This week we introduce Kastrup – a Malmö based alternative pop duo, Timmie and Puppe.
What is your musical background and when did you begin making music? Puppe: I started as a drummer at the age of 10 and then moved on to guitar. I got hold of a cracked version of Cubase and started to explore songwriting and music production. I went to the Malmö academy of music to study music production which is where I met Timmie. The rest is history!
Timmie: I got a guitar when I was 17 and started to write songs and sing. I loved it, started a band and was accepted into the Malmö Academy of Music to study music production. I then quit the band and after meeting Puppe, I got restless and we founded Kastrup!
Who/what inspires you?
Puppe: Ok… this is always a hard question to answer, I guess because I don’t have a specific inspiration source to pinpoint. I am inspired by everything from Queens of the Stone Age, Frida Sundemo, to Deadmau5 and my mom! Right now I’m really into the songwriters/producers Salem Al Fakir, Vincent Pontare & Magnus Lidehäll.
Timmie: Uhmm… Right now I’m a sucker for Jonathan Johansson’s latest release Lebensraum! – the songs are nice and the lyrics are epic! I’ve always been inspired by people and music which tells stories and inspires people to think such as songwriters like Tomas Öberg (Bob Hund) and Joakim Berg (Kent).
Tell us more about your latest release Thieves. Timmie: It’s actually a very old song that I wrote for 5 or 6 years ago. It started out as a pretty naked, mellow song with acoustic strumming but evolved into more of a “synth environmental” piece when I met Puppe and the musicians we play with (Joakim, Edvin, Andreas). Thieves is a pretty slow, electronic-type pop ballad about made-up boundaries.
How has the response to your music been so far?
It’s all been surprisingly overwhelming! We’ve received so many good words from people, good reviews from bloggers, radio and critics. It’s an amazing feeling. We try to suck it in as much as we can!
What are your expectations for this year?
This year has started out pretty awesome, and hopefully the awesomeness will continue throughout the year. We’d love to reach more listeners, build a bigger fanbase and also meet them face to face on our live gigs all over Sweden. ALSO we just moved in to our OWN STUDIO!! So we expect to spend a lot of time in this cosy cellar in the center of Malmö writing new music.
What’s happening next – any releases, gigs or tours coming up?
We have some radio interviews and live sessions planned. On 21st of April we will release the music video for Thieves and then on 24th of April we will support Little Jinder at her gig on Babel here in Malmö. Hopefully we’ll see you there!
What is your musical background and when did you begin making music?
My family has always been interested in music. My older brother and my dad played guitar, and that’s the reason why I started as well. In the beginning I didn’t enjoy it at all, I just did it because I was expected to. I didn’t play much because I didn’t want anyone to listen. As I grew older, I became more confidentand started playing more often.
At the age of fifteen I played a lot of funk, soul and jazz music as I liked the improvising aspect of it. Even if the song you played already was composed you had the freedom to spontaneouslychange it and like every other guitarist of that age, I liked to play the guitar-solos.
The first time I tried to make my own music was at the beginning of Secondary School. To be just a good musician was no longer the most important thing for me. Instead, I wanted to feel something for and with the music.
The music became an art form instead of a sport competition for me.
I started to make my own indie-pop music with a lot of synthesizers and effects but my music has changed and grown a lot since back then.
After Secondary School I moved to Stockholm to study on a sound engineer school. I wanted to make my music sound more professional and I really learned a lot. At school I started to make music with my classmate Love Sivik who is the same amazing producer I work with today.
Who and what inspires you? As long as I’ve been writing music I’ve been some kind of singer-songwriter, so of course I am inspired by other singer-songwriters. I love Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, Jose Gonzalez, Anna Ternheim, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell and others. However, what inspires me the most is movies and I think that is something you can hear in our music. It’s the same kind of atmosphere you can hear in a movie soundtrack and it’s the same kind of melancholy you can feel at the end of a strong movie.
I get inspired by movies that make you feel. It can be a movie about relationships or it can be a movie about the future and how we humans destroy our planet, or it can be something completely different. What’s important is that it makes me think and feel something.
What has the response to your music been like? I had my first concert with this project just a few months ago, so I guess I haven’t been playing long enough to get that mush response, but the response I’ve got from people who have been listen is very positive. People say that they really like and feel something when they listen to our music and I hope they don’t say it just to be polite!
