Interview with Marie Dimberg and Per Gessle about Space Station 12

ss12Marie Dimberg and Per Gessle launched the label Space Station 12 in February 2016. Since then, three artists have released their single at SS12. You may have seen Per posting about SS12 on Facebook quite frequently this year, so we thought of asking Marie D. and Per a bit more about the company.

Judith: When did you have the idea and how did it all start?

Per: The music industry is changing so much at the moment I felt like I, before I go to sleep, should take part of the new revolution. There’s a window at the moment for indie labels. And for indie way of thinking. I like that.

J: What was your motivation?

P: Same as with everything else in my musical life; to take part of music that I like and enjoy.

J: What do you want to achieve with SS12?

P: A great logo and a few gold records.

J: What are your tasks/responsibilities?

P: I’m the DJ, I am what I play!

Marie D: I run the daily operations with my team Lotta and Josef and we work together with our great license partners at BMG. We also have independent press- and radio people.

J: What is the story behind the label’s name?

P: The name comes from a Montrose-song, “Space Station #5” but I thought 12 was cooler since it’s my birthdate.

J: So far, 3 artists have released their latest singles at SS12. Their styles are rather different, who is involved in the A&R process and how does it work in your case?

P: We all are. But I have the last say. If I don’t like it, we won’t release it. But I’m pretty easy to convince.

MD: We all listen and try to convince Per if he doesn’t agree…! A good song, a great voice and an artistic expression are of course key ingredients. No matter what kind of “genre”

J: What are your main criteria when picking an artist up?

P: Personality. Intelligence. We don’t want artists who strive for fifteen minutes of fame.

J: Why did you choose these 3 to start with? How did you discover them?

P: Alex was number one. He’s the best songwriter I’ve heard in years. He wrote “Sinking Deep” for Fanny. That’s how Fanny came aboard. She turned out to be a great communicator with an interesting voice. Good Harvest stand for something a little bit more “classic” and organic. That’s very rare to find these days. They’re amazing.

J: Marie, you mentioned that Fanny’s single has almost reached 400.000 plays on Spotify, which is amazing for a new artist. How are you promoting the artists? What are the target audiences and countries?

MD: We start with Scandinavia as a home market but make the release available worldwide digitally. Together with the BMG team, the press- and radio people we try to get exposure wherever suitable for each individual artist.

J: The three artists are rather young and newcomers; are you focusing on this kind of artists or are you also looking to sign up established ones?

MD: We’ll see… our focus is great talent with great songs and I’m sure we’ll eventually embrace established acts as well.

J: Per, you co-wrote the lyrics of Alex Shield’s and for what I understood from an interview with him, the song was finalised and has been released as a single because of this.

P: Yes, I co-wrote the lyrics and the music to “New York City Ways” but that’s not the reason it was released as a single. Who writes the song doesn’t really matter. What matters is if it’s a good record. It has to communicate.

J: In what way have you been involved in the final results of (so far) the singles? Do you get to give input / feedback during the recording/composing process or final outcome?

P: Sometimes. I’m there if I’m needed.

MD: Per’s input is extremely important given his long and successful career both as a songwriter and an artist!!! In my mind, it’s a fantastic opportunity for young artists to have an artist/songwriter of Per’s magnitude as your “wingman”

J: Are more songs co-composed by you planned?

P: I’ve written quite a lot of songs together with Alex which are really cool. You’ll see.

J: What are SS12’s plans for the future and what is in the pipeline?

MD: We’re currently focusing on these three for the rest of 2016. There will be a new song by Good Harvest released in December penned by themselves; “Charly”. They will also perform at the Eurosonic in Amsterdam. Alex “New York City Ways” will be accompanied by a lyric video this week. Fanny is writing and recording and will make her first performance at Musikhjälpen in December.

If you want to know more about the three great artists go on reading.

Alex Shield
Alex played his first accords when he was 18 with a guitar that had once belonged to Per. 13 years later, Alex is one of the first artists signed up to Per’s new label Space Station 12. Funny huh?

Alex first released song on Soundcloud, “Staying Alive”, got great response and recently he has released his first “official” single “New York City Ways”.

Music has always been in his live. In car trips with his dad, who loved both music and cards, he got to hear The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant and Prince.  When he was young, Alex wanted to become a hockey professional, F1 driver or rock star. He has played in some of the best hockey teams and has won many races, so now it’s time for him to be a rock star.

He got to meet his teenager hero Per Gessle in the studio, “I had never met Per before but I saw him outside through the studio window and I thought, if I could just play some songs for him… but then at the same time I thought he would not take time for that”. But Alex did introduce himself and asked Per if he maybe wants to listen to some of his songs. Per said yes and the rest is history.

“It was very special. Alex played some of his songs and I thought they were something special. Great song writing skills and a great voice!” says Per. “Since I have a new label/record company, I thought, let’s just do something together”. “New York City Ways” is just the beginning.

You can also read an interview with Alex here (in Swedish).

Fanny de Aguiar

Fanny participated in Swedish Idol back in 2014, where she performed songs by James Blunt or Ed Sheeran. And now she has been signed up to Per’s new label. What captured Per the most about Fanny is her voice, “Fanny has a unique expression in her voice and a very interesting personality. It is a combination that is very hard to ignore”, comments Per.

Her producer, Alex Shield, wrote Sinking Deep together with Emma Birdsall and the song fits Fanny perfectly. “I was captivated by the song immediately and I hope that one day it will touch and mean so much for others as it meant for me”, says Fanny. “I have waited so long for this and I am very excited to be able to share my music”, tells the 21-year old Fanny, who has moved from Göteborg to Stockholm to pursue her musical career and is currently working on her upcoming album.

Good Harvest

The duo debuted with “Woodstock”, a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song on September 30th and the song went viral.  The duo is formed by Hanna Enlöf and Ylva Eriksson, who with two acoustic guitars, amazing vocal harmonies and an almost instinctive sense of musical interaction received more than 1,8 million views of their video “Woodstock” on Facebook in just two weeks (2,2 million by now).

They both met in a folk pop band in Falun and have been playing together since they are 15. When the band split up they did one performance as a duo and realised that they have a lot in common, musically speaking. So they started to write songs and there they also realised that they complete eachother in a very natural way.

Joni Mitchell has been a very important role model for them and they are overwhelmed by the response to their interpretation of the song.

Per, who loves a combination of acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and expressive songwriting, didn’t hesitate when the music by this duo crossed his way, “the first time I heard Good Harvest I was amazed by the way they sing. It is cleverly done and it goes straight to your heart,” tells Per, “you want to listen to the song again and again”.

The duo is working on a new album too.