Salla Salazar: “Hiphop är en tävling hela tiden”

I hiphop-Sverige är han något av en legendar, men den breda publiken har precis lärt känna Salla Salazar och hans bror Masse som producenterna i TV4:s nya musiksatsning “Lyckliga gatan”. Vi ringde Salla på hans 40-årsdag för att prata om svensk hiphop förr och nu.

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Grattis Salla! Hur har födelsedagen varit?

– Tack! Jag blev överraskad igår. Många trodde att jag fyllde år då, och jag skulle käka middag med min dotter efter hennes träning. Då var hela min familj där och efteråt gick vi förbi Marie Laveau där alla kompisar och folk jag jobbar med väntade. Idag är min riktiga födelsedag, men jag jobbar i studion som vanligt och sedan ska jag spela med Linda Pira ikväll.

Är du en sådan som blir nostalgisk när du fyller år?

– Ja, eftersom jag fyller år i början av januari brukar jag alltid se tillbaka och utvärdera året som har gått. Och eftersom jag alltid är äldst, de som jag jobbar med brukar vara några år yngre, blev det många sådana frågor igår. “Hur är det att bli gammal?”. Jag gör samma sak som jag gjorde när jag var tjugo, förutom att det är roligare nu. Det händer mer.

När du nu utvärderar ditt 2014, vad tänker du då?

– Att det har varit skitbra. Varje år tänker man “hur ska jag toppa förra året?” och på något sätt lyckas vi alltid. 2015 har börjat jättebra med “Lyckliga gatan”, så redan nu vet folk att det kommer att bli ett bra år. Det är så mycket som händer och man hinner inte alltid ta in allt, men det känns som att vi har medvind nu för en gång skull.

Idag är Redline Recordings en etablerad superkraft inom svensk hiphop med stjärnor som Linda Pira, Stor och Dani M i sitt stall, men det har gått upp och ner genom åren. Salla beskriver det som en lång svacka åren efter att Latin Kings la ner, den banbrytande hiphopgrupp som han hade tillsammans med sin bror Chepe och Dogge Doggelito. Under en tid efteråt slutade Salla att hålla på med musik och jobbade på ungdomsgårdar, men efter ett samtal med sin andra bror Masse bestämde de sig för att satsa igen. De tre bröderna tog upp Redline-etiketten som startats under Latin Kings-tiden, producerade ett album med Mando Diao, arbetade med andra musikstilar i Tyskland och lärde sig mycket om att jobba som ett independentbolag. Sedan dess har de kämpat på i musikbranschen och kan nu se resultatet av sitt hårda jobb, The Salazar Brothers har blivit nästintill synonyma med svensk hiphops breda genomslag de senaste åren. Salla gillar att vara oberoende och kunna bestämma själv vad de vill släppa och vilka de vill signa på Redline. Just nu ligger Salazar-bröderna bakom låtarna i TV4:s nya hiphopprogram “Lyckliga gatan”, men det var inte självklart att de skulle tacka ja till tv-kanalens förfrågan.

– Vi ville försäkra oss om att vi kunde stå för det. Varje gång hiphop får vara med i sådana sammanhang brukar det vara roligt, löjligt eller extremt, det visas upp som något smalt som bara finns i förorten. Idag har svensk hiphop blivit stort och jag tror att de flesta lyssnar på det. Förut var kanske inte människorna på skivbolagen så insatta och gamla skivaffärer ville inte köpa in Latin Kings plattor, men vi såg att folk lyssnade eftersom vi själva var ute och turnerade i hela Sverige. Fansen frågade varför våra skivor inte fanns i butikerna. De var svåra att komma åt, men sådant förändrades med Spotify och nätet. Vi började märka för några år sedan att det är där ungdomar upptäcker musik, och det blev perfekt för hiphop. Det känns bra att TV4 vågar satsa nu. De ser hur brett det är och att hiphop spelas på klubbar överallt.

I programmet fick bröderna producera nya tolkningar av bland annat Arja Saijonmaas “Jag vill tacka livet” och Kikki Danielssons “Bra Vibrationer”, men samtidigt som det var en utmaning har de lång erfarenhet av att sampla svenska visor och bjuda in musiker som Jojje Wadenius och Janne Schaffer till studion.