What are your expectations for this year?
Today we released a new single and we will release an EP later this year. Our goal is to make music that touches and makes people feel something real. I hope we can reach out to as many as possible.
Spinnup is collaborating with a web-based music studio called Soundtrap. Soundtrap enables you to create music across all borders and to find other musicians with whom you can work. Once the piece has been created, you can easily upload it directly to Spinnup and release it on Spotify and iTunes!
Soundtrap and Spinnup have made a video* to show you how easy it can be to create and release your music! WATCH IT NOW!
This week we introduce Stranded Mermaid: A bunch of weird savages with different musical backgrounds and influences. They come from all over Sweden but with a drummer from the South of France. The passion for real instruments brought them together – working with different acoustic tones, creating epic and dreamy soundscapes.
What is your musical background and when did you begin playing music? We met in Småland, Sweden while studying at University. We started the band in 2013. We all have different backgrounds – some of us have been playing music all our lives and are multi-instrumentalists while others are more focused on the music production part. It’s an awesome combination as it gives us all the opportunity to get creative while allowing us to make our own music at the same time!
Who/what inspires you? We are inspired by the wilderness – the idea of a lonesome soul walking through an endless and striking landscape in particular. We admire the great Ennio Morricone along with rock and indie mostly.
Tell us more about your latest release No Bloodshed Allowed and the connection to the previous single In the Jaws of the Wolf: No Bloodshed Allowed is an epos with dystopian lyrics inspired by both personal experiences and general stuff that people can relate to. It’s a mixture of imagination and reality. We wanted it to feel like a powerful song where the sound created an illusion of a tribe preparing for battle. The song is a bit darker and heavier than our previous single In the Jaws of the Wolf. What brings them together is the feral feeling but In the Jaws of the Wolf is more mystical and dreamlike.
What has the response to your music been like? 2014 was a really good year and we have noticed a big change in how the crowd responded to our music, especially the three singles we released through Spinnup. Bloggers, followers and friends open their hearts and describe the visions they get when listening to our music. We think it’s a sign that we affect people.
What are your expectations for this year? Spring is coming! Maybe some crazy live gigs? We hope that we will reach out to more people and that the ones who already follow us will like what we’re doing. We also hope to do more amazing photoshoots and music videos with our secret member photographer, Lanna Olsson. She’s just as wicked as we are! There is always stuff going on in the world of Stranded Mermaid. We can reveal that we have new songs coming up so stay tuned – they are almost finished!
Johan Klingwall is a 25 year old pop/rap artist from Nacka outside Stockholm who just released the single Världens ände. For the last couple of years he has been producing and composing and, when not making music, he works on TV events as a freelance carpenter.
What is your musical background and when did you begin making music? I grew up in a creative family who had a huge interest of music. At the age of 17 I started writing rap lyrics with my co-producer Johan Östgren and released some tracks on our own. About a year ago we sat down and figured out what we really wanted to do and looked at the big picture. We set out our goals and how we wanted get there. Even though I’ve done this for I while, it feels like this is the beginning in some way. Världens ände is my first single to be released and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Who/what inspires you? It varies from day to day. Right now I feel inspired by Icona Pop – not only because of their music but because they are having so much fun taking over the world. I listen to a lot of music from Sweden, Iceland and England – there’s something fascinating about music from cold and dark countries. Music that feels organic and alive is always in my playlist and I love old and dusty instruments. Beautiful melodies and rhythms make my music-heart go bananas – I think I have Swedish pop to thank for that! When it comes to rap I’ve always been a fan of Jay-Z.
I’m inspired by so many things but most importantly – I’m passionate about music. I am living my dream and getting closer to my goals every day.
Tell us more about your latest release Världens ände. The first time I sat at a piano, I didn’t know how to play so I searched for tones that felt good and then wrote the signature melody. When it came to lyrics, I was inspired by my trip to the Philippines a couple of years ago working with the Swedish TV show, Robinson. We had been there for almost three months and we had a goodbye-party last day in Manila. A friend and I took a cab and went to a tattoo studio in the middle of the night and I thought of that journey many times after that. The idea of jumping into a cab, taking the next flight and running away to a nice place with someone inspired me so much I wanted to make a story out of it. I write most of my songs when I’m feeling a bit low however I was in such a positive frame of mind when Världens ände was born.
