August 2, 2020

Selected #28: Dreamy Road trip Tracks to Latin Pop

This week's featured artist is LA-based band Magic Wands. Formed of dream team duo Chris and Dexy Valentine - their music will be sure to carry you to otherworldly places.

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Magic Wands - Honeymoon

LA-based dreampop band Magic Wands have created a lovewave track called Honeymoon. Light, romantic but with a very edgy vibe - perfect for those summer road trips.

Location: US
Streams: 9K
Instagram: @magic_wands

Go get stuck here!

Kimchii - Free Mind

'Free Mind' by Swedish producer Kimchii is a dance tune made from heaven. This summer bop is literally perfect for anytime of day, it'll get you in a good mood in no time.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 24K
Instagram: @kimchiimusic

Go get entertained here!

Alejandro Gonza - MMM

Columbian artist Alejandro Gonza has produced this legendary latin pop track 'MMM', a seductive, addictive track for those wild nights.

Location: Columbia
Streams: 311K
Instagram: @alejogonzalez

Go listen here!

Ark - Stand By Me

Standbyme is the gloriously chill track by emerging UK artist Ark. The track is both romantic and light, but hella modern. With vocals that you just wanna melt into.

Location: UK
Streams: 600
Instagram: @noah_terefe

Go listen here!

Julia Alfrida - Oh God (remix)

Oh God is a track by upcoming Swedish artist and all-rounder Julia Alfrida. The song is sudden and unapologetically loud. A pop song with hints of dark undertones.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 290
Instagram: @julialfrida

Go get nostalgic here!

We The People - Get Up

Another powerful and honest Black Lives Matter track created by community music group We The People. Heavy in the lyrics, but another reminder to continue fighting for what's right.

Location: US
Streams: 100
Instagram: @givealittlelove.today

Go get that boost here!

July 31, 2020

Music Roundup of July 2020

Here we are at the end of yet another month! July has been somewhat less dramatic that June but definitely still full of musical drama. From Rejjie Snow to Zara Larsson, here's ten music moments from this month that you should know about🔥👇

#1 Beyonce

Premiered only a few hours ago, Queen B is back with the music video of 'Already' from her visual album 'Black Is King'. A celebration of African culture, from the choreography to costume design and featuring Major Lazor and Shatta Wale - this track is an absolute win.

#2 Rejjie Snow

Lovable Irish artist and rapper Rejjie Snow came through with his newest playful track Cookie Chips ft. MF DOOM & Cam O'bi. With heavy Tyler The Creator vibes, this track is deffo one for your playlists.

#3 Dua Lipa

On July 10th, Dua Lipa released her newest addition 'Hallucinate'. Channeling early 2000s club energies, the track is yet another bop from the British artist.

#4 Denai Moore

Denai Moore is the emerging British-Jamaican artist that you've been missing out on. Her newest album 'Modern Dread' is a genre-bending merge of R&B, with electronic elements. Prepare yourself to be carried away to a surrealist world.

#5 Troye Sivan

Sweetboy Troye Sivan gifted us with a strange, yet nostalgic pop track for those dance-alone moments in your kitchen. His weirdly wonderful autotune has been described as a hit or miss - what do you think?

#6 Reyn

On July 10th, adored Swedish artist Reyn released his well-awaited album 'Skyfall'.  Combining the best of his hip-hop sounds, the EP is a complete and honest summary of his music, and a celebration of his progress over the last two years. Created from his own experiences, the album is a mix of emotions associated with significant moments in his life.

#7 Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson released a new intense pop song 'Love Me Land'. Carrying dark disco pop vibes and a dance routine that will wanna get you moving, the young Swedish artist hits high notes higher than the clouds. We NEED more Zara.

#8 Taylor Swift

2020 has rocked the boat for every artist, especially those with booked out tours. Nonetheless, Taylor presented a whole new album 'Folklore' in the midst of isolation and its been noted as some of her best work. You can also cop her newest merch...hella cute cardigan with 'Folklore' embroidery.