– Vi vill att folk i Sverige ska känna igen det vi samplar. Jag hoppas och tror att det här programmet kommer att göra mycket för hiphop i Sverige. Förut värderades genren inte lika fint som annan musik, folk såg på produktionerna och låtskriveriet som något enkelt. Vi har producerat rock, pop och dansmusik, och hiphop är samma sak om inte svårare. Man rör sig inom allt från soul till jazz och pop och måste ha kunskap om hur man gör det bra. Idag vet nog folk att det inte bara handlar om att loopa något. Inom hiphop måste man förnya och det är en tävling hela tiden.

Första grunden till labeln Redline Recordings las vid Latin Kings andra album, vilket betyder att det nästa år är 20-årsjubileum. Det som Salla framför allt har lärt sig under dessa två decennier är att jobba hårt.

– Det har tagit många år att ta sig dit vi är idag, men om man fortsätter och inte ger upp kommer man dit. Det är roligt med alla nya talanger som finns idag och tycker att de är bäst och gör det nyaste, men de får ganska mycket serverat från alla andra som har hållit på i tjugo år. Vi har inte lagt av. Vi är fortfarande med i spelet. Men det är kul, vi jobbar alltid med nya artister för att man lär sig mycket av unga. Många tror att de har gjort allt och kan allt, men vi tycker aldrig att man blir färdig. Processen tar slut när man ger upp och inte orkar bry sig längre.

Om nyss 40 år fyllda Salla fick ge ett råd till sig själv när du var en av de unga och nya, vad skulle du säga då?

– Haha, att jag inte skulle festa så mycket som jag gjorde. Jobba lika hårt som nu istället för att festa och hänga med polare, jag skulle velat ha den arbetsmoralen. Samtidigt lär man sig. Jag kan se att jag har utvecklats för att det har hänt saker, jag har fått barn till exempel. Man värderar sin tid mer och allt överhuvudtaget, och förstår att man inte bara kan ha kul hela tiden och att man måste ha tydliga mål. Det är jobbet och timmarna du lägger ner på det du tycker om som lönar sig.

 

Lyssna på alla låtar från “Lyckliga gatan” i den här spellistan:

 

Spotify paints it black with new look for Windows Phone

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Today we’re bringing Windows Phone users the best-looking Spotify ever. With a darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography, playing your favourite music has never looked so good. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.

We also know that you’ve been looking for more ways of managing your music. So today we’re bringing Your Music to Windows Phone: helping you save, organise and browse your favourite music the way you want to. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.

We’re also bringing you our updated Browse feature, delivering even more relevant and localised content. So regardless of whether you’re looking for something to fall asleep to, or the perfect playlist to get you geared up for your big night out, finding the right music for every moment is easier than ever.

Our new design, Your Music and the updated Browse will roll out to all Windows Phone 8 users starting today.

 

Music to power your 2015 fitness resolutions

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Determined to keep those New Year resolutions? We’ve got you covered!

We teamed up with fitness pro and creator of INSANITY, Shaun T, alongside global expert on music for exercise, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, to predict the hottest fitness trends for 2015 – and the perfect soundtrack to get the most out of each and every workout.

According to Shaun T, 2015 is all about efficient workout programmes that incorporate HIIT training. “Ain’t nobody got time for hours in the gym, nor do they need to. Short, intense workouts such as INSANITY and Tabata style training will dominate.”

Check out his top 5 fitness trends for the year along with the perfect playlist to boost your workout:

INSANITY
INSANITY is an intense, boot camp-type workout designed to push its devotees to their mental and physical limits.

Tabata
Tabata is a high-intensity, interval-based workout with 20-second periods of all-out effort punctuated by 10-second recovery periods.

Cardio Dance
The imperative for a Cardio Dance playlist is that it sticks to a strong and steady rhythmic flow.

Gymnastics Strength Training
Gymnastics strength training draws upon gymnasts’ common training methods into a workout that’s accessible to everyone.

CrossFit
CrossFit is a workout ‘melting pot’ that blends elements of powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and athletics.

If you’re already flagging, you’ve now got the motivation to stick to your New Year fitness regime – listen to the complete Ultimate Workout Playlist for 2015 on Spotify here

 

 

 

 

Nu 15 miljoner betalande användare

15Million2014 var ett fantastiskt år på Spotify, allt tack vare er musikälskare som ständigt lyssnar, upptäcker, delar och firar musiken och artisterna tillsammans med oss.

Strax innan 2014 övergick till 2015 uppnådde vi 15 miljoner betalande användare och 60 miljoner aktiva användare!

Nu när vi beger oss in i det nya året vill vi ge ett stort tack till er alla. Vi ser med spänning fram emot det kommande musikåret.