How has the response to your release been so far?
Very good! When I started making music, my biggest dream was to hear myself on the radio. Every release since my debut has been played on the radio which is crazy and something I never expected. People seem to be curious about my new sound and want to hear more and that’s a good start for my next release.
What are your expectations for this year? I hope to write more tracks and continue my work. Hopefully I’ll reach some new ears on my way. I want to throw a huge party somewhere, invite all my friends, do the best gig I’ve ever done and show them what I’ve been up to lately. I’m also looking forward to working with my new management The Music Box (Albin, Victor Crone) and I can’t wait to work on new tunes with my friend, Mr. Östgren!
What’s happening next – any releases, gigs or tours coming up? I’ll follow up Världens ände with my next single Där vi var which is to be released in April and then I will continue my work on my debut-EP. Hopefully I’ll do some epic gigs and after that, the world is my oyster! Hey ho let’s go!
Universal Music has signed another great act from Spinnup! We caught up with Alfons to find out all about his journey with Spinnup and his aspirations for the future.
Congrats on being signed to Universal Music/Svenska Inspelningar! Please tell us how it all happened. Well… I basically uploaded the songs I had made via Spinnup, and eventually I watched my song Ganjaman grow. About 3 months later a couple of major labels had contacted me and one of them was Universal Music!
What is your musical background and when did you begin playing music? I have played guitar since I was about 11 years old. I started to produce on my own at the age of 15, I think. Besides that I have also been the manager of the band Albatraoz, with whom we toured etc.
Who inspires you? Hmm… That is a very good question. I would say that Queen are one of my biggest inspirations music-wise. Others that inspire me in general are, believe or not, doctors and medical researchers. One of them is Jonas Salk who invented the vaccine for polio, without patenting it, in order to make it free for everyone – that’s big.
The response to your music has been insane! How do you feel about everything that is happening now? Yes, it has been very good! Both Eric Saade’s song for the Melodifestival, and also the Alfons project “Ganjaman”, which has gone viral.
I just came home from the supermarket “ICA”, where they played my song. The fact that I heard my own voice singing trough the speakers in the supermarket on an ordinary Monday is absolutely surreal.
What are your expectations for this year? I want to be world famous and… get more likes than Justin Bieber!!! Haha no.. seriously, I will just continue doing my thing, as I always have – whether I get 5 or 50 million views. But I want to gig on different venues and clubs and make all the dancefloors go bananas!
I’m looking forward to working with Per (Managing Director Swe/SVP Nordic, Universal Music) and Mikael (A&R Manager at Svenska Inspelningar, Universal Music), as I think we could make great things together and inspire others!
What’s happening next – any releases, gigs or tours coming up? Yes! The Ganjaman Tour began last week when I flew to Val Thorens and had two gigs! The tour will continue in different cities, countries, festivals, clubs etc – you name it!
LIA is Linnéa Rodén, an artist with her roots in the Stockholm archipelago who over the years has gravitated toward the pulse of the city. Later this year she will officially have earned the title ‘Music and Media Producer’ as she will have finished her studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
In addition to being busy with the music of LIA, she has created sound installations for spaces like libraries and museums, and recently collaborated with the innovative company Soundtrap in a promotional video that featured LIA’s new single Believers. Growing up, Linnéa was a sports nerd (handball) and a regular nerd (astronomy) with dreams of becoming an astronomer. However, these interests faded quickly when she was accepted to a music programme in upper secondary school and started freelance work as a studio singer.
Even before Linnéa decided to completely devote herself to music, she would sing all the time and just about everywhere: in the bathroom, in the locker room, in the classroom, until someone asked her to stop. At the age of fifteen, she not only got a fancy new telescope for Christmas, but also a synthesizer. She realized that creating music was something she should probably get more involved with.
When she decided to apply for upper secondary school, she had her mind set on a music programme. Luckily, she was accepted and eventually got to work as a studio singer with producer Glen Scott and the musician’s collective, Blacknuss. She then went on to further music studies at RML (Rockmusiklinjen) and it was during her time at RML that she began writing songs for her own project, LIA. The band started out as a pop group playing gigs in and around Stockholm. Linnéa became more interested in sound design and music production, which led her to the Royal College of Music and a Bachelor of Arts programme in Music and Media Production. Linnéa has developed her songwriting over many years, exploring different styles and sounds, and now feels she has found an expression that is honest and true to herself.
