Those amazing Swedes

Saturday, 31 March, 2012

It began with ABBA. In their time, Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sold an astounding 380 million albums, which, believe it or not, puts them next in line to the Beatles. After ABBA came Roxette, Dr. Alban, Ace of Base, The Cardigans, Mando Diao, The Hives and The Shout Out Louds, to mention just seven. What’s the secret? A critical factor is the Swedish educational system. It encourages every child to learn music while turning out perfect speakers of English. Put the two together and you get people capable of feeling at home in any genre.

So what started with ABBA has expanded to a global network of producers and performers who accept no boundaries or borders. Two examples: Tove Styrke, who specializes in global pop, and Anna Ternheim, who is going down the country road. Here, she sings “The Longer The Waiting, The Sweeter The Kiss” on Dave Ferguson’s porch in Goodletsville, Tennessee.

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