#9 H.E.R

H.E.R has been doing bits in 2020! Her most recent track is a reggae infused love song and welcomed surprise 'Do To Me'. Sampling Sister Nancy's classic cut 'Bam Bam', this upbeat bop is a major summer anthem.

#10 Pop Smoke

Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon is an ode to the late Pop Smoke. Released posthumously, the debut album exists with the attempts to cement his legacy and role as the voice of Brooklyn Drill. Executively produced by 50 cent, the album carries a glimpse of what could have been his future before his passing.

July 26, 2020

Selected #27: Summer Anthems You Need

This week's featured artist is Nirob Islam. The young Swedish artist is captivating a cool vibe and catchy lyrics. Their track 'I Miss You' is bop (and a half) - make sure you take a listen today!

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Nirob Islam - I Miss You

Swedish artist Nirob Islam has created yet another track you'd wanna play on repeat. 'I Miss You' is catchy pop tune, easy on the beat and mixed with addictive lyrics.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 15K
Instagram: @truffleboii

Go get stuck here!

Moonica Mac - River

'River' is one of the calmest tracks yet by artist Moonica Mac. Carrying vibes more similar to a lullaby, this tune will make you feel like you're in a romantic black and white film from the 50s.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 106K
Instagram: @moonicamac

Go get entertained here!

Jacquard Looms - Moth

UK based artist Jacquard Looms has not disappointed with his track 'Moth', an addictive tune with lofi elements, and impressive vocals.

Location: UK
Streams: 158K
Instagram: @jacquard.looms

Go listen here!

Tibasko - Vertigo

'Vertigo' by UK boys Tibasko is pretty much what it says on the tin. With a beat that'll make you feel dizzy, this soft house track NEEDS to be added to your playlist.

Location: UK
Streams: 157K
Instagram: @tibaskomusic

Go listen here!

Ayidah - Up Down

Up Down is a hidden gem by US based artist Ayidah. With a beat that could be a bop in itself, and impressive vocals and lyrics, this track will be your no.1 in no time.

Location: US
Streams: 124K
Instagram: @ayidarose

Go get nostalgic here!

ABADDON - Good! God?

This cheeky track by ABADDON shouldn't go underestimated, 'GOOD! God?' is a catchy track for sure, with hidden all-round talent. A summer party bop?

Location: US
Streams: 44K
Instagram: @imabaddon

Go get that boost here!

July 20, 2020

Selected #26: Smooth R&B to Finnish Pop

This week's featured artist is Nápoles. Part of the evolving Swedish creative collective 'Ladies Love Hip Hop', R&B artist and cool girl, Nápoles is back with a shiny new track 'Circulate'. Combining complex vocal qualities with easy beats, her music is one to watch.

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Nápoles - Circulate

After success with her single 'Slowzy', 'Circulate' is a powerful yet easy new track from Swedish artist, Nápoles. Expect to hit this on repeat, perfect for those late night drives.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 43K
Instagram: @nvpoles

Go get stuck here!

Maya Amolo - Lush Green

Maya Amolo is the NYC/Kenyan artist you've been looking for. Her track 'Lush Green' is slow, intense, and full of potential. Get ready to add to your playlists!

Location: NYC/Kenya
Streams: 3K
Instagram: @papayamayaaaa

Go get entertained here!

Love Sjöblom - PULS

Smooth energies from Swedish all-rounder Love Sjöblom. His track 'PULS' is a mellow mix of easy guitar, a steady beat for the dance-floor and mellow vocals.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 4K
Instagram: @lovesjoblom.music

Go listen here!

BoBo Ft. Asta - Feelings

'Feelings' is your new favourite summer track by artist Bobo ft. Asta. The symbiotic duo have created an addictive new single, perfect for lifting those moods

Location: Sweden
Streams: 3K
Instagram: @maboujawo

Go listen here!

Plastic Picnic - Doubt

NYC based rock band, Plastic Picnic have made a hit with their track 'Doubt'. The perfect accompaniment for those late night rides.

Location: US
Streams: 1.4M
Instagram: @plasticpicnic

Go get nostalgic here!

