Jackson Square Shuffle. (Eng)
There's a back story to this post, and it includes one of Sweden's more popular solo artists. His name is Håkan Hellström, (pronounced Hawkan Hellstroem), and he might not be the best singer int the world but his lyrics are simple and straight-forward, in a David Bowie kind of way. He's from my home town of Gothenburg and he just managed to sell out the biggest stadium twice, playing for an audience of about 140.000 people in two days. It's really a thing to become somewhat of a prophet in your home town, and he's done it in a beautiful way.
...come to think of it, I can't really translate the previous Swedish post into anything that would be emotionally palpable to anyone outside of Scandinavia. Because, (and I'm directing this to my american followers), it would be so easy for an american artist to just enter the Swedish music scene and instantly be devoured by the masses. And the difference in talent, ambition and competition between live acts in the US and Sweden/Europe is so vast that it really becomes clear every time we get the chance to experience some of the great Americans artists on our stages.
There was a perfect example of that a couple of months ago. We've got this thing called Eurovision Song Contest, which is a song contest between all of the countries in Europe, (and Australia for some reason), where each country have their own tryouts, and in the end they get together to compete for the best song. (Which by the way is both pointless and stupid, as music always has been, and always will be subjective.)
Anyhow, in a true American Idol fashion, the Swedish production team, (Sweden was the host for this years ESC finals), had invited Justin Timberlake to perform his new single for all of Europe (and Australia for some reason..)
The difference in showmanship, talent and energy was so immense that it left all the other contestants looking pretty bleak in comparison. In short: Justin kicked some serious ass. As it turns out, I've got something in common with Justin. He's working with Max Martin, who in turn works with a good friend of mine named Mattias Bylund. He's recorded the horns on Justins new single, and also won a grammy for his contributions to Taylor Swift's album "1989". Mattias was gracious enough to arrange some strings for one of the songs on the new album, and it really took the whole song into another dimension.
So as these past months since the horns were recorded in NOLA, there's been some major progress, and the synergy between me and producer Jakob Herrmann has been a major cog in the progress of the album. So with an album that's shaping up beautifully, a growing curiosity here in Sweden, I take my leave and head back "home" to NOLA to make some plans for the upcoming release and tour in the fall. I've got so many people to meet, so many friends to hug, and most of all, I need my NOLA fix. I'll be in town for a week, celebrating my birthday and hopefully make sure that New Orleans are ready for the Swedish invasion this fall.
And although Swedes might be known for IKEA furniture, we won't bring any DIY-style music across the sea. No, this album is based on the dirtiest, sexiest and most beautiful city I know, and hopefully that comes through in everything we've done. Come fall, we'll find out.
Get ready Crescent City. I'm on my way..