Monday, January 17, 2011

Grammis 2011: it's all over, and here's who won.

Results courtesy of

Årets album: Robyn: "Body talk"
Årets artist: Håkan Hellström
Årets låt: Robyn: "Dancing on my own"
Årets grupp: Johnossi
Årets kvinnliga artist: Robyn
Årets manliga artist: Håkan Hellström
Årets kompositör: Klas Åhlund och Robyn
Årets textförfattare: Håkan Hellström
Årets nykomling: Oskar Linnros
Årets producent: RedOne
Årets barnalbum: Orkester Pop
Årets dansband: Lasse Stefanz
Årets folkmusik/visa: Blandade artister - "Sonja Åkesson tolkad av"
Årets hårdrock: Watain
Årets jazz: Dan Berglunds Tonbruket
Årets klassiska: Zilliacusperssonraitinen
Årets specialutgåva: Peter LeMarc
Årets svenska internationella framgång: RedOne
Årets urban/dance: Familjen
Årets innovatör: Iamamiwhoami
Vinnare av årets hederspris: Dag "Dagge" Häggqvist
International artist breakthrough of the year: Donkeyboy.

Above: Oskar Linnros (and his new moustache) celebrate being named the year's best newcomer. And deservedly so!

So....I'll be posting my thoughts over the next couple of nights, as I don't have much time to write my full post just now.

Well, firstly, massive congratulations to Robyn - "Body Talk" was a truly ambitious and prolific experiment. To produce and release such a body of work over the space of a year deserved to be rewarded. Along with Shakira, Robyn is probably the most significantly talented female artist in the world today, yet her music doesn't receive the same level of hype or attention as the overrated and ubiquitous Rihanna and Katy Perry. But we all know by now - Sweden does it better! Well done Ms Carlsson :)

Of course anything I'm going to write about the Grammis will inevitably be clouded by my own taste and judgement, and regular readers will know what I'm going to say: no awards for Salem Al Fakir, which was incredibly disappointing for me, although I don't think the man himself will be too bothered as I remember a quote from him in the past that he "doesn't make music to win awards". But the recognition would have been nice nonetheless. At the time the nominations were announced, I was pretty stunned that there were only two nominations - for best male artist and best song. At the same ceremony 3 years ago, the same singer received a whopping 9 nominations and took home 4 awards. At that time he was critically acclaimed and reasonably well-known, yet not a household name.

When we fast-forward three years, something changed. Salem became that household name thanks to his "great experiment" i.e. appearing in Melodifestivalen. He released a reasonably experimental third album, but it would appear that the nominating committee took the advice of that album's title, "Ignore This" and did just that. The message here would appear to be, 'appear in Melodifestivalen and say goodbye to a Swedish Grammy'. So enjoy your moment, Lasse Stefanz, for it may not come again...!!

For like all music awards ceremonies, the Grammis would seem to be more about the critics' favourites rather than what's popular. Or indeed, what's "pop" - thank goodness we have the refreshing alternative of the Scandipop Awards for that!

Yet it's also an award ceremony full of contradiction. For all the bias towards the "credible" artists/lyricists, many of whom write and sing in Swedish, this year's big winner was an artist who writes and sings in English, and who is both commercially successful and a critics' fave. That's probably the big difference between Sweden and Britain: Sweden is proud to celebrate its artists' successes, particularly beyond Swedish borders - so that award for the ubiquitous RedOne is no surprise - whereas in Britain, when you become successful, the media turn against you.

Another artist who is loved by the critics and is hugely successful at the same time, is this year's triple-winning Håkan Hellström. Despite this, he has never really appealed to my taste although I can understand his crowd-pleasing popularity thanks to his anthemic rock singalongs.

A major shock in the 'best group' category, I thought - the seemingly unstoppable Kent, who made one of their best albums in years, being beaten by the relatively new but very promising Johnossi. I guess this is maybe a sign that the awards jury are looking to the future rather than the past?

Happy to see Donkeyboy win an award in the international category. I didn't know they had this category in the Swedish Grammis, as I thought it was just for Swedish artists and when I saw the result at first I was rather puzzled by this, as the last time I looked, they were Norwegian!

I would have liked to have seen Oskar Linnros win more than one award - and indeed, I'd have liked Daniel Adams-Ray to win one too. Oh well I guess there just weren't enough awards to go round :)) but seriously, the competition was very strong this year and whether or not you agree with the winners, you can't deny that Sweden has such a strong and varied music scene that there is something for everyone. So, even though my favourite artist didn't win anything, I was still very happy with most of the winners and almost all of the nominees. Congratulations to all the winners!

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