2 min read

On Swedish Music

In my time in Stockholm, I listened to many bands, some of them well known internationally, some of them composed only in Swedish and some of them were bands by the streets. What is interesting is that, almost everyone under 30, is in a band, or is doing something creative or artistic. Perhaps this is true generally in the Nordics. I also believe that this is the reason we are seeing many artists,bands go international from Sweden, including Swedish House Mafia, Ace of Base,Avicii, Alesso, Robyn, ABBA, amongst others. This culture is alive and kicking throughout the year, more so in summer, and I realized that there are well known bands playing every other week in Debaser, Cirkus of Globen!

If you go back to Sweden’s history, the reason why people are musically inclined is because of their singing tradition. Swedes used to often come together and sing together, a tradition called Allsång. One of the biggest primetime TV shows is based around that every summer, aried from the early 1980s. The lyrics to the songs are even put to the tv-screen so you can sing along at home, something like Karoke.

Secondly, It is common for a person to take up playing an instrument early in school. I hear from a friend that they had to learn to play one instrument or the other and it was obligatory as part of their school curriculum.

I had the opportunity in early 2011 to work with a friend’s company, called OpeningAct, which created a competition for upcoming bands to open for a famous band in Stockholm. This gave me a chance to experience different kinds of music and understand the music scene in Sweden.

The most popular genres in Sweden are hiphop+pop, heavy metal, punk and electronic+house. Or atleast what I came into contact with. I am convinced that there is reggae,jazz, country and folk, though I didn’t get to hear such.

These are three of the artists I like, which are not mainstream, but have a taste of their own.

[1] Melissa HornMelissa’s horns songs are slow and calm, and often with theme of love. She has a gifted voice, and even though I don’t fully understand her lyrics, I got to watch her at a release party in late 2011 for her album Melissa Horn – Innan jag kände dig and was super impressed. I’d play her music on an evening to relax and unwind.

[2] Veronica MaggioVeronica’s music is much more peppy and pop. Her high pitched voice takes her audience by storm and some of her fast numbers have become extremely popular in the Nordics. One of my favorite songs is Veronica Maggio – Mitt hjärta blöder

[3] HoffmeastroI had the chance to watch Hoffmeastro in a live packed event in summer. Mostly with a following of younger generation, his style is electronic + reggae. Since some of his songs were in English, I developed a liking for HOFFMAESTRO – So You Do [Slimi Jimi Bubby Boy]

Other mentions include Daniel Ray Adams, Timbuktu, Langfinger , Bara På Låtsas, Nordstorm

Some of the Swedish music I loved from 2011 | Swedish

If you are looking to get a glimpse of Nordic Music, visit

[1] Way out West, mostly rock and hip hop, in Gothenburg, happens second week of August.Way Out West

[2] Metaltown, mostly heavy metal, in Gothenburg again, happens mid JuneMetaltown

[3] Roskilde, in Roskilde,Denmark, Electronic, Rock and World Music, amongst others, which happens in end of June, early July.Roskilde