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November 23, 2015

Introducing SMILO!

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Introducing: Erik Jonasson

This week Spinnup had a chat with Singer/Songwriter Erik Jonasson.

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 confident and 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 spontaneously change 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.

Listen to his latest single Like a Funeral on Spotify today!

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Introducing: Johan Klingwall

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!

Make sure you listen to Världens ände på Spotify!

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Introducing: LIA

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!

 

Listen to her debut single ‘Believers’ on Spotify.

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Introducing: Melina Borglowe

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.

Listen to her debut single Sunflower Meadow!

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My heart is a metronome – a new hope for Swedish rock!

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.

Listen to My heart is a metronome on Spotify today!

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Introducing: Älven

This week we introduce the winner of the Christmas Song competition: Älven

What is your musical background, and when did you start with Älven?
From the age of 5 it has been apparent that Olivia is a natural born singer. Simon on the other hand was a late bloomer and did not venture into music until the age of 18. Both grew up in families where music, and especially Swedish music, was played a lot.

Before founding Älven we were in bands in our respective places but when we met in 2012 we saw an opportunity to start something together. Thus, Älven was born. We both feel a strong need to express our emotions in music and lyrics.


Who or what inspires you?
Our songwriting is continuous and you never know when inspiration kicks in. We mostly get inspired by Swedish artists who also write Swedish lyrics such as Håkan Hellström and Veronica Maggio. Art can kickstart our creativity, especially modern art, and a walk in the forest can also be a form of inspiration.


What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
We released our debut album “Högst upp på taket” earlier this year and now we are writing new songs for a planned EP next summer. Hopefully we can come out and play some festivals and we are currently scouting for gigs for the Summer of 2015.


What does the rest of the year have to offer? What’s happening next?
Next big thing for us is an upcoming music video for our Christmas song “Pusselbit” and we hope to reach a broader audience with our songs.


Watch the video here!

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Introducing: Denis Alic

Denis Alic, previously known as D-Nice, was born and raised in Malmö (Sweden). He is about to turn 24 and is now aiming for a top spot on the Swedish hiphop scene with support from Let’s Do This MGMT, which he signed to earlier this year.

Being active in music since 2003, he now has hundreds of songs released and hundreds of thousands YouTube-hits to his name. From being a leading force in the growth of the Swedish underground scene for his genre, Denis Alic has in recent years been acclaimed by Swedish hiphop icons such as Advance Patrol and Linda Pira, and is quickly gaining support for his fitness in expressing himself with raw lyricism.

He is the youngest of three brothers who introduced him to, and paved the way for his passion. Seeing them perform their music on stage and control the crowd sparked an immediate interest at a very young age.

“My inspiration comes from all I have seen and things I have faced and struggled with. To explain it in one word, my biggest inspiration is life.”

The song Komma Iväg that is being released by Spinnup, is his official debut single and has already received praise from local music profiles and can be heard regularly on the local radio. A music video for this track is also in the making and is to be release shortly after the track is officially released on the 25th of this month (November 2014).

“Despite the fact that the year is coming to an end, we have a lot going on and the team is working harder than ever to make it all happen”. This single is the first of two, that are to be release before year’s end.

Followers can also expect an EP which is predicted to be released in late January. “In the year to come, I’m aiming to do a lot of shows. Nothing beats standing on stage. It’s as simple as that.”

Listen to Komma Iväg on Spotify.

Check out the article on Kingsize!

Denis Alic was picked out by the Spinnup scouts to be the ‘hip hop artist of the month’, through the collaboration with Kingsize Magazine. Each month an artist is chosen from all of the Kingsize-submissions and is presented on spinnup.com, kingsizemagazine.se as well as in our social media channels. You can submit your song by using the code KINGSPINN next time you wish to release a hip hop/rap/soul song and perhaps you will be the next artist to be presented by both Spinnup and Kingsize! 

