Introducing: Faragó

This week we introduce the Hiphop/Rap & Jazz band Faragó. The band consists of the memebers Oskar Kviman, Frans Torell, Nikolai Skorpen Andersson, Viktor Spasov, Jonathan Lavotha and Leo Salomon.

When did you start the band? How did it happen?
Faragó was initially a two-man dream. The founders of the band, Oskar and Frans, wanted to start up a project that could be more serious than previous incarnations. The problem before had been that the band was made up of different members at different times – and a project is not the same as a band. A band is more than just music, it is a feeling of togetherness.

We achieved this feeling eventually, but in a very unexpected place; in a grimy, smokey cabin on the boat between Stockholm and Riga, where we were traveling to play at a festival. We wrote new music together, jamming and singing all the way. After that trip, we realised this was more than just a project. There and then we had become Faragó. The members who were on the boat are those who currently play in the band.

What are the members’ previous connections to music – through school, hobby, other projects?

We all have a musical background. We grew up with parents who played the piano, string instruments, a jazz drummer-dad, a jazz guitarist mother and relatives in the industry. All of us have gone our own way, but taken with us these memories and inspirations from childhood. The majority of the band studies music and want to be working in music for the foreseeable future.

Where do you find inspiration to your music?
We find inspiration in what is currently happening and what has happened in the past. The song Downtown / Archipelago was written during our Lithuania trip, where we achieved a good and authentic atmosphere that then influenced the music. The lyrics helped to create the mood, Oskar uses recurring characters and storytelling as tools for this. The essential characteristic of how we sound comes from our diverse range of influences, this entails a hybrid of classic rock, contemporary R&B, hip hop, soul and mainstream pop. No one in the band is afraid to play around with these influences, of course remembering the craft of songwriting, but with a freedom and playfulness that sets us apart from many other more genre-bound bands.

What was the process like when you were working on your EP Downtown /Archipelago?
We took a bunch of microphones from a school, drove out to a house and just went for it. Thanks to our drummer Leo and his knowledge of setting things up we could run the vocals in the closet with the drums and bass in the living room, etc. We only stopped working to eat dinner and to go skinny dipping. Brass and strings were recorded in an apartment at Skanstull.

How do you feel the overall response has been like?

The response has been good, however some negative reaction is unavoidable: Pontus De Wolfe made the suggestion that we sing in Swedish and there was an A&R who didn’t get the right feeling. Meanwhile, Playground Music, some of your Spinnup-Scouts, Ten Music Group and some others have expressed their interest to see us live. Some even want to come and listen to the rehearsals. We’ve been mentioned in the music blog “Songs for Whoever” and remixes have been made on a couple of songs. Small partnerships have begun with people who liked our EP, and who have helped us set up gigs – including our upcoming release party.

Have you had any gigs lately? How was it?
In the past, all the time we had was spent working on the EP or things related to it. Our festival gig in Lithuania last summer was quite insane though. We closed off the entire festival with performing in front of loads of people and were signing autographs afterwards. Massive/Insane/Amazing??! In Stockholm we have, during our time together, played at different places including Debaser, Medis, Fasching, Stampen etc.

What happens next?

Now the live shows begin. We start in November with 3 minor company gigs. Then we will have a release party on 2 December at Scandic Malmen in Stockholm. The same week we play at Kulturhuset. Come and see us if you’re in town! We promise you a great show.


Listen to us, Faragó on Spotify or Soundcloud.
Or check us out in iTunes!

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5 seminal songs that weren’t appreciated first time around

At Spinnup we get your music on iTunes, Spotify and all our online music distribution partners and into the ears of our amazing Scouts to set your wonderful songs firmly on the path of success.

But if by chance things don’t take off right away, don’t be disheartened. Some of the best songs ever written weren’t fully appreciated at first and took a while before they became the monster hits we know them as today.

1. ‘Missing’ – Everything But The Girl
UK duo Everything But The Girl had been happily producing their tuneful acoustic pop for over 10 years when they released their eighth album in 1994. There was little reason for anyone to suspect that ‘Missing’, a pleasant number from the set would set the world alight and it didn’t, reaching just number 69 on the UK pop chart. The following year it was re-mixed by Todd Terry and took over the world. The US in particular really couldn’t get enough – ‘Missing’ stayed on the charts for a whole year, the first record ever to do so.