I usually find my inspiration in events, mostly historical. I read an article in a history magazine and then suddenly a song appears in my head and I have to run to the piano or pick up my phone to record what I hear. Usually, I put myself into the shoes of the people participating in the events, in order to try to explain what I see or feel, or even how I would have reacted if I had been there. Another way for me to get inspired is to create my own sounds, program my own drum beats, tweak plugins in Logic or use samples that I’ve recorded myself. I have a great fondness for world music and more than happily use instruments/rhythms/harmonies from all over the world. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush are my biggest influences in terms of writing music. I often hear sounds as colours and my own music is tinged with a shade of ice blue and turquoise.
Surprisingly, it’s usually metalheads who are the most enthusiastic about my compositions. They always ask me when or if I will release something new. Maybe it is because I’ve listened to a lot of progressive rock in the past and have put that into my own music. People seem to think that I have a unique sound and that there’s a common thread to all of my compositions, that you can hear directly when it’s my music. I’m often told that my music expresses itself in images, that it is cinematic and that it would fit well into movies.
LIA’s first single was released this year and the reaction was incredibly positive - people loved it. Linnéa is now focusing on completing LIA’s debut album. After having spent months in the studio, she misses performing live and is looking forward to touring in the future. Linnea is now ready to focus on being LIA and is excited to share her music with the rest of the world!
He describes himself as a full time hustler and spends his days DJing, blogging and searching for new artists to shout about. Meet the newest addition to our Spinnup Scout family - Olle Wikman!
‘I was raised on hip-hop and soul but nowadays I’m kind of an all-round music geek. Currently, I’m studying a music and event management program near Stockholm to learn more about the industry and how to manage music, artists and events.
I like adventure and travel – and of course always on the look out for new exciting music! I’m really looking forward to seeing what this Spinnup experience can give me, and I hope to find some truly great talent here. Hopefully what I can find through Spinnup will lead to some rewarding collaborations in the near future.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or anything else you want to run by me!’
The dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes combined with crisp yet expressive vocals, certainly make this new indie pop act a must to look out for this year. The music is a blend of electronic and live instruments creating a dark mood and seriousness in contrast to her clear, defined melody as the obvious attraction. KASSANDRA has just released her second single RUN through Spinnup.
After having spent three far from extravagant years in the vibrancy of London playing in all manors of venues, collaborating in smoky living rooms and spending weekends in writing sessions with various producers, she had come to a point where she felt creatively restricted and decided to return home to Stockholm, Sweden. “London is fun, exciting and so diverse. It had everything I needed but couldn’t offer me an acceptable living standard as a young artist working in the creative arts spectrum. All of that time I spent on music felt I was aiming in the wrong direction. I just didn’t find music fun anymore”.
Back in Stockholm she began to seek out the enjoyment from her craft. She decided to trust the vision she had always had and immersed herself in becoming the music producer she had always been searching for. “The aim was never and will never be to become a producer per se but you need to know the language to express the atmosphere you want to create from within and only you yourself can translate that”. The newfound trust in herself led to the most prolific period to date. She began working with friends and people she felt inspired by such as Evigt Mörker, Bella Boo and Julia Spada. She featured on UKG producer Dj Q´s debut album “Ineffable” and has also been working closely with Swedish club dj Dinamarca featuring on his debut EP “No hay break” with more collaborations planned for the near future. KASSANDRA is a skillful vocalist and years of trial and error have made her very stylistically aware and versatile. She has complete control of voice and her music is testament to the respect she has for the body of work her voice represents.
KASSANDRA graduated from Rytmus, Stockholm in 2006, where quite a few of today’s well known artists attended as her peers and band mates. Having always been in the company of experienced and inspirational people in and out of the industry, encouraging and helping her forward in her career it has always been a natural vision of hers to pursue a life through music. Her experience has given her a strong sense of what is right and wrong. “I have learnt that listening is a fundamental part of the creative process. I write solely to match how I am feeling. I listen to myself and my surroundings very closely and if I can capture that inspiration and translate it in a way that resonates with someone else, be it only my closest friends then I have succeeded. It doesn’t make my life easier being the kind of person who wants the world and everyone in it to be genuine in what they do”.
