• Sweden's news in English

Britta Persson: Sweden's next global pop sensation?

The Local · 15 Dec 2010, 10:56

Published: 15 Dec 2010 10:56 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Despite its relatively small population, Sweden has long served as a breeding ground for new music that resonates beyond its borders. Over the past decade, the likes of the Cardigans, Peter Bjorn and John, and Robyn have enjoyed huge success worldwide, and the steady stream of quality acts from Sweden looking to gain recognition abroad shows little sign of letting up in 2011.

One name to look out for in the new year is that of Britta Persson. Uppsala-born and currently residing in Stockholm, the 29-year-old songwriter this autumn released her new album, Current Affair Medium Rare, to a rapturous reception from critics and fans.

And on Monday, she was nominated for a Swedish Grammis award in the category of Best Female Artist.

Persson has been plying her trade in Sweden since 2004, starting out as a solo artist selling her demo CD through her website. In an age where Myspace and MP3s have long been the norm for getting your music out there, it sounds prehistoric that Persson actually burned the CDs, packaged them and sent them in the post - each with a handwritten set-list included.

Once word of mouth spread, she became a one woman production line – sending two thousand copies of the demo in total. That must have been a lot of trips to the post office.

“It was a period when I was in my own little bubble’, she told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in a recent interview.

“I wouldn’t want to do it again, but in some ways it was quite nice. I think I was good at it.”

Britta’s big break came when she contacted singer-songwriter Kristofer Åström. Claiming that their “musical language and voices fit together”, Persson proposed a collaboration.

“He wrote ‘Prove it!’ and invited me to the studio where he was recording the album Loupita.”

The meet up proved a success, and Persson ended up singing on Åström’s album and even opening for him on tour. The former Fireside and Hidden Truck singer later produced Top Quality Bones and a Little Terrorist, Persson’s 2006 debut album. She describes it as a “pure homemade recording”, cut in Åström’s kitchen with “two microphones, a guitar and a computer.”

Four years later and Persson is now a seasoned pro - both in the studio and as a live performer. Together with what she calls her ‘genius band’, Persson has made album number three, Current Affair Medium Rare.

“The album sums up not many years of my life, but is an excerpt of what it is right now,” she writes on her blog.

“But I think you can chew on it for a long time. There are quite a few layers to the album and goodies to discover after the thirtieth listening too.”

On 2008’s Kill Hollywood Me, the album’s immediate predecessor, Persson was writing wryly humorous songs about the ups and downs of romance. While the new album’s no less witty, it’s more about human relationships in a general sense, focusing more on building expansive arrangements and creating experimental sounds than on summery pop melodies.

“Nowadays I find the production as important as the songs,” she tells The Local via email.

It’s certainly a million miles from the early days of recording her vocals through a lampshade.

“This time I‘ve had much higher ambitions,” she continues.

“I kept thinking that I was going to make the world's best record and that there shouldn’t be a minute that is useless on this disc. These are ten very-good songs.”

November saw Persson tour throughout Sweden, and she’s due to play Stockholm’s Södra Teatern later this Thursday, December 16th. It’ll be her last gig of the year, and she is looking forward to it.

Story continues below…

“It’s a whole new thing with this album and this band, much easier and more fun live,” she insists.

Of course, it’s full steam ahead for 2011, with Current Affair Medium Rare released in the rest of Europe early in the new year, after a trip in January to play at the Eurosonic festival in the Netherlands.

As for why Sweden bursts at the seams with great music, Persson proposes a couple of theories.

“I think one of the reasons is that we’re a bunch of spoiled kids!” she quips, before getting serious.

“It might be that we Swedes have developed some kind of collective self-confidence in pop music. If all your friends are making music, it’s not hard to think you can do it yourself.”

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

03:07 December 17, 2010 by Tanskalainen
She is so squirmy! All that Pepto-Bismol coming out of her nose in the "You're not my boyfriend video" turned my stomach. She needs a boyfriend with an enormous falukorv.
Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available