Scenes to Watch: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland
While we’re pretty much restricted to our immediate surroundings these days, the good thing about music is it knows no borders and travel bans don’t apply. So today, we’re taking you on an auditory trip to four countries that have fostered vibrant music scenes and produced some of the most masterful melodies and world’s biggest artists. If you’re ready to take your listening to new territories, just grab your earphones and sink a little deeper into your couch: this installment of Scenes to Watch is headed to Northern Europe.
Harrison First (Stockholm, Sweden)
Though he’s originally from New Jersey, Harrison First is making major waves across Sweden with his unique brand of futuristic R&B. The Stockholm-based songwriter/producer first got his start uploading beats to SoundCloud. Since then he’s built a deep network of collaborators from across the world, garnering a large international fanbase.
According to Harrison, homegrown R&B and hip-hop is on the rise in Sweden. “[Though] the music is very similar to top artists in America, the artists here in Sweden have really made an effort to come up with unique melodies and super clean euphoric trap patterns in production. You can hear the quality in the music here.”
Get to know Harrison and the sounds coming out of Sweden by pressing play on “BAMBAM” feat. Ängie now.
The Swedish electro pop duo, Icona Pop, was formed by two former classmates who bonded over their shared love of melodic club music. The pair have since channeled their admiration for fellow Swedes like The Knife, Avicii and Ace of Base into a nearly decade-long string of hit songs.
Nowadays, the group spends the majority of their time on the road. However when they do get the chance to head homewards they return to a vibrant music scene. “Sweden really is an amazing place to find cool sounds. We love going home and being introduced to everything we’ve missed. Some really cool women that are dropping new cool music soon are Yaeger and NEA.”
Stream to Icona Pop’s EDM anthem, “Next Mistake” and if you’re looking for another artist to watch, check out Fever Ray, Swedish singer-songwriter and former half of electronic duo the Knife.
HEDEGAARD (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Danish DJ, HEDEGAARD first made a name for himself when his trance re-work of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” broke the internet. Millions of plays later, he’s become renowned for his skills in the studio and the booth – with a sound that embodies the Danish EDM scene without simply relying on trends.
Though HEDEGAARD has built a sonic world of his own, he’s keenly aware of the musical shift starting in Denmark. What’s the next sound? “Electronic music will be softer and harder at the same time. Like more pop, chord-driven for some artists and more fast and heavy Psytrance for other artists.”
Fall under his spell with his latest project, Oblivion, and then keep the party going with Danish-Chilean singer and songwriter Medina.
Dagny (Tromsø, Norway)
Ever since she uploaded her hit track “Backbeat” to SoundCloud, Dagny has been one of Norway’s most promising acts. The songstress has made the most of her success, splitting her time between the studio and a jam-packed tour schedule, while still maintaining a strong relationship with her fans noting, “I like being able to talk directly to the fans, for example I just started a newsletter which has been a lot of fun and it’s been a super personal way of interacting.”
While acoustic folk songwriters first inspired Dagny to write music, her tastes have only broadened. “With the likes of girl in red and Boy Pablo, there’s definitely been a growing indie-rock-pop-from-the-bedroom scene, which I think is awesome. I’m all for it as I’m super inspired by indie music – way more than mainstream pop.”
In the opposite vein of mainstream, you can hear an exclusive demo version of “Come Over” by Dagny on SoundCloud, and then get to know the artists she’s got on her radar, like girl in red and Boy Pablo.
KASPERG (Helsinki, Finland)
KASPERG is a Finnish producer, musician and DJ whose colorful house tunes have been keeping dancefloors across Europe packed. Running the label Lost Favourite, and playing with a number of Finnish acts (including Alma) he’s become a key player in his scene.
As KASPERG poises to debut his first signee, Palma, he’s excited to play an even more active role in fostering Finland’s electronic scene – especially as it gets warmer. “Helsinki is full of great sounds, especially in the summertime. There’s great stuff happening during other seasons as well, such as [the] Issa Vibe [party series] and Kuahu Club. Also, there’s this young artist called Palma who’s working on his debut EP for my label.”
Stream KASPERG’s all-season’s bop “Good Right Here” feat Kaliaa and then witness his creative process with his Studio Sessions: The Breakdown episode.
If you’re not done taking an auditory trip through Finland, head over to Palma & Alma’s profiles – similar in name, yes, but their sounds are anything but.
Need even more Nordic sounds in your life? You’re in luck. Check back here Wednesday for a special announcement on how you can get more music, no limits, from these scenes and more.