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Introducing: The Fleurs

This week we introduce a group that has been with Spinnup since the beginning: The Fleurs. The Fleurs is a duo consisting of Emely Majrel and Kim Hagen.

What is your musical background, and when did you start with music?
Emely: My mother used to tell me that I started singing before talking or even crawling. My first memory from growing up is sitting on the floor in front of my brothers CD collection, listening to every single one of the albums, for hours and hours. It took me some time to figure out how the record player worked, but then nothing could stop me! When I had figured out how to speak, I started my own music career, performing covers of songs by Marianne Rosenberg (German singer) in front of the mirror. When I turned five I started playing violin, and a year later piano. By the age of twelve I had formed my own band, and the rest is history, as they say.

Kim: I pretty much found an interest for music by myself, since my parents were not into instruments. The curiosity started when I was thirteen, as I laid hands on my grandfathers old Yamaha guitar – which, up to that point, had been used more as decor than an instrument. I have barely put down the guitar since.

Who or what inspires you?
We get inspired by all the good music that’s already out there. Films are another major source of inspiration. With The Fleurs, we reason more like an art project than a band, as we strive to create a feeling with everything we do. As an example, we’ve decided that every music video we make will be a tribute to a film, TV show or director. For our first song “Basic Instinct”, Twin Peaks and David Lynch caught our attention. But it was actually a coincidence that the song was released the same day that Twin Peaks got renewed for a new season, 25 years after the latest episode aired. So I guess you could say, that this is The Fleurs way of saying thanks to everyone involved with creating the new season – we’re sure it”s going be great.

How has your music been received?
The stuff we do is no “middle of the road” music, it’s much too dark and melancholy. It’s hard to pigeonhole in to any particular genre, but our scout at Spinnup has described it as a more pensive Björk. With that said, some seem to really enjoy it. The feedback we get is actually quite overwhelming. And we have Spinnup to thank for that.

What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
Last year have been sort of a musical boot camp for us, basically only rehearsing and writing. But now we feel that we are ready to finally go public with the project. The plan is to gig regularly and keep on recording, a new single is already on the way – and the goal is to release six more under 2015.

What does the rest of the year have to offer? What’s happening next?
As we mentioned earlier, playing live is the next big thing, and something we’re really looking forward to! The Fleurs is a band that belongs on a nightclub scene, so the plan is to start off in the mecca of nightclubs, Berlin. But we do have a few gigs in store for Sweden as well, those will take place in winter and spring next year.

 

Listen to their single Basic Instinct on Spotify!

 

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This is Dolly Dolores!

Dolly Dolores was recently signed by Universal Music, after releasing her hit song ‘På måndag börjar jag igen’ on Spinnup. We wanted to know more about Dolly so we had a little chat with her!


Dolly Dolores! Tell us more about who you are.

I am a 24 year old singer located in Malmö, Sweden. I am currently working on my first EP, which will hopefully be released soon.


What is your musical background and when did you start with music?
I didn’t grow up in a musically interested family but my older sister used to get really good records from her boyfriend at the time. My interest in music started when I began going in to her room when she wasn’t there to listen to those records and found a lot of great soul and blues. When I was 13 I met my current producer and friend Christopher Dominique, who was my teacher at the time. He inspired me a lot, taught me a bit on the guitar and gave me good advice on things to listen to and practice on. Later on when I got older, Cristopher and I started writing and recording a lot together and we still are.


Who/what inspires you?
It’s hard to pinpoint what inspires me as it varies a lot, sometimes it’s red wine and sometimes it’s pale ale. Obviously other artists and bands inspire me a lot but also situations from everyday life. At the moment I get really inspired to write songs when I’m at my lowest low, which can sound a bit like a cliché. But there is a sweet feeling of revenge if you are in a bad place when you start writing a song. The feeling when you’ve gotten everything out of your system and finished the song is priceless, I guess you could call it therapeutic.


