They sometimes say Stockholm is the Hollywood of music. Music is one of Sweden’s most important export products. When you say Swedish pop music, we of course immediately think of ABBA. But Roxette, Europe, Neneh Cherry, Emilia, The Cardigans, Ace of Base, Alcazar, Robyn and Avici … all come from Sweden. More recently we can add Zara Larsson Lykke Li, First Aid Kit and Mohombi to the list. On top of the artists, there are some top producers in Sweden, such as Max Martin, who are also responsible for the sound of many international stars like Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. And don’t forget, Spotify is also Swedish. It was a startup from Stockholm.
Eurovision Song Contest
Sweden already won the Eurovision Song Contest 6 times. The first time was with ABBA in 1974, the (for now) last time was with Måns Zelmerlöw in 2015. Even the recent years when Sweden didn’t win, they ended in the top 10.
The national preselections, Melodifestivalen, are even more popular in Sweden than the Eurovision Song Contest itself. Popular artists that won Melodifestivalen were for example Eric Saade, Sanna Nielsen, Lena Philipsson, …
Why is Swedish pop music so popular?
In the 1940s, people were encouraged to take music education by facilitating this for free by the government. This was intended as a counter-movement against all ‘modern music’. Stimulating music remained important for the Swedish government.
I also believe that the long, cold and dark winters might be one of the reasons. Playing music is an excellent remedy to prevent boredom. It’s a great way to entertain yourself and your company. During midsumme singing and music are indispensable as well. Also the fact that the Swedes are excellent at speaking English and quickly began to sing in English, helped creating their worldwide success.
What do you think? Why is Swedish pop music so popular? Who is your favorite Swedish artist?