There appears to be a love affair brewing between Australian artists and Swedish songwriting and production teams of late, and BMG plan to be at forefront of this cultural and commercial synergy, as they explained recently to The Industry Observer.
“The vision of BMG is that it’s one global company,” says BMG Sweden’s A&R rep. Jonna L. Peltola. “There shouldn’t be any barriers between countries and we have bi-weekly global calls with A&Rs all around the world. For example, if I don’t have plans to call Heath (Johns) for two months we still are scheduled to speak regularly and keep the familiarity of the roster and strategy.”
“In 1976, more Australians watched an ABBA TV special than the moon landing”, adds Johns, who is Managing Director of the recently-launched BMG Australia. “50 years later Aussies and Swedes continue to unite via a shared love of progressive pop music. BMG is investing heavily in these Swedish/Australian creative exchanges and our artists just love working in Stockholm… the Swedes seem to enjoy Sydney too.”
Due to songwriting hit machines like Max Martin, Swedish-produced pop has remained at the forefront of commercial music for the past two decades. Peking Duk recently enjoyed a successful writing trip to Sweden, and returned with a slew of new songs ripe for the radio. Nicole Millar also recently returned from her first working trip in Sweden. “I felt so welcome”, she enthuses. “The BMG team put me in sessions with some amazing writers and producers. I’m itching to get back to Sweden already as I wrote some of my favourite songs over there and met some excellent people.”
There seems to be a growing belief that you’re more likely to get a great finished track out of a trip to Sweden then a trip to LA. Tommy Leino from Northbound Stockholm, Studios, where Millar and Peking Duk recorded, certainly shares this sentiment. “Australians and Swedes both want to have fun but we show up and work hard, where as in places like LA a lot of time in sessions are wasted by ‘getting the vibe right’, or maybe you don’t have much time with certain top liners”, he explains.