TheWorldofJonahForget ya Dannys, Justins, Willys, Olas, Darrens, and Mans-lets get down to business here. We're talking pop business. Real, deep and hard. Thats how DontStopthePop likes its pop singers. Mean, gritty and a Gucci bag full of love, laughter and giggles. The high pitched popBoys in this popworld come and go but rarely do they seem to please the towers of DontStopthePop. In short DSTP has grown tired of boy pop princes. They appear to be nothing more than pretenders to the throne as one Henry Tudor might say. I desire something bold, honest, kingly and commanding. Yes-I want a singer with balls. Pop balls if you wish!
So step forward Jonah. The man is a legend to be true but what follows below is bewildering. DSTP has already featured him and it was so successful an interview seemed only natural. So two days ago an interview was done and today to DSTP's absolute joy Jonah's song Summer High has moved from no.14 in Sweden and has landed deep in the top ten of the Swedish charts.
As they say in Sweden "Veckans Smash Hit!"
Quite amazing! Oh yes, heads are certainly turning and very quickly too! This is a man who has sung and lived the words of I am What I am, danced with British rentboys, taught the lyrics of Eurovision failures to Saudi royalty and could literally teach a thing or two to our British pop male acts.......so on with the questions!
First of all, let me say that you’ve had a great response after appearing on DontStopthePop a few days ago! Why’d ya think that is?
Because you British guys has such an excellent taste of course (laughs). To be honest I was really surprised when I discovered your site, the article and all the positive comments. Its very flattering!
One of our readers and one of your fans, Peter Lassing of Karlstad to be exact, responded by saying that you’d started in doing music years ago. He added “He was 12 or 13 something and already shining like a star. It was something very special about his appearance on stage.” What was the show and what do you remember from that time in your life?
Wow, what a compliment……..Oh god, what show was that?! Hmmm i can’t really remember what show it was but what I do remember is that in that exactly period I was really getting determined that I wanted to become a singer. I did shows and started to sing and dance more seriously and also had my first roles.
Well, I for one never knew you’d started doing music so young! What was your favourite production?
That i was in or that I looked at?!
My favourite musical I always wanted to watch was Fame. I had such a hard time to decide whether I wanted to be Nic who was this fabulous singer, soft and humble or Tyrone who was this cool guy and a greeeeeaaaat dancer. Its still my problem .... to be the humble, soft homestayer or that cool groovy partyguy! Hahahahahahaaha!!!!!
My favorite musical to be in was a stage-version of Bröderna Lejonhjärta by the Swedish favourite writer Astrid Lindgren. It’s such a heartbreaking story and is about two brothers. Bobby go and read it if you haven’t!
Will do! Now a lot of the replies ran with one major theme-that your a pop artist with a sense of dignity. How would you reply to that?
It’s really important to me to always stay true to myself and my heart... I hope it may shine through. For example I been asked to participate in the Swedish version of American Idol for two seasons and both times I’ve turned it down. That’s not my way of making music. I love the show but I wouldn’t like to be in it. For me music starts in the heart. Not in others expectations. That goes not only for music by the way! That’s also how i want to live my life. To get that no 1 hit or to get a worldwide breakthrough isn’t the most important thing you know...
So, straight to your music! Who are you working with on this album?
I’ve chosen a lot of different writers and producers for the album. All extremely creative and with a lot of experience. We also had a lot of songs send to us from other countries and some of them may be on the album. Your disco-icon and one of my old favorites Rick Astley wrote one of the songs I listened to earlier today hehe... Maybe I’ll add it. He was sooo cool at the height of his career. A keyperson in the whole affair is my 1st hand producer Anders Lundstöm. He is almost as much of the Jonah-music-style as myself. I love working with him!
Will the sound of the album mirror your first two singles or Summer High?
It’s more Summer High. Absolutely! But I’ll promise you; there will also be dance remixes (winks).
Theres a lot of love for Summer High! Will the album explore all the seasons of the year?
