If you are following the artists signed by Per Gessle’s record label, Space Station 12, you already know that Alex Shield got signed by a big German music label, Starwatch Entertainment. They have just released Alex’s single, The Good Fight in Germany and there are now several articles popping up on German, Austrian and Swiss music sites. You do know that The Good Fight is the song on which you can also hear Alex’s idol, Per Gessle singing, right?
As written in the articles, Alex spent endless weeks in recording studios to prepare for the world of music, and that was where he got the chance to meet his great role model from his childhood – Per Gessle.
I’ve never met Per before, but I’ve seen him outside in front of one of the studio windows. I thought I would play some of my songs to him, but at the same time I realized he probably did not have the time to listen…
Alex took all his courage, introduced himself and asked Per if he could listen to some of his songs. To his great surprise, Per agreed and the rest is, as they say, history.
Per Gessle says:
Yes, that was something really special. Alex played me these songs and I immediately realized that they were exceptional. Fantastic songwriting, interesting arrangements and then his great voice. And since I had just done everything with this record company, I thought… hey, why don’t we actually do something together?
The single The Good Fight is just the beginning of a truly glorious musical career of an artist / songwriter / producer who says:
I want to create timeless music and write songs that will last for future generations.
Well, I was lucky to hear Alex perform live not only once and I think it’s safe to say he has a bright future in front of him. When I write “Alex Shield in the footsteps of Per Gessle”, I do think there is a lot in common and in many things Alex reminds me of Per. He is definitely an exceptional artist and with his amazing songwriting skills and creating great music, as well as having a fab voice, hm… today Sweden & Germany, tomorrow the world? 😉 Best of luck to you, Alex!
21 March 2017 is for sure a day to remember for the rest of our lives. From the RXB team Judith and I had the honor of being invited to the 1 year anniversary party of Space Station 12, Per Gessle’s and Marie Dimberg’s record label. Much appreciated! The event was announced to start at 6 pm and last until 10 pm. It took place at Skyddsrummet, Stockholm.
We arrived at around 17:45, at the same time as Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman. Marie Dimberg was welcoming the guests and a photographer took pictures of all who arrived in front of a black and white Space Station 12 background. We thanked Marie for the invitations and congratulated on the anniversary.
The musicians who were to appear on stage were 1 floor above the event area and were getting prepared for their performances. Per Gessle was among them, too. Some minutes after 6 pm Mr. G came down and also welcomed some guests. We had the chance to thank him too for the invitation and congratulate. He said he didn’t realize that already 1 year passed since they started this label. Time flies when you’re having fun. Thomas Evensson from TDR was taking some pics and Per kindly posed for them. Even for a group pic. Oh well, he said on Skavlan he gets depressed when he is out and no one asks for a selfie. Now he told us he will regret what he said for the rest of his life. Haha. Nah, he was really easy with it.
At appr. 7 pm a curtain was pulled away, so we could see the stage and go to the area where the performances were to happen. The stage was so tiny and low, the whole place so cozy! Of course, we, a small bunch of fans got in the front row, however it felt being too close to the stage. Everyone else was standing at least 5 steps behind us. Haha. It was funny. Then we also stepped back a bit, to have a better view of the not too high stage.
First Marie Dimberg went up on stage and she talked about Space Station 12, how they started it with Per. She talked very nicely about Mr. G and about their signed artists. She also mentioned their very good collaboration with BMG and she said they decided on a simple principle regarding what to release under SS12 and it’s that they release what they like. She also said there will be musicians on stage now who have their live debut, so she asked to applaud them. Then invited PG on stage saying even if Per doesn’t have his live debut now, he also loves being applauded. Haha.
So Per came up on stage to perform. He had Helena Josefsson (backing vocals), Malin-My Nilsson (violin), Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards) and Christoffer Lundquist (guitar) with him. Mr. G was playing an acoustic guitar while singing. He performed 2 songs, Tycker om när du tar på mej and Småstadsprat which he said we might have heard on Skavlan or whatever. Both songs sounded fantastic live and in this very much stripped-down-acoustic versions. Space Station 12 was live on Facebook during Småstadsprat, so you can watch a great video of it on their Facebook page.
Åsa was filming both songs too, so videos will surely appear on Per’s and Roxette’s Facebook pages shortly. After Småstadsprat Per told they leave the stage now and give the chance to SS12’s young artists to perform. After he left the stage we congratulated him on their wonderful performance. He thanked for it, but also said he was missing our banners in the front. We were wondering what kind of banners we could hold up for these 2 ballads and he said why not a tussilago sign. Haha. Yeah, OK. For the summer tour he gets it!
