This time, we get to know Sweden. His track "The Good in the World" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
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𝟭. Where are you from and what is your hobby?
I grew up in North Carolina in the states and have lived in a few places: DC, San Francisco and Hawaii. Now I live in Copenhagen in Denmark. I like to cook food and take walks. I like the little things.
𝟮. How did your get into music?
I grew up playing the piano and singing in church. In the summer of 2003, I had a sublet in the Haight, which was still a cool neighborhood back then. My sublet came with a dog and a classical guitar. Me and my buddy spent the summer working, playing stupid challenges we documents on our website (Jon and Wills contest summer, sadly no longer online) and I learned to play the guitar and begin writing my own lyrics. I had written some on the piano, but here I really learned what I like. In 2004, I moved to Hawaii. I learned to play the banjo and played in Spinach for Sale, what we called the 2nd Best Bluegrass Band in Hawaii, as there was only one other w knew of, the Saloon Pilots. I’ve done a lot of different music projects since then.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Ace of Base, Clay Walker, and Jimmy Buffett. When I was 17, my cars tape player broke with A single tape in it. The tape had Young and Proud and the Sign on it. The tape player continued to work, you just couldn’t eject the tape. For a year, my car rocked those two songs all the time. I heard them a lot. When I was young, I also listened to a lot of country music and Jimmy Buffett tunes. Songwriters who really tell a story on there songs. All my favorite songs I’ve written tell a story.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
No real goals. I’m too old and not talented enough to think my music career is really gonna be my thing. I wrote a song called Can’t Get High a long time ago and I remember a friend got into a played it all the time when she was jamming by herself. That was a real coup for me. If every once in awhile, someone finds themselves singing one of my tunes on an off day, I’ll be pretty happy.
5. If you could choose a location to perform at, what would it be?
I’d like to play on a boat. One of those booze cruises where old folks get hammered and dance. I just like the idea of being a forgotten party of something tacky and ridiculous like that.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
The Sign. The lyrics are so uninspiring, yet totally inspiring. The melody line is just perfect and the last high chorus is to beat the band. I love playing Ace of Base on the guitar and singing it extra slow. All there tunes are just masterpieces, even in stripped down forms.
7. Most embarrassing moment?
I don’t really get embarrassed. So I’ll instead tell my favorite story of my San Francisco roommate. We were interns at the San Francisco Public Defender office. And halfway through the summer, he printed out a one-pager with his face arranged in 9 squares all looking back at himself (like the opening of the Brady Bunch) and it said Congratulations to the Intern of the Month. For days, everyone was saying things like “I didn’t even know we had an intern of the month.” Man that guy is fun to be around. He lives in Orlando these days and I get to see him maybe once a year.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
I’m not all that into pride. I’m still here. I survived cancer, AIDS, Donald Trump supporters! Hell, I’ll probably even survive this plague. I am proud of a few of my songs and also of my niece and nephew. They both turned out to be compassionate and interesting people. You can’t beat that!
9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best?
Everyone knows that I used to be a bit of a drunk and that I was a semi-professional boxer in my 20s. What most people don’t know is that I also ran a BBS (precursor to the internet) in 1994 that was Star Trek themed. Who’s the coolest? This guy!
𝟭𝟬. What is your dream collaboration?
I’d like to sit around while Jimmy Buffett gets drunk and make up tunes together.
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