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Ness Hakin is the definition of true artistry. The Swedish artist’s debut EP ‘De va meningen’ (translates to “It was the point” in English), which dropped this past September, explores the different steps you go through when you lose yourself. A sensational blend of spoken word, smooth R&B and soul, the project evokes a sense of realness, of purity and honesty. This is the soundtrack of being true to yourself and to not let fear, your emotion and struggles to get in the way of life – because, eventually, it will get better.
Swedish rap sensation Z.E. opens up his banger ’74 Bars’ with the fiery line “Tar inte klubbspelningar, bara festivaler” (no more club shows, only festivals), setting the scene wonderfully for his equally explosive flow. Z.E has been topping the Swedish music charts ever since the debut a little over two years ago. With the gift of eloquently incorporating his life experiences into the rapping, Z.E has reached out to every Scandinavian music lover from the upper North to the South.
On ’74 Bars’, Z.E. looks forwards, after touring around the country at different clubs, Z.E. sets his sights on playing for bigger crowds and festivals. The past months have seen the rapper flourish with a slew of unexpected releases, where each song has it’s special signature sound. Z.E is and will always be one of the top dogs of Swedish hip hop.
‘Houdini’ is the debut album of the emerging Swedish rapper Prins Daniel (Prince Daniel). The album is a 15 track masterpiece showcasing Daniels’ lyrical prowess as the record explores a mix of political views over slick beats. Prins Daniel brings up the social structures and doesn’t shy away from wearing his heart on sleeve.
‘Citroner’ (Lemons in English), the lead single from the record delves into social structures, Daniels comments on how milennials are not being true to themselves and reaching out to please everybody without actually doing anything. It is about a digital generation saying that they have strong political views and that they care about the world, but behind those words lies a privileged person who actually doesn’t care about other people. Prins Daniel is a poetic genius. Prins Daniel is art, a living, walking and talking proof of an excellent rapper. One thing is for sure: his journey has just begun.
‘Zebrapojken’ (Zebra Boy in English) is the debut album from Swedish/Gambian rapper Erik Lundin. He has been a part of the Swedish rap scene for over a decade, starting off by rapping in English under the name of Eboi. His first offering in his native tongue of Swedishwas in the form of an EP called ‘Suedi’ in 2015.
The record ‘Zebrapojken’ is a reference to the Swedish word zebrabarn (zebra kids) which means kids that grow up during bad circumstances: their emotional lives are striped because of the vast change of feeling happy and/or sad. The ten track album takes the listeners through a musical journey of emotions and real life scenarios as Erik gives us an insight into his life stories in an easy and melodic way.
His wizardry in writing depicts real life scenarios and emotions of vulnerability and hurt playfully combined with joy and hope of seeing the good in life as well. Erik Lundin is a true songwriter and musician who’s honesty and talent has a great impact and value on Swedish pop culture.
‘O.G’ is the new title track from Cherries’ upcoming and highly anticipated mixtape with the same name (will be released in the near future on her own label ‘Araweelo’). O.G. is a Swedish acronym for ‘Orten Gäri’ (in English ‘Suburb girl’) and the song is an anthem for girls who’ve made something out from nothing.
The playful track, which is produced by talented Swedish producer Filip Hunter, shimmers with a touch of old school, down tempo R&B that’ll make everyone move.
Cherrie is proof that music is an international language – she’s brought attention to music lovers all around the world with only singing in Swedish. One of her biggest ambitions is to unite the Somali diaspora around the globe and acknowledging that you can become what you want if you have the strive and ambition to succeed. Cherrie is here to inspire and radiate positive vibes, inspiring us to rule our own destiny and to be proud of ourselves.
The world has waited for Robyns’ comeback after being M.I.A. for almost eight years. Even though the physical absence has been a fact, she’s made sure that dance floors all around the world would always be playing her eternal dance tunes that are perfectly decked with powerful lyrics about heartbreak and tough love.