2. ‘Rock Around The Clock’ – Bill Haley & His Comets
Few records can have been more influential than Bill Haley and the Comet’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’. It brought rock and roll into the mainstream, changed popular music forever, gave the recently invented ‘teenagers’ a new way to flirt with each other and much more besides. And it very nearly didn’t happen. On first release in 1954 it was a b-side of a minor hit. UK record buyers had the chance to show the world but blew it as well by only getting the song to number 17 in the charts (we’ll come back to this). It wasn’t until the song featured in the film Blackboard Jungle that everyone finally did the decent thing and kicked off the rock music revolution.

3. ‘Love Me Do’ – The Beatles
What is it about UK record buyers and number 17? In 1962 The Beatles, yes The Beatles, released their first UK single, ‘Love Me Do’, and it stalled at number 17. Honestly UK, what were you thinking?! Thankfully by the time the follow-up, ‘Please Please Me’, was released three months later, the UK realised the error of their ways. It went to number one and balance in the Universe was restored.

4. ‘Wild Thing’ – The Troggs
Wild thing, you make my heart sing. Unless you were a member of The Wild Ones in which case your feelings might be a little more nuanced. The Wild Ones you see are the band who first recorded ‘Wild Thing’ in 1965, but being first isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be and their recording didn’t set the charts alight and lodge itself into the hearts and minds of the public all over the world. The Troggs’ version from the following year? Yeah that one did. That one totally did.

True fact: The writer of ‘Wild Thing’, Chip Taylor, who has also written for the likes of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, is the uncle of Angelina Jolie.

5. ‘Creep’ – Radiohead
Radiohead may be one of the most beloved bands in the world, but back in 1992 when they released their first major label single ‘Creep’, they really weren’t. In fact the song only reached the giddy heights of number 78 in the UK. But in an intriguing, life-imitating-song-title way, ‘Creep’, began creeping up in other parts of the world. Almost a year later and it was a massive hit in the US. Radiohead didn’t want to re-release ‘Creep’ in the UK but eventually agreed and the song finally went top 10. Still didn’t make it to number one though. Seriously UK singles’ buyers, why do you keep doing this to yourselves?

One thing that may cause a songs second coming is synchronisation. Find out how here Synchronisation – Decoded.

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Scout Ali Vedadi: Some things never change

In today’s music scene, one thing that really gets me angry is a bad live show. You listen to the songs from the album and it sounds fantastic, you get pumped to hear them live, you buy tickets to the show and suddenly you aren’t getting what you paid for! Sound familiar?

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Introducing: Sa’ra – Spirituality and Authenticity in Music

Most of my life I was afraid to be myself, so I lived the life of someone else–my inauthentic self. My inauthentic self protected me from what I feared the most, judgment and rejection, so I blindly let it take its toll. My inauthentic self ignored my heart’s desires and pleasing others became the fuel to its fire. My inauthentic self kept me from living my life’s true purpose and it kept me from singing my song uniquely, as only I can.

At the age of seventeen, I left my hometown Stockholm hoping to start over somewhere I could be real, feel and act different.  So I made my way to the U.S. where my inauthentic journey would continue. In my early adulthood I pursued a career in law. I was content with any field other than the one that would require me to be authentic. During this time I was making music fleetingly, hoping one day I would be able to do it full-time. I told myself that I needed to improve myself and be more like someone else before I could pursue music wholeheartedly. This was an excuse. The real reason for not truly and fully pursuing music? I was afraid. I couldn’t deliver an authentic song, an authentic message, because I wasn’t being authentic in my everyday being.

Eventually, as I kept denying my true self and purpose, I fell prey to depression and anxiety. Fast forward through years of self-hatred and self-inflicted pain, one day I woke up. I realized that being oneself, being authentic, is not a destination that one works toward. I was and had always been my perfect self. The pain I had endured came from a lifelong effort to avoid judgment and rejection by others. But I no longer needed to feel accepted by others because I accepted myself. I believe that one’s spirit (one’s true inner self) remains the same from birth throughout life; it is naturally loving, caring and accepting. Largely what develops in us is judgment and fear which we then use to hurt ourselves and others. I think that life’s quest is somehow to find our way back to our untouched child-like selves, before efforts were made to suppress the spirit.