 

 

Vilken var förra årets bästa låt?

Nu är det inte lång betänketid kvar! Söndag den 11 januari stänger röstningen för “Årets låt” på Grammis 2015. Har du bestämt dig?

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Grammis är Sveriges äldsta musikpris, och i år delas det ut i 18 kategorier plus ett hederspris på galan den 25 februari. I alla kategorier utom “Årets låt” är det en jury som utser vinnarna och Lisa Cronstedt på Ifpi, musikorganisationen som anordnar Grammisgalan, gillar att vinnaren av “Årets låt” röstas fram av fansen. Om Lisa la en avgörande röst skulle Sveriges senaste Billlboard-drottning kamma hem priset. 

– Jag har lyssnat på alla låtar ganska mycket eftersom det är de mest spelade låtarna under året. Min favorit är “Habits” med Tove Lo. Den svänger.

Håller du med eller har du en annan theme song från 2014? Rösta här på din favorit innan den 11 januari. Och de nominerade är…

ACE WILDER BUSY DOIN’ NOTHIN’

ALBIN FEAT. KRISTIN AMPARO DIN SOLDAT

ARONCHUPA I’M AN ALBATRAOZ

AVICII THE DAYS

FIRST AID KIT MY SILVER LINING

SANNA NIELSEN UNDO

SEINABO SEY YOUNGER

THOMAS STENSTRÖM SLÅ MIG HÅRT I ANSIKTET

TOVE LO HABITS (STAY HIGH)

ZARA LARSSON CARRY YOU HOME

 

Introducing Top Tracks in Your Network

Overview

One out of every five Spotify streams comes from a user listening to another user’s music. Every day, millions of listeners find, discover and share music on Spotify – but a great recommendation from someone you trust is something special.

What if you could tap into all these moments of discovery and see what your friends have been listening to?

Today we’re launching new discovery features that make it easier than ever to tap into your friends’ latest music picks.

Top Tracks in Your Network is a new chart showing the most played songs among the people you follow. The more popular a song is with your friends, the higher it is up the chart. Refreshed daily, the new chart can be found in the Browse section under Top Lists. A drop down list of the people listening to the song can be found next to the track details.

Now, when you go to an artist or album you’ll see who’s been listening – a great way to discover which of your friends share your taste in music.

Top Tracks in Your Network begins rolling out today on iOS and Android platforms, and to desktop soon. 

 

 

2014 – A Year in Music

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It’s time to reflect on another amazing year in music with our Year in Music — our annual round up of what our 50 million users have listened to this year.

Join us at spotify.com/2014 as we look back at the key musical milestones of the year and reveal the most streamed artists, tracks, albums, bands, as well as a host of interesting musical facts from 2014.

Not only will you be able to find out more about the biggest global and national music trends of 2014, but you can also create your very own personal Year in Music. We invite you to answer that age old question; “What Kind of Music Are you Into” by exploring your top genres, your favourite artist by season, most musical day of the week, and more.

What soundtracked your year? Discover the 2014 Year in Music here!

 

 

 

Your Ride. Your Music.

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Big news everyone! We’ve teamed up with our friends at Uber to let you choose the soundtrack for your ride.

When you request a car, you’ll be able to choose the music you want to hear on the journey. When your ride arrives, it’ll be your tunes on the car’s speakers.

So how does it work?

 

  1. Connect your Spotify account from the Uber Profile screen or sign up.
  2. Request a ride in the Uber app. If you get matched with a music-enabled Uber, the music bar will appear at the bottom of the Uber app.
  3. Tap the music bar and select music from our ready-made playlist, your playlists or search for something new.
  4. If you want you can wirelessly control the music from either the Uber or Spotify apps until you arrive at your destination.
  5. Sit back and enjoy the soundtrack to your ride.

The new Uber and Spotify integration, available to all Uber and Spotify Premium users on iOS and Android (with a limited feature set), starts rolling out on Friday, Nov. 21 in our 10 launch cities. The integration will continue to roll out globally over the coming weeks.

To kick off our exciting new partnership, Spotify and Uber are giving fans a chance to connect with some of their favourite artists in 10 global launch cities:

– Participating artists include: Andrew W.K., The Sam Willows, Ximena Sariñana, Ansiktet, Professor Green, Diplo, Matt and Kim, Ricki Lee, Kevin Drew and Jake Owen. 

– 10 global launch cities include: London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto.