Sandra Långbacka - Armé

Finnish pop artist Sandra Långbacka has produced this innovative track Armè. A love song for her friends, the track is an ode to platonic relationships and how they should be celebrated more often

Location: Finland
Streams: 1.5K
Instagram: @sandralangbacka

Go get that boost here!

July 17, 2020

Lofi: Ryan Celsius Breaks Down The Game-Changing Genre

With thousands of dedicated followers, Lofi is the underground music genre that has boomed over the last few years. The phenomenon exploded across channels like Youtube back in 2016, after the introduction of 24/7 live streaming. We caught up with Ryan Celsius, king of Lofi to break down how this multi-faceted genre came about.

Ryan Celsius is widely-known amongst the Lofi community as being part of the a wave of artists to really place the genre on the map. After producing early versions of "fruity loops" in 2007, he ended up creating over 80 tracks that became some his best attempts at mixing and combining sounds. Tragically, a few years later, he lost most of his work when his laptops were stolen during a robbery at his home, leading him to have to re-discover new music and entering a phase of demotivation. The incident lead him to create YouTube playlists featuring and supporting independent artists, in the hopes that it'll keep them encouraged to continue producing. In 2012, he started up his widely-known YouTube Channel creating "unofficial" music videos further promoting artists whilst simultaneously assisting with production needs.

So what exactly is lofi and why is there such a high following? Ryan explains "Lofi hip hop as it is known today can be broken into several sub-genres that play into a distinct common sonic theme of nostalgic simplicity and more slow paced instrumental hip hop production." The genre is built to be versatile, able to be enjoyed as both background and foreground music, completely dependant on the listeners needs. Whilst it comes across as simplistic, the music itself carries a more complex relationship to each individual.

"When focusing on something else, a lofi hip hop beat tape or track can comfortably wash over the listener and provide a soothing backdrop. If given a bit more attention that same tape can provide a wealth of depth upon further analysis and really show case interesting sound design, unexpected percussive patterns, and melodies that seem vaguely familiar."

In 2016, there was a major boom in listeners of the genre after YouTube introduced 24/7 live streaming capabilities. This was the start of the common 'Anime Study Girl Loop' and the variations that followed. Lofi, specifically the sub-genre of 'Study Beats', was then marked as the perfect accompaniment for those late night study hours, merging with easy anime and cartoon animations. However this mix of anime and lofi isn't a new phenomenon and actually came around in the early 2000's as Ryan explains:

"During this time in the US, Cartoon Network began playing anime that had heavy hip hop and jazz components. This nostalgic association with anime and beat tape style bumps is a huge reason for the existence of anime within lofi hip hop currently. However, it has definitely evolved and taken on a new form with the consistent pushing of these aesthetics through YouTube livestreams."

Whilst the 'Study Beat' sub-genre may be considered the most popular version of lofi hip hop in todays time, there are in fact multiple versions of the genre out there, in which the scene is constantly evolving with many producers connecting various other genres to "craft new soundscapes that help them establish a unique sound".

With the current global pandemic causing havoc to many areas of the music industry, strangely enough, the lofi hip hop scene hasn't necessarily been affected. As Ryan shares "The lack of performance venues and live shows does not particularly hurt the scene at all, as the majority of popular lofi hip hop artists do not tour or perform shows that commonly."

Many, if not most, lofi artists share a common theme of being 'DIY bedroom producers', so being able to totally focus on their EPs and albums during self-isolation has been a majorly productive time within the lofi community. With the lofi hip hop community constantly evolving into new mixes of genres, who knows what will be produced next.

"As producers seek to stand out and innovate within a genre that many attempted initially to place into a box of 'background music', the community becomes more dynamic. With YouTube channels focusing on more and more specific styles of lofi hip hop."

Did you know that Ryan curates some of our Spotify Playlists and that they're open for submissions? Read more about how you can apply here and check them out on our Spotify profile!