Of course... I love to give energy and make people dance and be happy.... but right now it’s alot of ballads in the making... those heartbroken ones... a typical autumn-phenomena... Songs for spring will also be easy... but winter??? Uhhh i hate the winter!
Ok, I’ve been lucky enough to hear some of your new sounds and its great. Although demos they all have that distinct quality based around your voice and sublime 1960’s pop molded into a 2008 disco hype. The decision to go with the Summer High direction will please many including myself. What are the songs your most proud about at the moment?
Hmm--- There is a song called "Walk with me" that i wrote myself that is very close to my heart at the minute. “Will you still love me in the afternoon” is also one of my favorites. It really puts my life together in a song hehehehehe...
Whats it about?
It’s about the feelings you have when you wake up to late for breakfast a sunday at noon.
But above all... I love "Look at me now". That’s a special song for me. Also a ballad as the other two. I hope it will be chosen as the next single. And "Play (If you)" is also fab... sexy dirty and very me. (Oh and Jonah winks again!).
Can you describe what you wanna do with your first album? And want you want to it sound like?
I want it to be a picture of me. Different sides of my person... You should be able to find songs suitable for every occasion: Like bringing me as your friend into different parts of your life. Suitable to dance to at the party, cuddle up with in the sofa those heartbroken nights with ben & jerry ice-cream and just the tv as comes on or to become the soundtrack of your wildest moments in bed...
Ahem. Perhaps a title then? What about “Jonah’s Arc”? Have you got to that stage yet? Of giving it a name?
Hehehe great title... but unfortunately I’ve already named it... "Welcome to my world”
If your sound as an musician had to be plucked out in just 5 key words I’d go with “groovy”, “pop”, “uplifting”, “Quirky” and of course “stylistic”. Would you agree with those & would you add any to those?
I think you say it really good there. Honesty is another word I’d like to use. As well as personal.
What three things since the release of your first single "I am What I am", are you most proud of?
Thats a though one. I’m proud of walking my own way. Instead of doing what everybody expected and to put all my life into becoming a popstar back then in 2001. When i was just 20 something i wanted to wait until the time was right. Now is that time. I’m older...But what the fuck who cares? Uhh 3 things.. that means 2 more... hmm need to think about that one...
Ok, I know your disco friends with fellow DontStopthePop favourites, Miss Match! Would you three ever consider teaming up to create a perfect slice of pop music? Perhaps special guests for your album?
Hehe... We’ve talked about it since we first hooked up when we were on the same tour around Melodifestivalen 2007... especially when we go out to a party we always end up talking about how fab it would be hehe... I love those girls! But now since Alcazar has re-united we had to make a promise to not do anything togheter for awhile... We don’t want the disco divas in Alcazar to be forgotten in the shadows hahahahaha!!!!
Now on Neon Nights, Dannii Minogue wrote and dedicated a song to her vibrator/dildo. The song was called Vibe On and despite never ever being released it’s a bit of a favourite. What aspects of your life are influencing the subjects that you find yourself writing about and putting to music?
September, Miss Match, Lucky Twice, Robyn, B-Tween, Danny, Magnus Carlsson, BwO….you can see where this is going.... Two questions. The first why is the Swedish pop scene so damn good? And secondly, where do you see your music and your style fit into that batch of singers?
First of all i do NOT agree with you.. I think some of these Swedish acts are really boring to be honest... But some of them are really super! Since ABBA we also had some strange self-confidence that we are a good music country... I think that helps... there are so many talented producers, writers and artists in Sweden... And somehow we all seem to get to be able to make magic... that’s the good part of being a small country. Hmmmm where do i find my music... well... thats a tough one though.
Out of all of those acts mentioned…which one would you 1) Go Camping with… 2) Go Partying with… 3) Collaborate on a Kylie tribute album…
Ok well I probably would say Miss Match on all three... but to make it more fun I’ll add some more!
i) love to go camping with Robyn (I’d love to have her for myself a couple of days!)
ii) go partying with September (she reaaaaaly knows how to party).
iii) To collaborate on a Kylie tribute album? That would have to be with Magnus (could it be more camp?)
iv) and go to bed with? BwO!
