Swedes make sweet music
Sweden is one of the biggest export nations of music in the world, and the biggest by far in terms of per capita. No matter what the genre, you’ll find Swedish artists who have become successful internationally.
Indie rock has launched Peter Bjorn And John, José González, Jens Lekman, The Hives and Mando Diao into the world. ABBA and Roxette led the way for today’s pop stars Robyn and Lykke Li.
One of the biggest jazz artists in Europe, Lars Gullin, was succeeded by other Swedish jazz players who can’t be easily pigeonholed: Jonas Kullhammar, Esbjörn Svensson Trio and Koop, to mention a few. Swedish hard rock became famous thanks to the band Europe. Today, Hammerfall and In Flames are world artists.
And Swedish musicians like RedOne (Nadir Khayat), Denniz Pop, Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson have written top-of-the-chart hits for Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Céline Dion. And the world has danced.
More and more Swedish artists realize that if they want to support themselves with their music, their Swedish audiences aren’t big enough. Others just find themselves in the midst of the international limelight, uncertain just how they got there.
Less than a year after selling out 20,000 seats at Madison Square Garden in nine minutes, Swedish House Mafia are set to call it quits. But fans can take comfort in a farewell album, Until Now, and a long goodbye tour, from Dubai to Los Angeles.
Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström were both part of the internationally acclaimed band EST, which abruptly dissolved when leader Esbjörn Svensson died in 2008. Sweden.se met with Berglund and Öström to talk about life in music after EST.
Anne Sofie von Otter and Brad Mehldau
Watch an interview with Anne Sofie von Otter during her recent recording with Brad Mehldau.