These special events for Uber and Spotify users – including artist ride-alongs and exclusive live sessions in five of the 10 cities – will take place on Friday, November 21. Stay tuned for additional details.

$2 Billion and Counting

A blog post written by Daniel Ek (@eldsjal)

Taylor Swift is absolutely right: music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time. Our whole reason for existence is to help fans find music and help artists connect with fans through a platform that protects them from piracy and pays them for their amazing work. Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away.

When I hear stories about artists and songwriters who say they’ve seen little or no money from streaming and are naturally angry and frustrated, I’m really frustrated too. The music industry is changing – and we’re proud of our part in that change – but lots of problems that have plagued the industry since its inception continue to exist. As I said, we’ve already paid more than $2 billion in royalties to the music industry and if that money is not flowing to the creative community in a timely and transparent way, that’s a big problem. We will do anything we can to work with the industry to increase transparency, improve speed of payments, and give artists the opportunity to promote themselves and connect with fans – that’s our responsibility as a leader in this industry; and it’s the right thing to do.

We’re trying to build a new music economy that works for artists in a way the music industry never has before. And it is working – Spotify is the single biggest driver of growth in the music industry, the number one source of increasing revenue, and the first or second biggest source of overall music revenue in many places. Those are facts. But there are at least three big misconceptions out there about how we work, how much we pay, and what we mean for the future of music and the artists who create it. Let’s take a look at them.

Myth number one: free music for fans means artists don’t get paid. On Spotify, nothing could be further from the truth. Not all free music is created equal – on Spotify, free music is supported by ads, and we pay for every play. Until we launched Spotify, there were two economic models for streaming services: all free or all paid, never together, and both models had a fatal flaw. The paid-only services never took off (despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing), because users were being asked to pay for something that they were already getting for free on piracy sites. The free services, which scaled massively, paid next to nothing back to artists and labels, and were often just a step away from piracy, implemented without regard to licensing, and they offered no path to convert all their free users into paying customers. Paid provided monetization without scale, free reached scale without monetization, and neither produced anywhere near enough money to replace the ongoing decline in music industry revenue.

We had a different idea. We believed that a blended option – or ‘freemium’ model – would build scale and monetization together, ultimately creating a new music economy that gives fans access to the music they love and pays artists fairly for their amazing work. Why link free and paid? Because the hardest thing about selling a music subscription is that most of our competition comes from the tons of free music available just about everywhere. Today, people listen to music in a wide variety of ways, but by far the three most popular ways are radio, YouTube, and piracy – all free. Here’s the overwhelming, undeniable, inescapable bottom line: the vast majority of music listening is unpaid. If we want to drive people to pay for music, we have to compete with free to get their attention in the first place.

So our theory was simple – offer a terrific free tier, supported by advertising, as a starting point to attract fans and get them in the door. And unlike other free music options – from piracy to YouTube to SoundCloud – we pay artists and rights holders every time a song is played on our free service. But it’s not as flexible or uninterrupted as Premium. If you’ve ever used Spotify’s free service on mobile, you know what I mean – just like radio, you can pick the kind of music you want to hear but can’t control the specific song that’s being played, or what gets played next, and you have to listen to ads. We believed that as fans invested in Spotify with time, listening to their favorite music, discovering new music and sharing it with their friends, they would eventually want the full freedom offered by our premium tier, and they’d be willing to pay for it.

We were right. Our free service drives our paid service. Today we have more than 50 million active users of whom 12.5 million are subscribers each paying $120 per year. That’s three times more than the average paying music consumer spent in the past. What’s more, the majority of these paying users are under the age of 27, fans who grew up with piracy and never expected to pay for music. But here’s the key fact: more than 80% of our subscribers started as free users. If you take away only one thing, it should be this: No free, no paid, no two billion dollars.

Myth number two: Spotify pays, but it pays so little per play nobody could ever earn a living from it. First of all, let’s be clear about what a single stream – or listen – is: it’s one person playing one song one time. So people throw around a lot of stream counts that seem big and then tell you they’re associated with payouts that sound small. But let’s look at what those counts really represent. If a song has been listened to 500 thousand times on Spotify, that’s the same as it having been played one time on a U.S. radio station with a moderate sized audience of 500 thousand people. Which would pay the recording artist precisely … nothing at all. But the equivalent of that one play and its 500 thousand listens on Spotify would pay out between three and four thousand dollars. The Spotify equivalent of ten plays on that radio station – once a day for a week and a half – would be worth thirty to forty thousand dollars.

