Nominations for the 2018 Music Export Prize
The Government’s Music Export Prize is awarded every year to an artist who has been internationally successful during the preceding year and has contributed to Swedish musical export success and to a positive image of Sweden. The winner will be announced by Minister for Foreign Trade, with responsibility for Nordic affairs, Ann Linde at a ceremony at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Wednesday 6 March at 14.30.
In addition to the Music Export Prize, the Government also awards an Honorary Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music exports, and a Commendation for achievements of particular importance to the internationalisation of Swedish music. The winners are announced at the prize ceremony.
With the Music Export Prize, the Government wants to draw attention to Swedish performers and practitioners in the music industry who contribute to increased export success for Swedish music and put Sweden in the spotlight.
“We are very pleased and proud today to present the nominees for the Government’s 2018 Music Export Prize. They are all major and important music practitioners who export world-class music and show the breadth of what Sweden is achieving in the international arena,” says Minister for Foreign Trade, with responsibility for Nordic affairs, Ann Linde.
The nominees for the Government’s 2018 Music Export Prize are:
Passion and a lifelong love of classical music have created yet another Swedish superstar in the opera firmament. Add to that a voice that has audiences and critics making the pilgrimage to the major opera houses in London, Paris and New York. Two decades have passed since her stage debut in Vadstena, and during this time Malin Byström has become one of the most popular sopranos of our time. Whether she’s playing young girls in Mozart or the most desperate women of opera, such as Elektra or Medea, she always fills her characters with life. And she does so without ever losing control of her voice. In 2018, Malin Byström was awarded the title of Swedish Court Singer and she also won a prestigious International Opera Award (the Oscars of the opera world) in the category Female Singer of the Year. Sweden continues to deliver world-class singers.
From Linköping to Los Angeles. From playing the drums so much to Metallica as an eight-year-old that he injured his thumb to being turned down by the Cheiron Studios elite and now basking in the limelight of pop music and popular culture. This composer and producer found his way early on to film music because it was full of opportunities. Because it was possible to mix and experiment so boundlessly with styles and rhythms – as he did last year on cinema screens across the world in ‘Black Panther’, ‘Creed II’ and ‘Venom’. The same thing happens in his music. The incredible song ‘This is America’, which combines hiphop, gospel, trap, afrobeat and more, took almost three years for him and his old friend Childish Gambino to complete. It also became the most important and acclaimed hit of 2018, with an accompanying music video addressing contemporary issues such as violence, weapons and racism in the United States. In musical terms, it is an excellent declaration of who this boundless musician from Östra Götaland really is. He is certainly worthy of his nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. As well as the three (of four possible) Grammys he won.
Since the 1990s, the Swedish-Congolese artist and songwriter Mohombi has performed more than a thousand times on stages in over 48 countries – thanks to his talent, hard work and a non-stop process. With a genre he calls afropop, Mohombi has released music over the years together with artists such as Pitpull, Shaggy, Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls) and Akon. In 2018, Mohombi won two Grammys as a songwriter on reggaeton artist J. Balvin’s album (Vibras) and a BMI Award for the international hit ‘Mi Gente’ with Beyonce on the remix. He was co-producer and songwriter for Jennifer Lopez’s song ‘Dinero’ with Cardi B and DJ Khaled, which won an MTV Video Music Award. With his background, Mohombi has been bringing together Sweden, Latin America and Africa for decades, to rhythms originating in these parts of the world and now present all over the world. He is often called the ‘Afro-Viking’ – by both himself and others – in a true ambassadorial spirit.
Robyn, a previous winner of the Government’s Music Export Prize, made a comeback in autumn 2018 with her first studio album since 2010. In terms of its impact, it was like nothing had happened in the meantime – in a positive sense. The new album ‘Honey’ – her eighth album in total – was received around the world as an offering from a trendsetting and established star. Both broad and niche media presented the album as a major work – and along with the single ‘Missing U’, it was soon ranking on the year’s bestseller lists in the United States and the United Kingdom, for example. This is the status Robin Carlsson has achieved 23 years on from her breakthrough – a timeless artist, a modern entrepreneur and now a highly creative producer.
For over ten years now, Ilya Salmanzadeh has been working as a songwriter and producer. His career took off when Max Martin took him under his wing, and Ilya has developed his talent through the production collective Wolf Cousins. Over the years he has worked with world artists such as Ellie Goulding, Taylor Swift, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande. In 2018, Ilya’s success with Ariana Grande took him to new levels – in the autumn, the singer had three hits written by the Swedish hitmaker simultaneously on the US billboard charts.
The jury for the Music Export Prize is made up of:
Mikaela Fredriksen Tollin, acting Director-General of the Swedish Institute
Ametist Azordegan, author and freelance journalist
Anna-Karin Larsson, Editor-in-chief, SR Musik, Swedish Radio P2
Elin Norquist, Head of Musikplattformen, Swedish Performing Arts Agency
Elisabet Widlund, CEO of Musikförläggarna
Jesper Thorsson, CEO of Export Music Sweden
Lars Nylin, Editor-in-chief and publisher of Musikindustrin
Linda Portnoff, CEO of Riteband
Ludvig Werner, CEO of IFPI Sverige
Per Sinding-Larsen, music journalist, Swedish Television
Robert Sehlberg, Head of Music at MTG Radio
Coordinators of the Music Export Prize are Gabriella Augustsson and Kristina Lindberg at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade and CSR.
Phone +46 (0) 8 405 50 10
email to Press Office, Ministry for Foreign Affairs