Swedish songwriters dominated American pop. Now they are looking to Korea.
In interviews, Berg and Carlebecker offered several theories as to why Swedes produce such great K-pop tracks, including the country’s strong songwriting tradition and comprehensive music education system. Sweden is cold, Berg noted, which meant there was often “nothing better to do” than to stay and work on the music.
For some Koreans, the reason is actually quite simple: Swedes write melodies so catchy that fans want to sing them in crowded stadiums and in their local karaoke bars.
“Swedes seem to have an emotional understanding of us Koreans,” Michelle Cho, a Korean songwriter who is also looking for foreign songwriters for Korean record labels, said in a phone interview. “They write melodies that seem to really touch our emotions.”
Whatever the reason, while K-pop is booming, the competition among songwriters around the world is getting fierce. Moonshine’s Evers said that a few years ago some songwriters in Sweden considered his work “a bit lame”, as if he had failed to land gigs with American or European musicians. and now had to play its part. trade in Asia. Now, Evers says, those same people were coming up to him in bars saying, “We should write K-pop someday!”
Thanks to his success, he added, he was starting to get a little taste of the life of a K-pop idol. K-pop fans regularly reached out to Moonshine on social media to praise the duo for their work, Evers said, and a popular K-pop YouTuber the channel interviewed him.
Swedish K-pop writers are also getting noticed in Sweden. In November, Carlebecker was appointed “international hit of the year” at the annual songwriting awards in Sweden, beating Max Martin (and Moonshine). Articles about songwriters have appeared in the main newspapers of the countryand Berg and Carlebecker were interviewed for television news.