July 12, 2020

Selected #25: Fresh tracks from Ireland to New Zealand🔥

This week's featured artist is Lune. Swedish singer, lyricist, and dancer Linnéa Martinsson, or otherwise known by her brainchild Lune has been making well-deserved space for herself in the pop sphere. Her track 'Where Do Love Go' is acrobatic collection of vocals and melodic lyrics.

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Lune - Where Do Love Go

'Where Do Love Go' isn't just your regular catchy pop song, but carries Robyn vibes with easy melodies. Invented by singer, dancer and all round creator, Lune - she is one to watch in the pop game.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 20K
Instagram: @luneworld

Go get stuck here!

Blue Americans - Cathy, I Don't Listen To The News!

Belfast-based boy band 'Blue Americans' have released their newest adventure back in May; 'Cathy, I Don't Listen To The News'. This energetic track with romantic lyrics will carry you through the week ahead.

Location: Ireland
Streams: 3,5K
Instagram: @blueamericans

Go get entertained here!

HYE - Medicine

'Medicine' is an addictive pop track created by Swedish artist David Lillberg, part of his experimental project HYE. With mellow vibes, and energetic instrumentals - this track shouldn't be underestimated.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 18K
Instagram: @hyeasiam

Go listen here!

Boy Virgo - It's You

New Zealand based artist Boy Virgo is back with fresh new track 'It's You' to kickstart your weekends. With memorable beats and lyrics this is a must add to your playlists!

Location: New Zealand
Streams: 1K
Instagram: @boyvirgooo

Go listen here!

Zero The Kidd - Struggle

Atlanta based artist Zero The Kidd is one to watch, bringing out 'Struggle', a powerful new track full of potential and heavy in emotions.

Location: US
Streams: 150K
Instagram: @zerothekidd

Go get nostalgic here!

Fayye - She

'She' is the whimsical new track by UK based artist Fayye. With vocals to melt into and a soothing energy, this track is summer dream.

Location: UK
Streams: 300
Instagram: @fayye_music

Go get that boost here!

July 5, 2020

Selected #24: New Summer Bops You Need 🌈🌻

This week's featured artist is Aaron London. The UK based artist came through with your new favourite summer anthems. With upbeat instrumentals and a relaxed energy, his music will chill you out in no time.

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Aaron London - Life Don't Stress Me

This easy breezy track from UK based artist Aaron London will lift your spirits and get you in the mood for a great summer ahead. 'Life Don't Stress Me' might sound like a far away idea but it'll take you back to simpler times.

Location: UK
Streams: 72K
Instagram: @aaronlondon_

Go get stuck here!

Ashes to Amber - IRIS

'Iris' is a catchy tune by US band Ashes to Amber. The summery anthem is filled with a joyful beat and colourful vibes. A must add to your playlists.

Location: US
Streams: 1.5M
Instagram: @ashestoamber

Go get entertained here!

Roshambo - Lämna Livet I Sängen

This rock flavoured track by Swedish band Roshambo shouldn't go underestimated, bringing cool vibes and an addictive beat to your ears.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 2
Instagram: @roshambofficial

Go listen here!

Hinkfuss - Standing Nowhere

Italian artist Hinkfuss hasn't disappointed with his newest album 'The Glasgow Effect'. His track 'Standing Nowhere' carries mellow vibes and YA movie energies.

Location: Italy
Streams: 80
Instagram: @_hinkfuss_

Go listen here!

Rebecca & Fiona - People Getting Mad

Swedish duo Rebecca & Fiona have created a masterpiece of an album. Their track 'People Getting Mad' is a mood in itself - listen today!

Location: Sweden
Streams: 150K
Instagram: @rebeccafiona

Go get nostalgic here!

Wander Marchal - Home With You

New York based singer-songwriter Wander Marchal will impress with her effortless yet wide range of vocals and poetic lyrics, for lazy sundays!

Location: US
Streams: 18K
Instagram: @wandermarchal

Go get that boost here!

