Swede of the Week

Swede wows Katy Perry with jungle jingle

Swede wows Katy Perry with jungle jingle
A hot new Swedish singer got a big boost this week from US pop star Katy Perry, whose social media shout-out helped Ellinor Olovsdotter, better known as Elliphant, reach millions of new fans, making her our pick for Swede of the Week.

Born and raised in Stockholm, the sometimes foul-mouthed Olovsdotter is on something of a hot streak.

Ever since taking the stage name Elliphant last year, the 27-year-old’s star has been rising, both at home and abroad.

She has a track included on the official soundtrack of the wildly popular Fifa 13 video game, and her unique, gritty electronic sound has made music critics at the New Musical Express and The Guardian take notice.

“Elliphant’s skull-rattling agit-pop – which has much in common with Icona Pop’s shoutier material – is a pretty good way of kicking bullshit into touch before it all gets out of hand,” the Guardian wrote last month in naming Elliphant one of the six best Scandinavian acts.

In February, Olofsdotter was invited to perform a new single, Boom Your Head Up, at Sweden’s Grammisgalan, the country’s premiere music event.

And on Wednesday, the Swedish rapper and singer received a resounding endorsement from US pop star Katy Perry on Twitter who called the video for Elliphant’s Down On Life “One of the most bad ass music videos I’ve seen in a long time!”

A link to the video went out to Perry’s more than 34 million Twitter followers.

Olovsdotter responded from her Elliphant Twitter account, giving a “big thanxx” to the US pop star.

Olovsdotter’s journey to becoming one of Sweden’s most promising musical exports hasn’t been easy.

She described her childhood as being somewhat chaotic, but she is close to her family, which includes a number of half-siblings.

She was also later diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia, according to a recent interview with the Totally Stockholm entertainment magazine.

“The school system really fucked me up,” she said in the interview.

“Doing bad in school kinda brands you as a bad person. I was a kicker kid and a bit too aggressive. I couldn’t sit there and if you can’t do that then the system treats you like you can’t do anything.”

But the first of many trips to India at the age of 15 started a process that helped spawn her career in music.

Speaking with Sveriges Radio (SR) earlier this year, Olovsdotter told how she “ran around naked and burned down a bungalow” on a trip to Goa, where she was captivated by the city’s underground music scene.

She admitted that putting a label on her style of music isn’t easy.

“I’d like to call it jungle,” she told SR, but explained the label is already taken.

Elliphant’s sound includes influences from artists as diverse as Rage Against the Machine and Aaliyah, according to Olovsdotter, who settled on “progressive pop” when pressed by SR to sum up her musical style.

She’s currently in Jamaica shooting a music video for her single Music for Life and will be performing in Stockholm at the Medis nightclub on May 10th.

Editor’s Note:The Local’s Swede of the week is someone in the news who – for good or ill – has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

SEE ALSO:A list of The Local’s past Swedes of the Week

David Landes

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