My wife, Paula, always complains that I have too many jobs. And she’s right (as usual!). Aside from being the “celebrated” (by myself that is…) artist and songwriter that I am, my day job – or shall we call it “real job” – is being a senior lecturer at a university teaching songwriting, music production and doing research (see my staff profile here). As if these two “careers” wasn’t enough I’m also writing and producing music for commercial jingles (like for instance this one for Folkia) and occasionally I play the role of ”Benny” in the the ABBA tribute band Super Trouper (more on that here).
This month I can now proudly add “writer” to the list. I’ve been asked to contribute with a series of articles about the art of songwriting for the excellent Swedish music production magazine “STUDIO”. Those of you who follow my blog might remember it’s the same publication that made a three hour video documentary with me last spring about the making of “Never Mine” from Soundshine.
I said yes (surprisingly encouraged by Paula!) since it’s a subject I am very passionate about. And the first article in the series is OUT NOW and can be bought in your Swedish newspaper stand or as a pdf file here.
I strongly urge anyone interested in songwriting and music production to support this (and other) specialized magazine in today’s tough world for intellectual property where everything’s suddenly supposed to be free. Maybe not so much for my own article (although I’d appreciate it). It’s more of a “recommended mindset” just because I think we all need good journalism in our respective trades covering our areas of interests. I love reading about other songwriters and producers and how they work with their craft and how their studios are equipped etc. Nerd fun!
The theme of my first article is “magic melodies” (he said humbly) and I’m trying to give some ideas as to what makes a melody “simple and singable”. It’s four pages long and in Swedish (sorry Paul McCartney!). But for those of you who speak Swedish – hope you enjoy! Would love to hear your opinion in the comments below or on my Facebook Page.
Remembering the highlights of 2013 and all the blog posts I never found the time to write. Like this previous one for example. Another fantastic memory is when I played for the first time live in The Big Apple, New York City. As a solo artist that is, because already in 1998 I played there a few times with my former band The Merrymakers. See photo from that occasion here.
Anyway, the background was that my wife Paula and I went to New York City for vacation, staying at an East Village hotel but also for a few days staying at our great friends Tony (from The Mockers) and Vanessa’s place. I had previously been contacted by an American promoter named Dean Dedopoulos about doing a live show in New York and I thought that this could be the moment to meet the American auidence for the first time since the release of Soundshine. If not with a full band, at least a solo acoustic performance. Here’s a video with some glimpses from the concert:
Dean (featured with me in the first photo below) is a passionate, enthusiastic and highly energetic guy and he got going. He booked a super cool venue called Stage 72 on West 72nd Street (guess what I was thinking?), and we also found a support act called The Whims who also backed me up on a few songs towards the end of the concert, including a couple of Merrymakers numbers, and of course, like any gathering of melodic pop should include, a Jellyfish song!
On April 5, the event took place. Obviously I was quite nervous. After all, I’m not really used to “headline” concerts in New York and I wasn’t sure if I could expect anyone to come or not. Well for sure, Paula, Dean and his wife, and our hosts Tony & Vanessa were going to come. As well as The Whims. But apart from that…? To my big relief the place became really crowded (after all it wasn’t The Madison Square Garden). And some other good friends showed up like Seth (also from the Mockers) and Kathy, Javier Piñol who made a guest appearance on bass, Todd Stanton (the man behind this video) and his family, singer/songwriter Eytan Mirsky, my friend from grammar school – now famous hair stylist guru in NYC, Krister Atle, record label owner Mark Hershberger (also responsible for the video above – thanks a lot Mark!!!), radio profile David THE Boogieman, Eric Kern from the group Vegas with Randolph (who helped out on the piano on a couple of songs including Merrymakers Japan -97 smash hit “Monument of Me”), his band mate John Ratts, and many other wonderful people who made the night a very memorable one for me. And I hope I didn’t make them regret spending their Friday evening with me and my music.
Here’s also some pictures from the event courtesy of Alex Wender, Mark Hershberger, Todd Stanton, Vanesssa Trost, and a few more (please let me know if you think you should be credited here). Please note the cool T-shirt made specially for the event by Andrew Stanton.
Thanks a lot New York! It was too long between the concerts in 1998 and this one in 2013. I hope to be back much sooner than 2028!