Entertainment

Swedish-flavoured dancehall beats

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer

Sunday, April 06, 2014    

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This is the eighth in a 10-part series looking at the impact of dancehall/reggae culture around the world.

ANDREAS Nilson has produced a number of hit songs and 'riddims' which have impacted dancehall music in the past four years.

The 32-year-old Swedish national makes his first visit to Jamaica this month for recording sessions with several top acts.

Vybz Kartel's Summer Time and Popcaan's Ravin are his biggest singles. His credits also include When Mi Party and Unruly Rave by Popcaan, Kartel's Amsterdam EP, as well as the Block Party, Bad Gal, Corner Shop, BBQ and Sweet Sounds 'riddims'.

Among the Stockholm-based Nilson's recent productions are a song on Popcaan's upcoming album for Mixpak Records; Mi Alright by Bounty Killer, Patexx (a joint venture with J Wonder/21st Hapilos); Anointed by Bugle, Step by Voicemail, Like a Stripper by Chan Dizzy, and songs on the Brazilian Bubble riddim featuring RDX, Stylo G, Ding Dong and Blak Ryno.

That is quite a résumé for someone who only got involved with dancehall music three years ago after meeting Swedish dancehall/reggae acts Breeze and Teetcha Man.

"They wanted to buy some hip-hop beats that I was selling online, but I was more interested in making some new dancehall riddims. We later formed a crew called Stockholm Highgrades," Nilson recalled in an interview with the Sunday Observer.

Jamaican dancehall was a big change of pace for Nilson, whose career as a producer began 17

years ago.

"I started messing around with music production by using software called SAW Studio and I was making mostly sample-based hip-hop beats. My first reggae/dancehall project was a riddim that I built in early 2011 around the vocals from Rihanna's Rude Boy," he said. "Three singles were recorded on the riddim, namely Vybz Kartel's Bike Back, Popcaan's Back It Up and Stockholm Highgrades' Ice Cream. I wanted to release it as a compilation but had no idea how the business worked."

Although his track record has attracted more dancehall acts, Nilson admits working with Jamaican artistes has its ups and downs.

"Every project is different; some have been less difficult than others. Can't say any project has been easy, though," he said.

Originally from a small island in Sweden called Solleron, Nilson has lived in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, for the past 11 years. He played the flute in high school and later earned a diploma in audio engineering from the SAE Institute in that city.

Andreas Nilson is among a growing number of European producers who have had success with Jamaican dancehall/reggae acts.

Silly Walks Discotheque out of Hamburg, Germany and Switzerland's Max RubaDub are among those emerging producers.

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