Made in Sweden: Latin divas head north.

It’s hardly a secret that the world loves a good Swedish-penned pop tune. Recent examples include Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Adele and Japanese boyband Kat-Tun, all of whom can owe their recent successes to Swedish songwriters.

Now, Latin American artists are jumping on the bandwagon (and the next flight to Stockholm) and working with Swedish songwriters seeking an international hit. Two such artists are Jennifer Lopez and ‘Mexican Madonna’ Paulina Rubio who have both worked with acclaimed Swedish composer RedOne on their latest releases.

J.Lo has previously had great success working with RedOne on the global smash hit On The Floor. Now they’ve teamed up again, along with Pitbull, for Dance Again, a straight-up dance anthem prescribing the therapeutic benefits of shaking your booty as a remedy for heartbreak. It’s classic Swedish pop-by-the-numbers: simple lyrics, joyously catchy chorus and superb production all wrapped up in a glossy accessible package. Even Pitbull comes across ad vaguely listenable. Check out the glitter-infused extravaganza that is Dance Again below: 

Not wanting to be outdone, Paulina Rubio has also courted RedOne and the end result is the Latin/nineties-sounding Boys Will Be Boys. It’s a fiery little number and a bit more hard-hitting but still insanely catchy. Even though reducing the entire male populace to a pack of hounds seems a tad dramatic. Nevertheless, once that chorus kicks in, lyrical content takes a backseat. Check it:

Very few people realize that it is Swedes who at the helm of today’s pop world. I tend to get alot of flak for listening to ‘unknown’, ‘obscure’ Swedish pop music so I take great pleasure in pointing out to my contemporaries that virtually every hit atop today’s chart that they’re fawning over is written by a Swede. And I never get tired of seeing that look of surprised abashment.

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Sweden announces the competing songs for Melodifestivalen 2012.

SVT have announced the titles and authors of the songs that have been chosen to compete in Melodifestivalen 2012, Sweden’s selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Have a look below:

  1. Aldrig Aldrig (Niclas Lundin, Maria Marcus, Randy Goodrum)
  2. Allting Blir Bra Igen (Michael Sideridis)
  3. Baby Doll (Mårten Eriksson, Lina Eriksson, Susie Päivärinta)
  4. Det Går För Långsamt (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Niclas Lundin)
  5. Don’t Let Me Down (Lasse Holm, Lars ‘Dille’ Diedricson)
  6. Euphoria (Thomas G:son, Peter Boström)
  7. Förlåt Mig (Mattias Andréasson)
  8. Ge Aldrig Upp (Thomas Di Leva)
  9. Goosebumps (Hanna Lindblad, Linda Sundblad, Tony Nilsson)
  10. I Din Himmel (Sonja Aldén, Bobby Ljunggren, Peter Boström)
  11. I Mina Drömmar (Nanna Svensdóttir, Thomas Cars)
  12. I Want To Be Chris Isaak (The Moniker)
  13. Jag Reser Mig Igen (Thomas G:son, Ted Ström)
  14. Just A Little Bit (RedOne Team)
  15. Land Of Broken Dreams (Thomas G:son, Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson)
  16. Lovelight (Andreas Johnson, Peter Kvint)
  17. Mirakel (Fredrik Andersson, Björn Ranelid)
  18. Mystery (Pontus Hjelm)
  19. Porslin (Björn Olsson, Martin Elisson)
  20. På Väg (Abalone Dots (Rebecka Hjukström, Sophia Hogman, Louise Holmer), Viktor Källgren)
  21. Salt & Pepper (Lina Eriksson, Mårten Eriksson, Figge Boström)
  22. Sanningen (Michael Clauss, Martin Bjelke)
  23. Sean Den Förste Banan (Sean Banan, Joakim Larsson, Hans Blomberg, Mårten Andersson)
  24. Soldiers (Ulrik Munther, Johan Åberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, David Jackson)
  25. Stormande Hav (Kristian Lagerström, Johan Fjellström, Stina Engelbrecht, Jens Engelbrecht)
  26. The Boy Can Dance (Figge Boström, Catrine Loqvist, Johan Lindman)
  27. The Girl (Fredrik Kempe, Alexander Johnsson)
  28. To The Sky (Fernando Fuentes, Tony Nilsson, Danny Saucedo, Peter Boström, Figge Boström)
  29. Kyss Mig (Axel Algmark, Mattias Frändå, Jonathan Magnussen)
  30. Why Am I Crying (Molly Sandén, Aleena Gibson, Windy Wagner)
  31. Why Start A Fire (Lisa Miskovsky, Aleksander With, Bernt Rune Stray, Berent Philip Moe)
  32. Youngblood (Fredrik Kempe, David Krüger)

Of course, this leads us to all kinds of speculations as to who will be singing which songs. We can make educated guesses, going by known artists who have co-written songs as well as looking at songwriting teams and who they’ve been working with recently. The obvious names at this point are Lili & Susie, Linda Sunblad (or even Hanna Lindblad), Sonja Aldén, Andreas Johnsson, Mattias Andréasson, The Moniker, Danny Saucedo, Molly Sandén and Aleksander With. I am particularly excited to see Ulrik Munther as part of the line-up, as I think he’s an amazingly talented artist. I’m also more than a little surprised to see Andreas in the mix again, seeing as how he stated that he won’t compete again after 2010, so perhaps the song is for another singer.

In terms of songwriters, we also have our usual suspects Thomas G:son and Fredrik Kempe, though not with the usual boatload of entries, which is good thing. There is one team that I’m really excited about, namely that of Peter Boström, Figge Boström, Tony Nilsson together with Fernando Fuentes and Danny Saucedo. I am of the opinion that the reason why Popular did so well at Eurovision this year was because of Peter Boström’s impeccable modern production. That he’s working with Tony Nilsson on a song possibly performed by Danny Saucedo is plain amazing. Another welcome team is that of REDONE! Clearly he’s not taking his ignominious defeat at Andra Chansen this year to heart and is probably seeking to do better next year. But who will be singing the song? According to their blog, Love Generation has just finished recording their new single, which has the same title as the RedOne entry! A third team I’m looking forward to hearing is that of Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad and Niclas Lundin who are the guys behind Le Kid. Given that the song is in Swedish (there are alot of those this year by the way), I don’t think Le Kid themselves will be performing it. Finally, Pontus Hjelm’s inclusion in the line-up is surprising but oh-so-welcome. He’s the songwriter for nu-metal group Dead By April and I have every faith the song is going to electrify the lot of us.

So there it is! A combination of new names, debutants and old faces that is bound to make this year’s competition a sizzling one. Especially after the fore-gone conclusion that was last year. Hold on to your hats ladies and gents, Melodifestivalen 2012 kicks off 4th February 2012!


Shake it like a maraca-ca-ca!

Swedish superstar Mohombi has just dropped his latest single Maraca from his upcoming sophomore album. Produced by RedOne, Maraca sees Mohombi doing what he does better than anybody else in music today: insanely catchy Afro-inspired power pop. I guarantee that ‘marca-ca-ca’ riff will not leave your head for the remainder of the day. You have been dully warned:

Mohombi’s also gone for a more pronounced club sound and the lyrics are just plain filthy. It’s probably the best song he’s recorded so far.