48-year-old singer/songwriter/ actor Andreas Österberg died unexpectedly on June 8 after a short battle with cancer.
With Ethiopian roots, Andy was raised in a small Swedish town. Music played an essential role in Andy’s childhood and joining the local choir fuelled his passion. Following his dreams, he moved to Stockholm, where he attended dance and music schools.
Andreas Österberg, also known in the Scandinavian soul scene as Andy Keetla, released two singles in 2014 as a solo artist on his own independent label. The soul tracks Tell Me (read here), and Alright caught the attention with his smooth soulful style and choruses with catchy hooks.
Described by everyone as always smiling, his passion for acting led him to become one of their first producers and actors in The National Black Theatre of Sweden.
In Andy’s words “To be able to produce ‘Actor tips from New York’ and ‘YeKermo Sew’ for NBTS Launch is a fantastic opportunity to show what infinite potential and creativity there is in black performing arts. NBTS has a long-awaited and obvious place in Swedish cultural life.”
More recently, he performed in the role of Mutumbo in ‘The Book of Mormon’ at the China Theater and the role of Magenta in ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at Östgötateatern.
We remember his love, talent and engagement in the arts fondly. Our thoughts are with his family and dearest friends at this time.
Andreas will stay forever in our hearts.
1972.09.24 – 2021.06.08
A message from the editor
It took me a while to decide to write this post. My first instinct (rightly or wrongly) was to share my grief on Facebook and join others who knew and loved him as I.
I made an Instagram video in a style that I hope will fit as a timeless tribute, and I hope this post will too. Gone but never forgotten.
Andreas and I worked together often in music and arts. He was as keen to help me in my career as I was in his. The fact we were both called Andy meant we’d say ‘Hello Andy’ repeatedly when we greeted each other! We would talk for ages, often with him mimicking my British accent. He’d pick up on expression and then repeat them in an ‘oh I say old boy’ type dialect. Still makes me laugh!
I last saw him by accident on a train in Stockholm. We discussed the covid crisis and the huge reduction in work. Still, he remained optimistic, and we later talked about starting a podcast together with him as the shows’ producer.
Like many others I have spent months secluded in my own world, expecting life to continue as normal after the pandemic, like turning a switch back on. Once again I’m painfully reminded the world doesn’t wait and it can be kind and horribly cruel.
Andy was a warm-spirited, funny and generous human being. And I am so honoured to have shared my journey with him.
Soul music brought us together and I will be forever grateful for that.
Rest in peace buddy.
On behalf of Andy Collins and all at Scandinaviansoul.com