SWEDEN HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE HOTBED OF POP MUSIC. SO WHO’S THE LATEST NAME WE SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT?
That’s easy – Dante Kinnunen. You might know him as the drummer for the indie-pop group The Concretes, but he’s also embarked on a solo singing career that’s more slick and smooth R ‘n’ B. And most importantly, he’s been deemed one to watch by in-the-know music blogs and music critics from around the world.
”I started out as a drummer in a reggae band when I was eleven. After a while, we had to record a demo so I learned to record and became interested in audio engineering and producing. After high school, I was working as a sound engineer at a jazz club in Stockholm called Ugglan. There, I got to know The Concretes and started playing drums with them. While I was on tour, I started dreaming of a solo project, and as soon as I got home, I recorded the first song, which was a cover of Clarence Carter’s Next to You.”
WHAT? A DRUMMER WHO CAN ALSO SING?
Yes, and what a mesmerising voice it is – soulful, meaningful, distinct – he’s influenced a lot by soul and reggae. But that’s not all Dante does. He also is a producer and creator of some sick beats, all thundering bass lines with smooth melodies expertly layered over the top. His song Won’t Go sampled Adele’s He Won’t Go and was an internet sensation.
”I like being all over the place, trying everything. And it has definitely been interesting and useful to be the front person for once. I think people are drawn to my solo work because it’s chill music. It gives a nice vibe – atmospheric and beat-driven.”
SO WHAT IS DANTE UP TO NOWADAYS?
He’s just released a video for the single Champagne Problems. And he’s started working on album number two, which he’s going to record in Berlin and Los Angeles. This guy is going places, for sure, and we’re secretly hoping for a collaboration with Grace Jones after hearing this story:
”A year after I released Next to You and Won’t Go, the tracks started to get played in the US and UK. I had the luck to travel a lot with the songs, and got to meet some great people. One of them was Grace Jones. First of all, we met at a Christmas lunch that Elton John was throwing. I really liked her, she’s an amazing person, and so the next time I visited London, I was invited to her apartment. We listened to music, drank wine and she fed me with my first oyster!”