Introducing… Basshunter

Introducing... is The Local's guide to the ins and outs of Swedish celebrity. This week Malin Nyberg sits too close to the telly and gets sucked into the wacky world of commercial dance artist Jonas Altberg, aka Basshunter.

Introducing... Basshunter

Who is he and why is he famous?

Good question, many Swedes wondered the same thing in 2006 when an unknown dance artist was suddenly being played by Swedish DJs all across the country. Soon everyone had gone Basshunter crazy and his tune ‘Boten Anna’ became the hit of the year.

So was it just a one-hit-wonder?

Not at all. The ‘hunter is incredibly popular in the UK these days, a point to which we’ll return later. But success was initially limited on the home front, probably because the lyrics in his Swedish-language songs are all about cyberspace.

How utterly thrilling.

You said it. Back then, he recorded his songs on his computer and released them onto an unwitting the internet. It seems he really loved the web in general and decided to write songs about the cyber world. He is very much a product of his time. In fact, his second Swedish album was called LOL.

ROFL! WTF? What’s the smiley for incurable geek?

Don’t be like that. Anyway, his fortunes had a massive upswing when he released the English version of ‘Boten Anna’, ‘Now you’re gone’, in 2008. Suddenly he was an international artist singing about, you know, normal stuff. He become very successful in Britain, topping the UK charts for five weeks. Also, every tourist-packed bar in Europe played his song non stop. It was a great year for Mr Bass.

And for sales of earache remedies no doubt. So what’s he up to these days?

A lot, if the the British papers are to be believed.

Questionable. But do continue.

Well, after releasing an album in English last year and touring the world, his popularity exploded, particularly in the UK where he recently moved into the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Ouch, a grim fate. How is he handling being stuck in a house with insufferable British celebrities?

Very well apparently. He is making tabloid headlines and the women like him. Sadly though, it seems he has just been dumped by his cute Kazakh housemate. But he is almost certain to find someone new.

I certainly hope so, the poor chap.

Hey, you can’t feel sorry for this guy. Just look at the woman who plays the girlfriend in his music videos and you’ll understand why..!

What about her?

Well, Basshunter’s music videos have had hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, a fact not entirely unconnected to the appearance therein of a glamour model and former porn star from Norway.

Oh, interesting. What’s her name? I might watch with the sound turned down.

Aylar Lie, but hey, we were talking about Basshunter here…

No, no, continue. Aylar Lie, you say?

No, I don’t.

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Introducing… Camilla Henemark

Introducing... is The Local's guide to Swedish celebrity. In this installment David Landes gives the lowdown on Camilla Henemark - the busty pop-queen whose alleged affair with the king has once again put her in the spotlight.

Introducing... Camilla Henemark

So, who exactly is this woman and why is she in all the papers.

Yes. Well, where to begin. There isn’t much that Camilla Henemark hasn’t done: photo model, pop star, political activist, actress…lover to the king.

In the mid-1990s she hosted her own erotic television programme “Seventh Heaven” (‘Sjunde himlen’) and appeared on the spring 2012 season of “Let’s Dance”, Sweden’s version of “Dancing with the Stars”

She is also the author of a soon-to-be published autobiography.

Whoa, back up there. Lover to the king? Which king?

Well, the King of Sweden of course: Carl XVI Gustaf. At least according to Henemark, who was born in Stockholm to a Nigerian father and Swedish mother.

So is that why she’s making headlines these days? I mean, the king is a happily married man, right?

Easy there cowboy, one thing at a time. Henemark’s current round of headline-making stems primarily from her forthcoming book, “Adjö det ljuva livet” (‘Goodbye, sweet life’) in which the busty 47-year-old former face of the band Army of Lovers reportedly devotes page after page revealing her own army of lovers, including the king as well as a battalion of other well-known Swedes.

Army of Lovers? Wait a minute…weren’t they…

…big like 20 years ago? Yes. The band was founded in the late 80s and had a number of hits, with 1991’s “Crucified” hitting number one on the European charts. Here’s a video if you need to refresh your memory:

Ah, yes…that was all well and good, but let’s get back to the good stuff. What’s this about her getting down and dirty with King Carl?

Right. Well, reports about a fling between Henemark and the king first emerged almost two years ago with the publication of “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), an unauthorized tell-all biography about the king and a number of alleged affairs, including one with La Camilla, is she is also known.

In her new book, Henemark says the affair lasted about 18 months and took place around the turn of the millennium.

So this was more than just some one-night stand?

According to Henemark it was, although exactly how hot and heavy things may have gotten remains unclear. She says she and the king were “very fond of one another” and saw each other weekly when the relationship was at its most intense.

In the book, she tells of one steamy meet-up which evolved into a sort of food fight.

“The king liked to gorge himself on sushi and cake,” she writes in the book, according to the tabloid Expressen.

I think I just lost my appetite.

Sorry to hear that, because I almost forgot to tell you about another food-related episode that put Henemark in the spotlight just last week.

Please…spare me.

Sorry…you asked, so I’m telling. Last week, Henemark was at the centre of another royal controversy – although not by choice. The dust up stemmed from a work of art depicting the King Carl XVI Gustaf eating pizza off the body of a naked and prone Henemark.

First sushi. Now pizza. Please, make it stop.

Well, let’s get back to those lovers, shall we.

Actually, I’m not sure…

Well, to use Henemark’s own words: “there isn’t anything or anyone that I haven’t tasted” she says in her new book.

“Young and old. Men as well as women. Counts as well as hooligans. Everything needs to be explored. I want to have it all,” she writes.

Okay, okay. I get the picture. But does she name any names.

Apparently yes. Names which have emerged so far include former boxing pro and TV personality Paolo Roberto, former hockey great Börje Salming, crooner Tommy Körberg; and rapper Dogge Doggelito. It should be noted, though that the degree of intimacy Henemark reached with these and others named in varied widely.

And what does the king have to say about all this?

Not much really. When the tell-all book about him came out in 2010, he told reporters he wanted to “turn the page” but never flat out addressed the rumoured affair which Henemark has more or less now confirmed in her new book.

And this time around, the king isn’t saying anything more until after the book comes out.

So, I guess we can expect a few more headlines next week when this juicy tome hits bookstore shelves?

I’d say that’s a safe bet.

David Landes

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