industry, but I don’t even give this topic attention anymore. I like to be the boss and if anyone has a problem with that, they can leave the room. I want to conquer the world and summon my witch coven. I’ve got no time for a hurt ego. At the same time I like to include everyone who is creatively working with me as much as it would be their work. I think this is how you grow as an artist, to really let people in and see different approaches to your art as well. 

How do you see SCARYTALE and your music contributing to broader conversations about representation and empowerment for women?

I started producing on my iPad and recorded the vocals in the pantry. With these demos, I got my management I have now and everything took place because of my own learning and work. Nothing happens overnight and you often have to make decisions that may hurt someone in order to keep growing. So, making this album is a milestone for me. It represents my continuity and determination, which is something that can encourage other women as well. You don’t need a big studio or other hit songwriters to make something that has an impact on others. 

How do you think the industry can better support women in music and make the industry a safer place for women?

I think female writing or producing camps would be really cool, where women come together to collaborate and write songs. That is always a really inspiring and encouraging event to connect with each other. Also, other programs which exclusively support and highlight women is something that encourages females as well. 

What’s next for FLØRE after the release of SCARYTALE?

I’m already working on the new era and I would love to play more live shows or play a support tour. 

SCARYTALE by FLØRE is out now.

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