June 30, 2020

Music Roundup of June 2020

From the global pandemic to a major shift in the Black Lives Matter movement, the first six months of 2020 has certainly left a defined dent in history. Even so, it seems that artists have delivered with statement tracks and game changing albums. We've rounded up some of the top music moments, from emerging to experienced artists, over this last month🔥🤩

#1 Beyonce

Starting with the Queen herself, Beyoncé dropped an unexpected new track 'Black Parade' on Juneteenth. "I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down,” Beyoncé sings in the opening line of the song. With all proceeds going to Black-owned businesses, this track will no doubt wake up the 'unwoke'.

#2 Chloe x Halle

After passing on their album 'Ungodly Hour' to Beyoncé for feedback, in which to receive A+ results and a record deal with her label, Chloe and Halle Bailey are all that have been missing from your playlists. Their newest track 'Forgive Me', part of 'Ungodly Hour', is a power house of emotions and strength...someone call the Grammy's.

#3 Anderson .Paak

Not only is the track the perfect summary of .Paak's funk sounds and easy beats, it hits a political level relevant to the last few weeks. Featuring big names in the industry, like Syd and an impressive verse by Jay Rock, and directed by Dave Meyers (Kendrick Lamar collaborator) the track is an intimate portrait of this significant uprising in history, and the aftermath of protest.

#4 Yasin

Whilst technically Yasin released his newest masterpiece 98.01.11 in late May...we couldn't help but throw this album into the mix (shhh! don't tell anyone). With various tracks from the album staying up on Spotify Sweden's Top 10 for multiple weeks, this young rapper is on his way up, watch this space.

#5 Haim

The sweetheart sister trio is back with their third studio album 'Women In Music Part. III', featuring their recent hits 'Summer Girl', 'Hallelujah' and 'Now I'm In It' as bonus tracks. Proceeds from their first live performance of the newly released album raised over $5000 for The Bail Project. If you live in the UK, make sure to check out their bundle, in which you can receive a personalised voicemail message from one the team!

#6 H.E.R

A voice like heaven, 23 year old H.E.R released this extraordinary track, 'I Can't Breathe' in light of the Black Lives Movement. Honestly using her platform to expose the tragic consequences of police brutality. The track itself shows the true bravery from the artist, her pure talent and we can't wait to see what's next.

#7 Doja Cat X Gucci Mane

Whilst Doja Cat has been involved in her fair share of controversies this last month, she still came out on top with this release alongside Gucci Mane. The track 'Like That' is classic bop from both artists with Sailor Moon animations...make sure you watch to the end and catch Doja in the splits.

#8 Janice x Oscar Zia

Swedish artist Janice came through with this classic rendition of 'Älska Mig' (translating to 'Love Me'), a well-known track originally by the Ainsbusk Singers in 1991. After televising the cover, with Oscar Zia, live on Swedish National day, Janice realised the heaviness of the words and took it upon herself to release a cover in which all proceeds are donated to Afripedia, an organisation focusing on creating opportunities for creatives of African descent.

#9 Fenty Summer Playlists - Steve Lacy

Just as you thought Fenty couldn't get any better, they've gone ahead and created your ideal playlists to get you ready for the summer ahead. Collaborating with big names to host the selection process, like Steve Lacy and Imaan Hamman, with their intention to "soothe your soul and lift your spirits" - sign us up!

#10 Orion Sun

REC Philly's own, Orion Sun has produced a beautiful yet somewhat saddening track, 'Mamma's Baby' as way of coping during the uncertain changing time. The track raised over $18,000, in which all were donated to Breonna Taylor's gofundme and the Loveland Foundation."i won't stop fighting just like my ancestors even with the world stacked against me im 24 now but i'll always be mama's baby".

June 28, 2020

Selected #23: From Playful Pop to Empowering Rap 🌈🌻

This week's featured artist is Yung Titties. The anonymous trio are bold with their statements and loud in their music. Carrying a totally original sound, this hip hop band are shaping relevant politics into addictive tracks.

Take a look at their Q&A on the 'Selected' highlight on our Instagram (@amuse.io)


Yung Titties - ALPHA

"This EP is about doing what the fuck you want, when the fuck you want, how the fuck you want. We love pop, so we made a pop song. We love rapping in swedish and english, so we did both. And we couldn’t be more proud." - Yung Titties

Location: Sweden
Streams: 7K
Instagram: @itsyungtittiesbitch

Go get stuck here!