‘Honey’ is the comeback album of the decade. ‘Honey’ is the soundtrack of our lives. ‘Honey’ is the last piece of the puzzle. Released at the end of last year, the 9-track masterpiece, which features stand out singles like ‘Missing U’ and the titular ‘Honey’, sees Robyn embody the power of self love and accept the pain and joy a person goes through in life.
In a short space of time, Aden x Asme have introduced themselves into the Swedish rap community with a bang and have quickly shown why they’re one of the most exciting artists to come out of Sweden. Even though they rap in Swedish, their digital success with millions of streams on Youtube and Spotify has led them to an audience that spans the world with songs like ‘Kasse’, ‘jet ft Mo’ and ‘skiner’. They’ve worked with Afro B and Dun D (UK) along with producers like Ceefigz who’s produced for rising British artists like Fredo, Sneakbo, Yxng Bane and D Block Europe. The duo’s latest single ‘Favela’ is produced by the iconic Swedish producer Masse Salazar and encompasses the pair’s smooth flow as they work their magic across the spirited beat.
Swedish artist, songwriter, producer and visual pioneer ionnalee is known for being one half of the electronic music duo iamamiwhoami. Since 2010, ionnalee has released a staggering five audiovisual albums and installations on her own label To whom it may concern. In early 2018, she debuted as a solo artist with the release of her album and musical film ‘EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN’ which was followed up by a sold out world tour. In October 2018, ionnalee became the second person ever to perform at the renowned night club Berghain in Berlin. ‘EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN’ is an electronic, beat driven, dance floor banger that commands the listener’s attention with its haunting production and the singer’s mesmerising vocals. The visuals too, offer an invitation into ionnalee’s world of mystery, emotional vulnerability, creativity and mind blowing imagination.
Ros (‘rose’ in Swedish) is a rising singer from the south of Sweden who’s voice and new wave music has brought her on tour across the country the past months. She started 2018 with the release of her debut EP ‘Woke Up’ which was followed up by her exceptional 10 track album ‘Peaches n Cream’. The album is a collection of super smooth and laid back tracks, brimming with deep and downbeat trap instrumentation with Ros’ smooth voice at the core. Ros has worked with three of Sweden’s hottest producers around: Von Haartman, (who’s produced the most talked about tracks this year with rapper Fricky) By Any Means, and Academics. Ros’ career has rapidly gone from online buzz to a critical acclaim in no time at all – it’s safe to say that you definitely need to remember the name.
Swedish sisters Jenny and Cecilia Vaz are producers and singer/songwriters with a playful attitude towards music and a fearless mindset. Over the past two years, the pair have released music as VAZ through their own label Kinship Music, which led to performances at festivals around the globe. Their 2017 two-part album ‘Necessary, Pt.I & Pt.II’ featured music inspired by their Cape Verdean background with African drum beats, electronic instrumentals and pop fusion melded together to create a distinctive, atmospheric sound.
Esther Kirabo is a Swedish singer-songwriter and producer whose musical journey began when she joined a church choir at the age of six, learning to play drums and honing her vocal skills. Fast-forward to 2017, and her debut single ’Kill U’ was released to the world; a song about insufficient love, it showcases the power of the 23-year-old’s graceful voice, and attracted significant attention leading to a performance at the Swedish Grammy Awards. The track’s B-side ‘Blunt’ is inspired by Shakespeare’s classic tale ‘Romeo & Juliet’, with production blending an early 00’s garage sound with more contemporary upbeat R&B. As fans eagerly await new music, the excitement builds around this distinctive talent.
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Mopiano takes the definition of DIY as a serious matter. The rising Swedish artist writes and produces all of his work; starting out creating his own music from his bedroom back in 2012, he found it hard to find artists who could adapt the sound that he created, so he started to sing by himself. He went on to work on projects such as DEXYxMO, best known for the hit song ‘Project X’ and is currently active with his debut EP ‘Late Night Outdoor’. Newly-released single ‘Undercover Paper Chaser’ is as smooth as the name of the title, with a beat to make even the stiffest dancer move and a melodic blend of sung and rapped vocals. What’s for certain is that this is only the beginning for Mopiano and his home-cooked smooth bangers.
