Mapei has been around the block and back again. Beginning as a rapper, she worked on her debut album with Justice before deciding the direction she was going in was not right. During that time she lived in New York for four years, working in a Swedish restaurant and rooming with fellow-Swede Lykke Li for a while. At the age of 22 she moved back to Sweden where she headed in a different direction. This year, she’s made a name of herself with her RnB-pop tracks Don’t Wait and Change. For the former she’s even worked with Chance The Rapper on a remix. She’s poised to take her name to a much wider audience with the release of her debut album Hey Hey in September. [soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/mapei/dont-wait-remix-mapei-chance[/soundcloud]
Many may already know Tove Lo as the voice behind Stay High, a Habits of her track Habits, which has scaled the Australian charts recently. Like many Swedes, Lo makes deliciously melodic pop that pours out emotion. This year, she released her debut EP Truth Serum– a tortured, yet beautifully polished set that introduced her as a pop-force to be reckoned with. Already she’s worked with huge producers, Xenomania and Swedish hitmaker Max Martin. She’s the perfect example of Stockholm’s love affair with emotional pop music. [soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/tovelo/habits[/soundcloud]
Earlier this year Robyn signed the first artist to her record label Konichiwa records. That artist happened to be Stockholm artist, Zhala who is making dark, distorted electronic music with a twist of pop (like any good Swede). Born and bred in Sweden she’s been compared to both Robyn and The Knife with the Scandinavian influences permeating her debut EP Prophet. She has quoted go-go dancing at Lesbian club, Donna Scam in Stockholm as one of her favourite activities (apart from finishing her debut album).[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/zhalazhala/prophet-feat-robyn[/soundcloud]
The pop world in Stockholm is seemingly dominated by females, but lo-fi RnB artist Per Magnusson (Sportsman) is holding up the male side well. He’s a self-named “pop melody whore” with a penchant for sparse beats and melancholic keys. On his debut EP released last year, he worked with Swedish production duo Montauk, creating a project that resonates with the long, dark Swedish winters.