Future Of The Purple - Xanny

'Xanny' by Future of the Purple is a dreamy track is both powerful yet gentle, with a sweet piano intro and voice that'll melt your heart.

Location: US
Streams: 500
Instagram: @futureofthepurple

Go get entertained here!

Cobrah - Debut

Unapologetic and unmissable, Cobrah has released their newest track 'Debut'. Compromising of heavy bass, this track captures the feeling of nervousness and excitement during first-time dates.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 210K
Facebook: @iamcobrah

Go listen here!

Patrik Jean - Long Night

This pop track by Swedish singer-songwriter Patrik Jean is catchy, romantic and the perfect accompaniment to any time of your day.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 50K
Instagram: @patrikjean

Go listen here!

Kyron Rizzo - Gentrify Express

Non-binary babe Kyron Rizzo has released their debut track 'Gentrify', a combination of original sounds and poetic lyrics. One to add to your playlists!

Location: US
Streams: 35
Instagram: @kyron.rizzo

Go get nostalgic here!

T & the Rex - 1892

Written about young queer love, T & The Rex has created your new fav track '1892'. With catchy lyrics, this Swedish solo artist has addictive smooth vocals that you'll wanna to put on repeat.

Location: Sweden
Streams: 1K
Instagram: @tandtherex

Go get that boost here!

June 22, 2020

Janice Talks Us Through Her New Release ‘Älska Mig’

Swedish singer, activist and role-model Janice Kavander has released a powerful cover of the Ainbusk Singer's 1991 track 'Älska Mig', translating to 'Love Me'. After being presented with the opportunity to perform the song live on television, part of Swedish National Day celebrations, Janice took it upon herself to record the track, alongside friend and artist Oscar Zia. In the hopes to shed light over the current major civil rights movement occurring across the world, all proceeds from the single will be donated to her chosen organisation, Afripedia, an online community space connecting and celebrating creatives of African-descent. Janice explains the emotional attachment she has with the song, how singing it became more meaningful than ever and openly discusses her experience as a black woman in the music industry.

A: Introduce yourself!

J: My name is Janice, I’m 25 and I’ve been in the music industry for 4 years now. I released my first song in 2016, but previously I toured with many other artists, part of the backing vocals. I usually say I’ve almost done backing vocals for every single Swedish artist! I have a choir background, so I used to, and still do actually,...sing in a gospel choir, which I’ve been doing for around 10 years. I have a hard time letting it go! 

A: When was your big breakthrough? 

J: I think if you ask different people you’ll get different answers. I released my first three singles independently, my first song was actually listed on P3 (A Swedish radio station) as one of the best songs of 2016. I found this funny because my manager and I went to talk to labels and everyone said about my music that "they don't think it's for the Swedish audience”, that was fine because I wanted to go international. Of course it would’ve been nice to have my home country enjoy my music, so that’s why I chose to release independently.

And I mean...it went very well here. I was grateful to play in my hometown and at festivals in Sweden. I say that my single ‘Queen’ that I released in 2017 was not necessarily my big break but a good moment in my career, it was also the year I was nominated for a Swedish Grammy.

A: What was the thought process behind choosing the song ‘Älska Mig’?

J: In January I got a question from SVT that they were doing a programme on Swedish national day, where they were doing a celebration of Swedish classics, and they wanted relevant artists to sing them. When choosing the track I was thinking how I love to sing in Swedish but never make music in it. I ended up choosing a classic song, ‘Älska Mig’ from 1991 by Ainbusk singers. I’ve loved this song since I was a little kid, I remember when I heard it for the first time, it was the first time I actually got chills from music. That song has been with me for quite sometime and with all that’s been happening in the world, with the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the song became even more meaningful to me. I felt like there were days where I didn’t have any words. All my energy, all my force was basically taken, so when I sang the song I was like ‘shit this really hit me’. I was performing it with a great artist and friend of mine, Oscar Zia, and we hadn’t sang together before but that day when we sang the song, I can’t even describe it, it was so uplifting but still, it felt like we were screaming.

