As a musical powerhouse, Sweden is an ever present and vital part of a hit-making machine known as upper-echelons of the industry. Over recent years, this country has produced some of the world’s best loved artists like Lykke Li, Icona Pop, Zara Larsson, Tove Lo, just to name a few. Way before these acts hit the mainstream media, it’s the Swedish circuit where they first make their name.
With the help of HumanHuman user Martin Andersson, who runs leading Swedish music blog Discobelle, recommends ten emerging artists who deserve recognition. Speaking on a country that has a clairvoyant view on the world of music, Andersson tells us that “Sweden has been at the forefront of the music world since the days of Abba but the talent is not limited to glitzy dance pop that sticks like bubble gum, we have stellar and promising artists within a wide variety of genres.” With outstanding track record, you can be almost certain that the names below will be ones to look out for in the near future.
A fantastic artist and indie-pop sweetheart Maja Gödicke is known for he criss-cross line of collaborations and working with various outfits in Sweden. She is currently unleashing her solo material - heartfelt and sung in Swedish. Her latest single ”Rokoko” beams with a superb piano line and a dance pop background beat that makes you want to skip a little, although according to Gödicke the track itself deals with personal and political anxiety.
Northern Sweden based producer Varg (which means ‘wolf’) AKA Jonas Rönnberg is a relative newcomer to the electronic music scene coming from a background where he was heavily into black metal. He favours analog gear and his tracks are filled with dark, ambient and techno-ish soundscapes that ooze a kind of melancholia that living in darkness for almost six months of the year will undoubtedly make you feel. He is a perfect example of a new breed of producers coming out of Sweden who do their own thing and do it extremely well. Interesting fact, Varg is also involved with another techno project called Ulwhednar who were nominated to a P3 Guld (Swedish National Radio) award back in 2014.
Vinter is also known under the production moniker Lupus Cain and he is responsible for one of the best hip-hop/R&B tracks to come out of Sweden so far during 2016. Working together with hyped up Norwegian rapper Unge Ferrari , “2007” is a track full of confidence and braggadocio but all packed in a moody, futuristic R&B influenced sound. The track grew out of a frustration with the music industry after trying to make it for nine years, and we believe that Vinter has a remarkable future ahead of him if he continues to make booming tracks in the vein of ”2007”.
Spending his entire life with music, Gothenburg based artist Aron McFaul broke through big time nationally in 2016 with several stellar efforts both in the form of his debut EP, Pallas Garden, but also with several amazing edits, mixtapes and remixes. He is actually one of our favorite acts to emerge during the last year, as he continuously makes the perfect blend of sun-kissed, balearic disco meets dance-pop meets organic, soulful house music. His work is not limited to dance and pop music, seen through his production work for hip-hop artists on and off during the last ten years and he has also been making music for theatre plays.
Dreamlike and shimmering dance pop from HELH who describes herself as a mixture of Canadian artist Grimes, glittery rainbows and homemade tattoos. “Body” is Hanna Hasselberg’s debut release via the newly founded Stockholm based Cherish Label who focuses on music made by people who identify themselves as women and/or trans. It's magnificent.
“I wrote “Body” out of frustration. For me, it is about taking control over the way I am sexualised and gendered. Letting myself define me, rather than listening to the internalised male gaze. It is also about connecting with myself as a physical person and all that comes with it, like lust and awkwardness.”
Blondino makes futuristic electronic pop music destined straight for the dancefloor. Inspired by UK club music and R&B, but dipped in the Swedish tradition of making songs stick, Northern Swedish producer-DJ Blondino is one to watch out for. The person behind the moniker is Joel Dunkels, also in well known Swedish dance pop act Caotico needed an outlet for his more club orientated tracks and thus Blondino was born. Excitingly, his debut album is scheduled of release late 2016/early 2017.
Gothenburg's best kept secret might just be Ishi Vu. This multi-instrumentalist producer has close ties with the Berlin based dance music label Trunkfunk (run by Swedish transplant Nibc) and his quirky house tracks are steeped in a gorgeous mixture of hip-hop, lounge music, jazz, psych pop and minimal sounding dub that has all been rolled into one hypnotic sound. It feels strangely familiar yet at the same time like nothing you've ever heard before.
Beautiful and subtle electronica from Malmö based artist The Land Below, who used to be part of Stockholm duo Wild At Heart, has found a new outlet for crafting a lush, dreamy soundscape of cinematic electronic pop. His musical offerings as heard in his It’s All Figured Out EP seem to be tailor-made for those perfect moments when you stand and just inhale the beauty of life.
Already breaking out of the underground scene, the reigning techno king of Sweden hails from Malmö and his name is Per Hammar. A relentless work ethic has him running his own label Dirty Hands, touring across Sweden and Europe, and releasing a veritable myriad of tracks, remixes and collaborations. Off kilter techno music with acid influences and pulsating, bass-filled rhythms that has enough quirks for the underground heads as well as just the right amount of dancefloor pizzazz to make people dance their socks off when they hear his tracks in a dark basement club.
Swedish House Mafia paved the way for a so many EDM artists and one of those is twenty-year-old producer PAWL from the city of Uppsala who looks set on the way to mega stardom. He spent high school studying music at the elite Rytmus School in Stockholm and then paid his dues working as a songwriter for K-pop artists. His addictive fusion of pop and house has already been given the thumbs up from the likes of The Chainsmokers. PAWL is currently writing music in Los Angeles and has some major players working for him and we expect him to be a household name very soon.