After nearly a decade overseas, I am now back in Stockholm, where my life began. I am no longer running from my authentic self, and my pilgrimage back to Stockholm has become symbolic of that spiritual journey. We all have a special spiritual connection to our birthplace and Stockholm had to be the place where I write my first pieces of authentic music as that is where I first lost myself. Today, my music originates from a place of peace and well-being.  A place of love and care. A place of true creativity. That place in which the ego (that place in our mind that thrives on fear, judgement, control and comparison) has no place. It is a thing of the spirit. And, it is fluid.

I recently finished writing the songs for my upcoming debut EP titled “Charismata”. But really, it feels like it wrote itself, effortlessly, because I was finally being authentic and open to listen to inspiration where it actually was and not where I thought it should be. My debut EP, which is self-written and produced, will be released through Spinnup on November 16, 2013. I look forward to sharing it, authentically.



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Scout Niklas Hansson: Rookie – the light that brightens up the dark woods of Småland

Rookie Festivalen, or just Rookie, is an indoor festival that takes place in Hultsfred, Småland. The festival is arranged by students from Linnaeus University of Music’s Event Management Programme and is for showcasing of unestablished bands in Sweden, ‘for rookies by rookies’. The concept is to create an environment for people that are up and coming in the music industry, regardless if they stand on the stage or work behind it.

A festival less recognized than it deserves to be, with a more or less non-existent budget. Rookie have hosted quite a few successful bands in its relatively short lifetime. Among these are Miss Li, Crashdiet, Movits!, Adam Tensta and Sahara Hotnights. Last weekend it was time for the fourteenth edition, and what better way for a Spinnup Scout to spend a weekend? The major acts at this years edition were Fjärillseffekten, Linda Pira, Julia Vero and the headliner of the year, Far & Son, a hip hop duo consisting of Frej Larsson (Slagsmålsklubben, Maskinen) and Simon Gärdenfors (Las Palmas) – known for their weird but phenomenal live shows.

They really lived up to their reputation and gave the Hultsfred audience an
opportunity to combine music and pizza in a nontraditional way. The duo are currently running their ‘Pizza Tour’, were they are baking and handing out pizza to the audience during
their live shows. Frej has this to say about the marketing ploy, “There are more pizzerias in Sweden than record stores, and therefore the Swedish people like pizza more than music”.

But as always at an unsigned festival it wasn’t the big names that delivered the most lasting impression. The act John Bull Band gave an energized rockabilly show that included
everything a rockabilly fan could possibly ask for, including blues and playing standing on the upright bass. The gig that’s going to stay in my mind is Flo, an indie pop act consisting of Lo Johansson Hammarström and Fredrik Danielson, who enthralled me and the audience for half an hour with their soul inspired pop.

Everything in the festival really impressed me from the great music to the professional staff, and I’m really happy to see that the great tradition of arranging music festivals lives on in Hultsfred.

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5 genres of music that are overdue a comeback

It’s great when a genre that you love has a resurgence. Mumford and Sons have been spearheading the folk revival with Noah and the Whale, Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling and many more, while croon-again superstar Michael Bublé has revived wonderfully the broad appeal of the likes of Sinatra, Anka and Bennett.

Fashion does not dictate what is good, rather what is good dictates what the fashion is and quality and beauty are always fashionable. So never lose heart if the music you are creating is considered unfashionable at the moment, music never stays still for long.

1. Rap Metal

It’s been 13 years since Linkin Park released ‘Hybrid Theory’ one of the most successful debut albums of the 21st century. At that time Papa Roach had reached their ‘Last Resort’ and Limp Bizkit were ‘Breaking Stuff’. It was the final days of Rap Metal or Nu-Metal as it had become and things had come a long way from the early days of Rap Metal such as Anthrax’s ‘I’m The Man’ or Faith No More’s ‘Epic’ which laid the foundation for a band called Rage Against The Machine. They made the genre their own with both rap and metal elements to express the anger they felt towards the people they saw as perpetrators of injustice. With the world economy and politics as they are today can it be that long before somebody rebirths this explosive genre?