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The daughter of a musician father, Regina Amado grew up with a passion for the beats of rhythm and blues alongside influences from the dancehall scene as a member of a multi-award-winning all-female crew. She has roots in both Sweden and the west African island nation of Sao Tomé & Principe from which her music draws inspiration; her debut solo single ‘Care For You’ is a powerful song filled with soul, with her delicate vocal melodies paying homage to golden era of RnB over a bashment-infused bounce for a vibrant modern sound. An authentic and charismatic rising star, Amado is definitely one to watch.
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Molly Hammar’s debut EP fulfils her dream of making soulful R&B music. ‘Sex’ is an uncensored settlement with the shame around female sexuality; a 6 track EP about freedom and liberty, filled with anthems to deconstruct the social taboo around talking about the female body and sensual pleasure. Hammar’s voice is as smooth as silk as she sings about relatable themes of independence and that empowerment; ”I don’t need a man, I need a hand.”
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Swedish MC Silvana Imam linked up with two of the hottest names in the country’s hip-hop scene, Fricky and Khan-Ji, for a brand new 2-track release. First track ‘4 h’ is a slow, grooving love song; Khan-Ji sings with his distinctive deep, warbled voice ‘4 timmar, jag och du baby’ (‘4 hours, you and I baby’) over a bashment-infused rhythm, as Imam explains her love for her partner and Fricky completes the song with his sweet auto-tuned vocals. The mix between her direct rap delivery with Fricky’s piercing vocals combines again on smooth pop-trap effort ‘Ta Hand Om Dig’ (which means ‘Take Care Of You’), with the duo expressing their responsibility to be there for their loved ones. Imam’s ability to channel true emotions into her music and this collaboration’s careful blend of rap and melody has resulted in a pair of slick late summer jams.
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Sammy & Johnny Bennett hit the Swedish rap scene in spring 2016 when they released the video for the song ”5DF”, and the talk about the two brothers from Gothenburg quickly spread throughout the Scandinavian borders thanks to the duo’s outstanding rhythm and vibe.
Together with local RnB singer Parham Pazooki, they’ve cooked up ’Chans’ – a song about taking a chance on someone you really care for. The twins mix their slick rap flow together with Pazooki’s smooth, intriguing singing voice to create a late-night summer banger.
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Seinabo Sey is the soulful voice of empowerment and womanhood. The Swedish artist creates music that reflects her own life experiences and explores themes of feminism, identity, body positivity and self love. Sey has taken control of the creative direction for her new record into her own hands in order to elevate her art, spending several months in Gambia where she filmed the music videos for ”I Owe You Nothing” and ”Remember” featuring Birmingham’s Jacob Banks. This is the first chapter of a more mature and confident Seinabo Sey, showing that her gift for songwriting can perfectly capture wordless emotions and translate into music.
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Dive into the world of Sabina Ddumba. One of the most prominent figures in Sweden’s pop scene, her effortless, natural vocal tone makes her stand out from the crowd. At the age of 16 she joined Stockholm’s prestigious Tensta Gospel Choir (which has produced the likes of Lykke Li and Kristin Amparo), and it was here that she honed her talent and the star we see today was born. With a powerful voice and a charismatic aura, the listener is drawn into Sabina’s universe; her latest single ’Small World’ is a melodic story about finding hope in the commotion of everyday life, making the world seems to be a lot bigger than it really is; ”Maybe it’s a small world? You are not alone.”
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Swedish/Somali rapper Ozzy is a rising star, transferring his life experiences into lyrical excellence. His debut album ‘Ett Öga Rött’ (One Eye Red) is inspired by a Swedish novel of the same name. Growing up in Rosengård, southern Sweden, with all the odds against him, he found an escape in music and literature; as a kid he was often bullied and called names – in which he uses to introduce himself on the first track of the album, reclaiming the abuse he was subject to: “Det är jag som är Ozzy, stor svart tjockis” – (“It is me Ozzy, big black fatty”). Writing songs gave him a lifeline during this troubled upbringing; the song ‘Några Gånger’ (A Few Times) tracks his deep love for the music and the many sacrifices he made for it over the years.