American born Mapei grew up in Sweden and it’s where she feels at home. Now she reaches out of her comfort zone and ventures on a road trip with friend and director Liza Minou Morberg and discovered more of Europe from the seat of a specially designed Volvo truck.
The first time I heard 'Don't Leave' I was reminded of poetry. Tear-jerking, heart-wrenching poetry that pulls at your very soul.
The expression and content of the lyrics are an essential part of soul music and even more in hip-hop, which is in the heart of petite Swedish singer Adée (Ida Adée Olsson). The 2:30 min track achieves more in its short running time than many and leaves an unforgettable imprint on your musical consciousness.
Not many bands have managed to get me hooked as instantly and with such power as Danish band Julias Moon did.
Their track ‘Lipstick Lies’ was being shuffled on YouTube after having listened to fellow Danish soul band Scarlet Pleasure, and invited me to press play. I was delighted when I realisied Julias Moon were Danish and part of the growing soulful scene in Scandinavia, but even more exciting was the fact that they were about to perform in Stockholm just a couple of days later.
It’s somehow fitting that I should present Norwegian singer Bernhoft with the video of the year award at Katalin in Uppsala, Sweden, where the first ever Scandinavian Soul Music Award was held in 2014.
The multi-talented soul singer Bernhoft has only just arrived in Uppsala from Malmo. Now, mid-rehearsal ahead of tonight's performance, we relax backstage before his next interview. This is the second time I have sat with him and it never feels like he tries to be ‘cool’. However, dressed in black with his dark-rimmed glasses, he exudes coolness.
Things have certainly changed since I last met Alex Rita, the angelic lead singer from award-winning band Okapii, in 2013.
Our previous encounter took place in the city of Copenhagen. The Danish singer acted as my excellent host and city tour guide during my stay, culminating with her first live performance at the venue KB 18.
18 months later, I now find myself in the area of Deptford, South East London, which has certainly changed over the past years, too. It was previously best described as a no-go area, being riddled with crime and a high poverty rate. However, as rent and property demand increased, so has the nature of the residents.
If Titiyo is the Queen of Swedish soul, then we can confidently call Stephen Simmonds the King.
He also proved Sweden could produce real soul music with key tracks such as "Tears Never Dry" and "Mother Mary" representing a definition of soul music in Sweden at its height. Stephen has collaborated with artists such as Raphael Saadiq and Mica Paris, and drew high praise from the legendary producer Quincy Jones.