2. Reggae

It can only be a matter of time before the charts embrace the community and joy that reggae brings. Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals brought this genre to the masses and any young artists who can capture the energy and jubilant exuberance of this genre, currently lost to the mainstream, is sure to be a great success.

3. Soul and RnB

Whilst Soul and RnB still very much exist as genres, they are very different to what they meant when they first took shape in the 50s and 60s. To go back to how they were then would be doing something truly original in the context of today’s music.

4. Country

Country music is of course huge in large parts of America and brought us global superstars like Taylor Swift, but much of country music never crosses over to mainstream success like Ms Swift and yet this is a genre that treasures the craft of songwriting. A 17-year-old Jackson Browne went into David Geffen’s office and three minutes and one rendition of ‘These Days’ on his beat up acoustic guitar and he was signed and was soon dominating the pop charts. Country music knows great songs when they hear them and it is great songs that will always win out.

5. Punk Pop

The pent-up aggression of every guy that didn’t get the girl, of every girl that liked the silly guy, the musical representation of high school politics. This forgotten outlet not tapped since Weezer, Sum 41 and Blink 182 is surely overdue a return.

Whatever your style you are in modern times, so acquaint yourself with The Digital Music Business – Decoded.

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5 things Lou Reed did that every new artist should learn from

As musicians and fans around the world mourn the passing of Lou Reed yesterday, here at Spinnup we’ve been thinking about what people with creative ambitions can learn from this great artist and songwriter. Here are a few we’ve come up with.

1. Take your music seriously

Please note, serious does not mean being boring and dull at the expense of being fun. Lou Reed wanted to be a musician because he knew and never lost sight of the fact that music really matters. Music is unlike anything else in its ability to reach out to people. Whatever kind of music you are making, whether you are creating the next generation of rock operas or three minute slices of pure entertaining pop music, be in absolutely no doubt that what you are doing, what you are creating, will enrich people’s lives. Lou Reed always knew that he was making something very special and he was. If you don’t feel that, why should anyone else?

2. Understand your own voice and musical style
Not just vocals and lyrics but all aspects of your music. One of the most dismissive ways to describe any kind of music is to say that it sounds like everything else. Throughout his long career, with all the different groups and collaborators he worked with, Lou Reed was always clearly Lou Reed. What makes your music distinctive?

3. Get to know other musicians and artists

From Andy Warhol and David Bowie to Metallica and Kiss, Lou Reed never stopped getting to know and working with other artists and musicians. He understood the artistic benefits that comes from working with others. Many musicians collaborate with each other to help reach a wider audience than they can on their own, which is a perfectly valid and enjoyable thing to do, but there’s also immense value to be had as an artist in just hanging out with and working with other artists. Whether it’s coming up with new ideas, solving problems, keeping up your motivation or anything else, nobody will understand what it means to be an artist better than another one.

4. Be an expert

There were few things worth knowing about guitars and sound recording that Lou Reed didn’t know inside out. Whatever your role, instrument, tool or thing in music is, become an expert at it. Once you know something intimately and really understand how it works, you’ll find it much easier to make it work how you want it to and come up with new ideas.

5. Be your own (very tough) editor
Lou Reed worked very hard indeed at his songwriting. He didn’t just record the first lyrics that came into his head but edited and re-wrote them over and over again. There’s a quote often attributed to Ernest Hemmingway about this point: “The first draft of anything is shit.” That’s maybe a little on the harsh side, but the underlying point is absolutely true – thoughtful editing and re-working are very hard to overrate.

You should be ready to get out on the road now! Check out Gigging And Touring – Decoded.

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Crackson featured on Swedish hip-hop radio

Congratulations to Spinnup artist Crackson who last week appeared on Swedish radio’s biggest hip-hop show – En kärleksattack på svensk hiphop med Ametist Azordegan.

He performed two tracks live on radio and had two of the tracks from his Spinnup release Guldfeber played.

Stream the show from the website to hear Crackson’s performances as well as an interview. The show also features other Swedish hip-hop artists such as Martin Zamora and Rawda.

Listen to the show here (Crackson appears from about 1h20m).

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