Tell us more about the process of being signed; from signing up to Spinnup, to being signed by Universal.
It started with me releasing my Swedish debut single “Dansa” on my own. The song quickly got a spot on national radio station P3 and after that a lot of positive things started happening. But it wasn’t until after I released my second single “På måndag börjag jag igen” through Spinnup, that I got contacted by Universal.


What has the response to your song “På måndag börjar jag igen” been like?
The response to “På måndag börjar jag igen” has been very different from my other songs. Previously I used to sing and write in English but by changing language to my native tongue the reactions to my music have been broader and more. I have noticed both on social media and when people approach me in real life that this song has had a much bigger effect on my career. People often tell me they play the song at their pre-parties and I guess that’s a good thing.


What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
Primarily I am hoping that my debut EP will be finished and out by then. I really hope to get the chance to be out touring and gigging across the country.


What does the rest of the year have to offer? What’s happening next?
The rest of the year will contain a lot of writing and recording in the studio for my upcoming EP. I will also be doing a few gigs here and there but I will mainly be spending my time in the studio.

Visit her Facebook page!
Listen to her song På måndag börjar jag igen.

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Introducing: Blackshots

Blackshots is the beginning, middle and end. The answer to every question. The personification of humanity’s moral decay. We are a three-piece band consisting of Jimmy-Ray, Angelika and Joaquin.

What is your musical background and when did you start with music?
We’ve all been living alongside music our entire lives – Jimmy-Ray used to play in an indie rock band, Angelika started out as a violinist and continued on with punk and Joaquin has been producing music since he was 15 and played the piano before he could walk. We first encountered each other a few years ago and used to DJ and host clubs together around Stockholm. The idea for Blackshots grew during some spontaneous studio sessions. At the beginning of 2014 we all just felt sick of club music (all kinds of EDM) and all of a sudden we knew that we wanted to make music that’s more timeless than your standard “build-up and drop” house song. We’re probably going to flirt with EDM somehow however, seeing as that’s where we started.


Who/what inspires you?
A lot of things inspire us. Melancholy and rage stirred up with some fat synthesisers. Injustice in society, cruelty towards animals, Capitalism. We write about all these things, “Cage” is about an abusive relationship and the frustration and helplessness you feel as the underdog. We want to welcome the outcasts – fuck beauty, fuck society and we want people to hear that in our songs. We also want to be a voice for the LGBT Community and other minorities. As soon as you start to talk about typical LGBT music all you think of is ESC, champagne and glamour. Being gay does not mean that every day is like the pride parade. We also believe that the electronic music scene is far too male dominated and all the music sounds exactly the same. We want to do electronic rock music, if that make sense?


What has the response to your music been like?
It’s been above and beyond our expectations. We really don’t care too much what people think, as long as we make something that we can stand for and that we love. People really seem to like “Cage” and want to hear more. It’s hard to define a band from just one song and we are still trying to figure out what our sound is. Some people say that we sound like a mix of The Knife and Marilyn Manson. We wrote maybe 10 songs this summer and nothing sounds the same, but we assure you everything is still moody and dark.


What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
We hope to play as many live shows as possible to spread the message. You don’t really know about the band dynamic when you create your music in a studio, with the help of computers instead of the traditional jam sessions. Even though we don’t believe in traditional gender roles, having a girl in the band makes the tension on stage much more vibrant. We’ve only got one rule when we make songs and that’s never to include more instruments then we can handle live. We don’t want to play along to any backing tracks.


What does the rest of the year have to offer? What’s happening next (2015)?
We’re going to finish up two or three songs and release our first EP before the year is over, with or without a label. Most tracks just need their final touch to be able to fully infiltrate minds of listeners. We’re also going to shoot a music video with the Director and stylist Tommie X who has done all of Rebecca & Fionas videos. We love him and he has some great ideas that fit our music perfectly.

 

Listen to their debut single CAGE on Spotify right now!

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