A: How has your personal experience in the music industry been as a black woman? 

J: It’s been hard, actually, ‘cause I mean, even though people don’t really wanna see it or even think it, racism exists everywhere and it exists here in Sweden. I’ve felt like as a black woman and as an artist, I have to be better, I have to be EVEN better, I have to be 10/10 to get the recognition I deserve. I always want to work for what I do and challenge myself but it comes to a point where it feels meaningless because you’re here and you’re shouting and you feel like you're doing the same as everyone else but you don't get the same reaction. When I go on a TV show, I always have to check who is going to do my makeup and hair. There's been endless times where I’ve come to the studio and they don’t even have the colours for makeup and they especially don't have hairstylists experienced in curly hair or afro. It gives you a feeling that you're not even accounted for, that they’re not even thinking about you.

A: How have you been taking care of yourself during this time? 

J: I've been hanging out a lot with my family, friends, and with other musicians. Just staying with my community and definitely staying off social media has helped a lot. There was a time when I was getting headaches just because I was on my phone all the time, trying to write, absorb everything whilst trying to stay updated. But I think it’s really important to get offline because it's a traumatic experience in many ways, seeing all these posts and videos all the time. Just reminders that you’re a black person without the same human rights. But I feel a lot better now that I make myself watch TV series totally disconnected to what’s happening in the media. 

A: How long did it take you to record the track? 

J: So it was a very quick process, I haven’t even registered that it happened. I contacted my friend Mats Sandahl aka MASAKA who is an amazing producer and also part of the black community. I had a strong feeling that I wanted to do something more, even before discussing it with my managers. I was like “I’ve already decided!”. Mats mentioned that he never watches TV but then randomly chose to switch it on one evening and there I was on his screen singing ‘Älska mig’ for SVT, he really felt everything I was feeling so thought why not, let's do this. We got into the studio, Oscar and Mats and I, and we recorded for around three hours and then it got sent off for mixing. 

A: What do you want people to take away after hearing the track? 

J: I would actually like to leave people with a force of energy, but also understand why I’m even putting it out. There are many people thinking that we ”import ideas from the US” about racism and that’s bullshit. Structural racism is here, in Sweden too. Also, I really hope the black and POC community in Sweden really connect with it, and get strength from the lyrics, because it’s lifted me during this time.

So, I hope to bring some light but I also hope white people who listen to the song will understand it, and that they actually educate themselves and make an effort to have these difficult conversations, and look within themselves too. It’s ‘great’ that you’re posting a black box in solidarity but that’s not nearly enough. Being anti-racist is not political, it’s an act of human rights.

A: Can you tell us about Afripedia? 

J: All proceeds will be donated to the organisation Afripedia, who work with creative talents from Sweden and around the world who are of African descent, helping them to create more job opportunities and reach the million-dollar businesses that wouldn’t have been previously possible. I wanted to donate to an organisation where we can actually see where the funds are going. If you listen to the song, you can create a difference and change the future for the better. It’ll be so uplifting for me to follow up and see how the proceeds have created an impact.

A: Were you scared or nervous to release this track? 

J: There could be some people who could be strongly against this, but I’ve been more “political” in my own music and interviews, and I’ve got enough backing so no, I’m not scared.

A: How do you feel that the track is was released on Juneteenth? 

J: For me it’s quite symbolic because Midsummer is a holy Swedish tradition and falls on that day too. I think people should do more of these types of “projects”, because what we’re really doing is shining a light on what our society looks like. What we see in the media is not close to that. Representation is very needed and yet it is lacking. Sweden is far from just people with blue eyes and blonde hair. I’m a swede, born and raised, and I’m here too. So hopefully people aren’t too busy and spend a minute and listen to the song. I think it’s more important than ever, to take a stand, not just show solidarity, but also take action. 

Listen to Älska Mig here.

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