By Birgitta Lauren
The brainchild of Björn Barnekow, the SAS sponsored “Stockholm-CA” hit Los Angeles at the famous Shrine this October like a storm. Who would have ever thought of doing a Swedish Music Festival? Artists included Elliphant, Little Dragon, Rebecca & Fiona, Mapej, Otto Knows, Nause, Salvatore, Icona Pop, Veronica Maggio and AronChupa.
Björn Barnekow and Birgitta Lauren at "Stockholm CA". Photo © Anna Karin Majer
An impressively large Swedish audience came to support our country’s music industry and artists, and thanks to other larger music festivals like Burning Man and Coachella, there were plenty of Americans as well like Richard Stafford Jr and his wife who came to enjoy Little Dragon and thoroughly enjoyed the Oatley milk café lattes. The Swedish oat milk company Oatley has snuck into America thru the Intelligentsia café chain and their stand at this festival had longer lines than both Pripps and Absolut vodka. Two stages were erected for continuous music from 1 pm through 11 pm.
"Stockholm CA". Photo © Anna Karin Majer
“I came up with this idea a few years ago. We learned a lot along the way, but here we are. We would love to continue this annually to get more exposure for our talented Swedish artists”, said Björn.
Anders Johansson, Veronica Maggio’s manager mentioned Björn telling him to book a week in LA a year and half ago… he never thought much about it, but put it in the calendar and was thrilled that it happened.
Veronica Maggio at "Stockholm CA". Photo © Anna Karin Majer
“This feels really good” said Veronica about the festival, “Without this festival I don’t think this chance to sing in LA would have happened.” She said she reinvents her style with every new video and song she composes herself, but her singing style and way to write lyrics always remains the same. Her show was mostly in Swedish with much of the Swedish audience singing along with her and everyone else dancing.
Backstage after AronChupas performance, I caught up with the siblings Aron and Nora, who told me about their love for jazz and modern dance music and how they fiddled around musically as kids together. After Arons soccer career, they joined forces, managed to blend together their very unique music style and it just clicked.
AronChupa at "Stockholm CA". Photo © Anna Karin Majer
“I spend a lot of time with swedes here in LA”, Nora said, “this is amazing. I hope it grows to be an annual show and perhaps to other cities, so we can all go on a US tour so that Swedish music will attract even more eyes and ears.” “This is terrific for Swedish music and artists.” added Aron.
Aron and Nora of AronChupa aith Birgitta Lauren at "Stockholm CA". Photo © Anna Karin Majer