Platinum-selling singer and producer ARASH stakes his claim as one of the biggest pop music sensations to originate from Sweden, home to such pop pioneers as Abba and Ace of Base. But, it’s the distinction of being the only music impresario of Persian heritage whose success has translated into the Western and European mainstream music market that makes his story one for the history books.

Following the three-year crest of success emphatically spearheaded by the release of his self-titled debut Warner Music album (“Arash)” in 2005, Arash is ready to parlay his unprecedented musical rise from Malmoe to MTV into a dynamic sophomore album that is sure to ignite the zeal of his super fans and garner the curious ear of millions of new admirers.

The project, appropriately titled Donya (World), and tentatively set for release in May, features a global sound that injects the listener with a lethal rhythm of western production and mediterranean harmony. The blockbuster first single, “Donya,” is a buzz-inducing collaboration with Kingston, Jamaican reggae maestro SHAGGY, whose career has been defined by a string of platinum-selling U.S. singles in the last decade and collaborations with such megastars as Janet Jackson. The 14-track evolution also features cameos by U.S. radio darling and international phenomenon LUMIDEE, Swedish rap pioneer and certified hitmaster Timbuktu, and more.

Donya spectacularly hypnotizing follow up to the debut that made Arash a household in many European countries and saw the young pop icon reach the top of the charts in Sweden, Austria , Germany , Poland, Serbia, Hungary, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Czech Republic, just to name a few. He has gone gold in 5 countries and has accumulated airplay on MTV outlets in more than 35 countries, and with his new album called Donya an eclectic convergence of rock, hip-hop, dance and world ballads, the 2-year long residency Arash undertook in his studio has paid immense artistic dividends.









Having emerged from the hard rock/metal scene of Sweden, BLINDSIDE’s first two releases in the U.S. Blindside and A Thought Crushed My Mind- established the band as blistering rock powerhouse that combines both introspective lyrics with an intense, yet melodic sound. These two albums, along with relentless touring, catapulted the band into the hard rock mainstream.

Blindside – Christian Lindskog, guitarist Simon Grenehed, drummer Marcus Dahlstrom and bassist Tomas Naslund – was born a decade ago in the suburbs of Stockholm. When they formed the band in their late teensÑinspired by American metal and grunge and the then-burgeoning alt-rock music scene at homeÑthey weren’t very accomplished musicians, to say the least, Lindskog laughs: “The good thing was that we sucked equally. And we started growing together.” The band’s rise was as organic as it gets: First they got a rehearsal space in a run-down area of Stockholm, and then they secured regular gigs at an alcohol-free local youth center. Because the venue was funded by the government, the shows were free. And, with each gig, the band’s audience would build, eventually hitting some 500 people. Linking up with friends in other bands, Lindskog, Grenehed, Dahlstrom and Naslund held down jobs while hitting pretty much every major city in Sweden on the weekends

After pressing a self-financed demo in 1996 and selling it at shows, the band debuted in April 1997 in Sweden with their self-titled debut, a collection of old and new songs that serve as a snapshot of Lindskog’s life at the time. The disc was released later that year in the U.S. by Tooth and Nail. “That’s when it felt like a real band for the first time, that’s when we toured the U.S. the first time,” Lindskog says. In 2000, Blindside returned with A Thought Crushed My Mind, a more aggressive album featuring deeper, more vulnerable lyrics. “It went into a darker, deeper place, and was more self-expanding about who I am and what I’m dealing with in my life, and how I relate to the people around me,” Lindskog says. “It’s also about the thoughts that we’re carrying around, and the impact they have on our lives. When that album came out, I remember being really scared because I felt really naked.” Both albums were recently digitally remastered and re-released with four bonus tracks apiece, and featuring special new artwork designed by Lindskog.

With its momentum building, Blindside became the first band signed to Elektra’s 3 Points imprint, and in 2002 released Silence, a tighter, more produced record on which the band marked its musical growth and dabbled in more mainstream fare. The move worked, as two years later, after tours with Hoobastank, P.O.D. and Linkin Park, the band returned with the melodic, meaty About a Burning Fire which hit the top 40 on The Billboard 200 albums chart. Produced by Howard Benson (who also helmed Silence), the album found the band settling into its new dynamic style, sporting the bite of the band’s early hardcore and the polish that comes with time. “If we all like it, then it’s Blindside,” Lindskog says about the band’s songwriting process. “We don’t put boundaries on our music.”