Her music is sincere story telling with nothing glossed over. “RUN” simultaneously hurts your soul yet gives you a sense of release, finding beauty within darkness. KASSANDRA constantly works to portray the balance between contrasts. She is in charge of the visual extensions that bind her attempt to put color and sound to her mood working alongside her producer Martin Eriksson who found her through Spinnup.
The very young and talented Melina Borglowe tells us more about her relationship with music:
What is your musical background and when did you begin playing music? At home in VXO there’s always been several guitars hanging on the walls, so I simply started to strum on them as a kid, and later on I came to learn it more and more, and then finally I came to understand which way around the guitar should be. My home town is an important piece to the puzzle. We’re a bunch of musicians and writers and producers who help each other out and believe in each other. And that fact was probably quite important for me in the beginning, just to be able to show my music to others. Ever since I can remember I’ve enjoyed expressing feelings through sound, but it becomes more and more significant to compose music, write lyrics, play the guitar, sing and record.
Who/what inspires you? People. It’s a very rare occurrence for me to just decide to settle down and compose. It always starts from within,I can’t just make up something out of nothing. It mostly starts with a feeling, a phrase, a melody or just what seems like nonsense coming out from the guitar. I have several influences and prefer old music just as much as new. I think the music I create is a result of a mix of everything I’ve ever listened to.
What has the response to your music been like? Shocking. My first and only single came out in October last year, and it was quite a calm song, a song that lies close to my heart. And people gave it a great response which made me glad. I love playing live as well and it’s great talking to people after.
What are your expectations for this year? To not fail any test in school and keep on doing what I do. Music is a constant process which has no goal. That’s what’s great about it, it never ends.
My heart is a metronome has what it takes to make the Swedish rock scene relevant again, a scene that has stagnated the last couple of years, which is apparent in that nobody talks about it anymore. A lot is currently aligned for the trio from Uppsala to take their place among the established names.
The band took shape three years ago from singer and guitarist’s Mattis Malinens solo project. After recording the EP “Sketches” on his own, the solo project grew into a band when he was joined by Gustaf Simonsson on bass and Felix Carlsten on drums.
Deep in the woods of Södermanland, a province on the south eastern coast of Sweden, they recorded their self-produced EP “The Colouring”. The unique sound immediately made an impact in swedish media. Among other things, the radio show P3 Osignat (Unsigned), about the best unsigned bands, had their single “The Whistler” as number one for several consecutive weeks.
”Already one of Swedens most promising acts” – Anders Jakobsson, UNT.
As a consequence of their success they got scouted by Spinnup Universal, which in turn led to them being signed by a newly started, independent record label, Substitute Music Group.
“We love all phases, from rehearsing to being in the studio and finally on stage, and we hope to do it as much as possible. Substitute Music Group has become part of MHIAMs rock family, in which our creative energy never gets compromised, but rather developed in concert to acheive our common goals”, says Mattis Malinen.
The new single “Turtle”, recorded through Substitute Music in Sountrade Studios, a studio in Solna, Stockholm, is released on December the 9th. On the 20th of the same month there will be a release of a re-recording of the song, “The Whistler”, that was so popular in P3 Osignat (Unsigned). This will premier during a longer interview on the same radio station.
“We feel that our sound has evolved immensely since the Colouring stuff”, says Mattis. “You could say we are more sloppy now, but at the same time more structured and with a better eye for reviewing the parts of the songs in great detail. Turtle is really a quick paced alternative rock song, but which we’ve made a lot poppier with a falsetto melody that really sticks in your head. Out of everthing we’ve done so far, it’s probably the song which is most like a pop song — which almost feels a bit cheeky.”
Just as quick paced, is the state of their musical career. They participated in last year’s Musikhjälpen (2014, in Uppsala), a musical event that aims to gather funds for a worthy cause, where they will take their place among many established artists. And the next step is the release of their longed-for album, which they are working on at the time of writing, and beyond that a tour in Europe.
Between December 26th to January 11th we’re offering 50% off the price of all releases (single, EP, album), for one year. Just use the code Spinnup50 and you’re good to go! Don’t miss this opportunity to release your music to all major digital stores, worldwide, at a discounted price. The code can be used as many times as you want, so why don’t just release your whole catalogue while you’re at it?
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you in 2015!