Before the next act, after some minutes break Marie Dimberg came up on stage again saying she wouldn’t sing, but please welcome Good Harvest. They performed 3 songs. All three were beautiful and one can melt hearing how the 2 girls’ voices blend! As Christoffer later mentioned, they both sound like one voice together. We are happy to see them on tour with Per this summer!
There came a little break again and Alex Shield was next to perform together with Charla K. They played Alex’s 3 songs, Charla’s debut single and a new duet that they mentioned were going to test with us, the audience. Everybody cheered afterwards, so we would say – thumbs up! We were all surprised how different Alex sounded live. He is a fantastic songwriter and now it turned out he is a great live musician as well. He and Charla K got the audience in a real party mood. It would have been fun if PG joined Alex on Good Fight as in the album version, but it didn’t happen. The song sounded cool live anyway.
We missed Fanny de Aguiar very much. It would have been fab to see and hear her live. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to perform and wasn’t present at the party either.
Even if Per was on stage only for 2 songs, he didn’t leave the concert hall. He was chatting with the guests and enjoying the performances of SS12’s artists while eating hot dog and drinking beer. Talking about beer, it seems that Per now is involved not only in the wine business, but the beer industry as well. There was a beer at the party, called Rocket Fuel which has Space Station 12 label on the bottle. The label says: ”Space Station 12 is an independent record label with the finger pointing at the future, always in love with great music. No matter what we release it will always be unique, interesting and something you certainly can’t live without. Just keep your ears open. And we love beer. Our favourite ones are made by Krönleins in Halmstad. Enjoy!”
Per was in a real happy mood, he even came to us asking if we were having a good time and we had a small talk. He is very proud of the acts they signed, he finds them real talented. And he is so right.
Among the guests, besides other artists, journalists, people from the music industry, TV, radio, wine people, we were happy to meet Pelle Alsing, Dea Norberg, Lasse Lindbom and see 2 members of the usual crew, Micke N-S and Peter Fredriksson. Christoffer said these events and performances are also good for them, because otherwise they don’t meet too often.
Regarding the summer tour, we got to know that besides Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson will join and play the bass, woohoo and there will be a new drummer this time. We also heard a few times from different people that maybe they will also have a violin too… Is it July yet???
The party ended at 10 pm as it was stated in the invitation. Each guest got a SS12 bag when leaving. There were promo singles of SS12 artists inside – including Småstadsprat – and an SS12 badge. You can see this badge on the pics of Per as he was wearing one during the event.
All in all, it was really a fantastic event. We want to thank once again for letting us being part of this celebration. Good luck to Space Station 12 with finding even more exceptional artists to join the already fab team of signed musicians!
Per performing at the party. Pics by Patrícia Peres.
Marie 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.
The first time I heard Good Harvest, I was completely cracked by how tight they are singing. It’s incredibly brilliantly done, while it hits straight in the heart. This kind of timeless quality is what makes you immediately want to hear the song again.
To meet Gessle is in many ways like meeting a living legend. But he was really nice and it felt very relaxed. He offered coffee, cake and a record deal in his apartment in Stockholm and later that night he came to see us at a gig we had in town. We worked with the same business manager as Gessle last year and from him we have already heard about “Per” in a familiar way. But of course it still feels a little weird when an e-mail from Per Gessle pops up in your inbox …!
Per is the kind of person who makes music and appreciates personal expression. At least this is the impression I got. I haven’t met him in person many times until now, but we are in contact via e-mail. I often send him over what I’m working on in the studio and then he gives me feedback and shares his ideas and concerns. It’s so simple!
Per seems to be proud of the first releases and artists. No surprise he promotes them even on Roxette’s Facebook page (GH1, GH2, FDA1). Well, I think most of the Roxers’ education in music (at least partly) has been provided by PG himself over the years. I don’t only mean Per’s own music (solo or Roxette or GT), but his record collection, the roots and music history. Now we get some more ”education” about today’s music. Today’s music which is different to the mainstream pop world where most of the songs sound the same. And that’s exactly why Space Station 12 will probably be distinctive of any other record label. Releasing something different. As Mr. G says:
My ambition with Space Station 12 is to create an environment with strong roots in the history of pop and rock. I would love it to become a label you as a listener can identify with, just like I did with Atlantic, Stiff and F-Beat Records when I grew up. SS12 will be a home for strong musical personalities, brilliant songwriters and curious producers.
So, good luck to Good Harvest and Fanny de Aguiar, as well as Space Station 12! Looking forward to hear the next artists on this label. In case you are also curious about what’s next, follow SS12 on Facebook.