“I think we see music a little bit differently,” Grenehed says, reflecting on the band’s first decade. “When we started, we were just having fun. We’re still having a lot of fun together, but you just want to dig deeper.” Adds Lindskog, “Our friendships have grown stronger over the years, which makes it easier to write music together, because we know how to connect with each other emotionally and musically.” But while the band’s music and relationships have changed and evolved, its goal has remained the same, says Grenehed. “For us,” he says, “it’s always been about trying to get a positive message out there, some kind of hope. That’s the main purpose in both writing music and playing live. That’s the thing that we always come back to.”

Those Dancing Days-SWEDEN




A Camp first drew breath in a forest in Northern Sweden, neck deep in snow, in the waning of the last millenium, amongst families of foxes.

It began a collabrative effort between two Swedish humans : pop star and former figure skater Nina Persson, whose band The Cardigans had seen crazy success in the roaring 90s, and Niclas Frisk, a sonic wanderer who had himself enjoyed pop stardom with his band Atomic Swing. In common was a love for classic American music, and a melancholy both universal and somehow highly specific to the Scandinavian psyche.

It was imported maple syrup, chickory coffee, and the around-the-clock blackness that is the Swedish winter that fueled the first stage of A CAMP recording sessions, those that would eventually evolve into the self titled A CAMP debut record.

The duo recorded a collection of songs, and the project was suspended while they attended to other matters……in Nina’s case, it was another Cardigans album (Gran Turismo) and tour. Niclas moved on to a temporary foyer into profane gospel music. Also in the cards for Nina was a move to New York City with future-husband and fellow rocker Nathan Larson, an american film composer who had known some modest success in the 90s with his band Shudder To Think.

After a span of about three years, Nina choose to saddle up again with A Camp. Listening to the earlier sessions, she found them wanting for a certain frailty……it was with this in mind that she picked up the phone and rang indie superhero Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, asking him to produce future A Camp recordings. Mark, at home on his ranch in rural Virginia, quietly accepted this task, changed the oil in his truck and drove north.

Recordings for the first A Camp record took place in the Fall, in Woodstock, New York, at the now-dufunct Bearsville studio. Work took place in a barn. Deer loitered on the lawn. Nathan played bass. Kevin March (Dambuilders/ Shudder To Think/ Guided By Voices) played drums. Mark made spooky noise, drove his Motoguzzi, and engaged in target practice. Nina sang, chain smoked, and read books on dream interpretation. Niclas flew in and played guitar like a hero, despite having sustained massive aural damage that obliged him to wear industrial ear protection. A small parade of indie rockers, members of Mercury Rev, Joan of the future Joanaspolicewoman came through and contributed their talents.

The resultant album was released in 2001 in Europe, where it was a considerable success, and a significant hit in Nina and Nic’s home territory of Scandinavia. A CAMP toured extensively on the strength of the single I CAN BUY YOU : Nina’s touring band included members of Soundtrack Of Our Lives as well as the above mentioned studio players. The album was awarded 4 Swedish Grammies, and met with much critical praise abroad and stateside, despite the record’s availability only on import. And that was that, for the time being.

In late 2007, for no particular reason, A Camp was taken out of storage. This time around, what the first album had been to the country the second was to the urban back-alley, past and present. TImes had changed the cast a bit; Niclas had recently made the move to New York, went nocturnal, bought a top hat and a moleskin overcoat and commenced floating about the lower eastside. Nathan and Nina had moved uptown to Harlem. This time around, the approach was more that of a proper band, and the NYC recording sessions were swift and efficient, buffered by Nathan’s increased involvement, who at this point was a highly accomplished film composer, and brought all his skills in the area to bear. Added to this Kevin March’s supercharged drumming, despite or due to his newfound stay-at-home dad status. Joan Wasser, Nikolai Dunger, James Iha and other notables once again rounded out the cocktail.

If the first record was a mash up of americana and minimalist eclecticism, COLONIA draws from a wider set of colors, drawing on historical imagery…….from the opium den to the Belgian Congo, from the Namibian desert by starlight to Victorian New York by gaslight, and the Bowery of the ’70s by neon.

If the debut album wore an air of wood, hickory and snow, COLONIA is electricity, wig powder, and laudanum.

A very particular perfume;


COLONIA is out now in the UK and Europe, and is released April 28th in the USA. The critics have weighed in , and as the band takes to the road they are set to lovingly burn your town down.