(I didn’t add part iv that was completely from the mind of Jonah!)
Can you tell the readers about the time you burnt the hotel down with the drag queen hostess Miss Matulda?
Once at a show in northern Sweden I was feeling sick, so I returned to my hotel room for some tea and lit a bunch of candles. Then I figured that wine would be a better cure, opened a bottle and then remembered that my friend, the drag queen hostess Miss Matulda, was in the room down the hallway. I went over with a glass for her as well. She was just in the middle of putting on her make up, so I went back to my room after ten seconds. When I opened my room door, I saw that the candles had set the whole curtain on fire. In shock, I figured the right thing to do was to immediately and take control of the situation for everyone’s best……..
So I managed to grab a hold of my Dolce & Gabbana’s and my designer stage clothes before the firemen pulled me out of the room. As the last to leave the building, I was standing face to face with about 50 firemen and police officers, but luckily for my guilty ass, no one was looking at me. Instead, all eyes were on the transvestite only wearing fishnet stockings, heavy eye-brows and a bare upper body.
Talking of burning down the house…Did you think Scooch deserved to do better at Eurovision?
I loved Scooch! Me and my best friend – a winner of Eurovision a few years ago - were watching it via satellite in Spain... I did the scooch-dance for the entire month in Puerto Banus And I even tried to teach a particular SchejkPrince from Arabia the lyrics. He loved the "coffee tea" part haha….
Are you yourself toying with the idea of entering the competition?
We are working on an entry for the Swedish competition. BUT my dream is to enter for England... yes you may think that seems strange but i have my reasons. And let’s face it... You could do with some Swedish help!
You’ve worked with Schlager legend Shirley Clamp. Would you ever consider releasing a schlager album (or perhaps just a bonus track?). I know its miles away from your current sound but I’ve always thought your deep vocals and a boy singing Linda Bengtzing’s “Alla Flickor” would be rather polemic! And an English version too?! I think we'd all love a male version of that Swedish classic!
Haha... I’ll perform it as a bonus on my first G A Y show... I promise you.
Am I right in thinking you taught arts at several universities in 2005?
Not arts... but performing arts... Well since 2000 really... mostly in sweden but also around Europe...
As it’s the title of your new single, what memory do you recall as a summer high? What made it so good? Was it “erotical” or “tragical” (or both!).
On my first visit ever to an English gay bar, my friends and I ended up having a bet about who would get the cute David Beckham-look-a-like that was strutting around looking delicious. I won, which was fun, but not as fun any more when I asked him what he did for a living and it turned out he was a prostitute! How did the night end? Well I didn’t have to pay!
So there you have it-Jonah Hedqvist: A Pop Legend!! He's obviously the most exciting male acts to step up to the microphone since, like whenever. He’s taught performing arts around the globe some of which included teaching Arabian royalty the naughty lyrics and dance steps to Scooch’s Flying The Flag. His album sounds poptastic and DontStopthePop has already pre-ordered five thousand copies to give to loved ones come Christmas time. What strikes me reading the interview back is how utterly distinct, mature & frank Mr.Jonah is and in a time when male pop acts seem guarded, manufactured and believe screeching is singing Jonah is one of a kind. Jonah is the perfect DontStopthePop popstar & we all await his next move with baited breath!
WorldofJonah (still in wip)
Buy Summer High at CdOn
Buy Once In A Life Time at QX
Pre-Order Welcome To My World at CdOn
WorldofJonah (still in wip)
Buy Summer High at CdOn
Buy Once In A Life Time at QX
Pre-Order Welcome To My World at CdOn
DSTP Info: The voting for the Pop Awards has finally come to an end! The winners will be announced very soon. Album reviews for Caracola and Lucky Twice are on the way as are reviews for the new Cds by Pay-TV and Soccx.