Now, let’s look at a hit single, say Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’. In the months since that song was released, it’s been listened to enough times to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for his label and publisher. At our current size, payouts for a top artist like Taylor Swift (before she pulled her catalog) are on track to exceed $6 million a year, and that’s only growing – we expect that number to double again in a year. Any way you cut it, one thing is clear – we’re paying an enormous amount of money to labels and publishers for distribution to artists and songwriters, and significantly more than any other streaming service.

Myth number three: Spotify hurts sales, both download and physical. This is classic correlation without causation – people see that downloads are down and streaming is up, so they assume the latter is causing the former. Except the whole correlation falls apart when you realize a simple fact: downloads are dropping just as quickly in markets where Spotify doesn’t exist. Canada is a great example, because it has a mature music market very similar to the US. Spotify launched in Canada a few weeks ago. In the first half of 2014, downloads declined just as dramatically in Canada – without Spotify – as they did everywhere else. If Spotify is cannibalising downloads, who’s cannibalising Canada?

By the same token, we’ve got a great list of artists who promoted their new releases on Spotify and had terrific sales and lots of streaming too – like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and alt-J. Artists from Daft Punk to Calvin Harris to Eminem had number ones and were on Spotify at the same time too.

Which brings us back to Taylor Swift. She sold more than 1.2 million copies of 1989 in the US in its first week, and that’s awesome. We hope she sells a lot more because she’s an exceptional artist producing great music. In the old days, multiple artists sold multiple millions every year. That just doesn’t happen any more; people’s listening habits have changed – and they’re not going to change back. You can’t look at Spotify in isolation – even though Taylor can pull her music off Spotify (where we license and pay for every song we’ve ever played), her songs are all over services and sites like YouTube and Soundcloud, where people can listen all they want for free. To say nothing of the fans who will just turn back to pirate services like Grooveshark. And sure enough, if you looked at the top spot on The Pirate Bay last week, there was 1989

Here’s the thing I really want artists to understand: Our interests are totally aligned with yours. Even if you don’t believe that’s our goal, look at our business. Our whole business is to maximize the value of your music. We don’t use music to drive sales of hardware or software. We use music to get people to pay for music. The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you. We’re going to be transparent about it all the way through. And we have a big team of your fellow artists here because if you think we haven’t done well enough, we want to know, and we want to do better. None of that is ever going to change.

We’re getting fans to pay for music again. We’re connecting artists to fans they would never have otherwise found, and we’re paying them for every single listen. We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world.  

Avicii prisas av Spotify och Musikförläggarna

Alla låtskrivare därute, tack för att ni finns! För att uppmärksamma upphovsmän och upphovskvinnor bakom de populäraste låtarna på Spotify delade vi idag tillsammans med branschorganisationen Musikförläggarna ut ett pris till skaparna av årets mest spelade låt.

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På Berns Salonger i Stockholm hölls i fredags galan för Musikförläggarnas Pris, ett årligt musikpris som delas ut till svenska låtskrivare, kompositörer och textförfattare. Sedan förra året är Spotify med och delar ut priset “Årets mest spelade låt”, där vinnaren blir den eller de svenska låtskrivare som står bakom den låt som spelats flest gånger på Spotify i Sverige under perioden mellan 1 juli 2013 och 30 juni 2014.

Årets vinnare är Tim ”Avicii” Bergling, som tillsammans med Aloe Blacc och Michael Einziger står bakom monsterhiten “Wake Me Up”, som fortfarande är den mest streamade låten på Spotify med snart 300 miljoner (!) spelningar. Avicii kniper även andra- och tredjeplatsen bland årets mest spelade låtar med ”Hey Brother” och ”You Make Me” där vi även ser Vincent Pontare, Salem Al Fakir, Ash Pournouri och Veronica Maggio som låtskrivare.

Lyssna på de tio mest spelade låtarna från året i spellistan nedan och se de vinnande låtskrivarna här:

1. “Wake Me Up” – Avicii

Låtskrivare: Tim Bergling, Aloe Blacc & Michael Einziger

2. “Hey Brother” – Avicii

Låtskrivare: Tim Bergling, Vincent Pontare, Veronica Maggio, Salem Al Fakir & Ash Pournouri

3. “You Make Me” – Avicii

Låtskrivare: Tim Bergling, Vincent Pontare, Salem Al Fakir & Ash Pournouri

4. “Miss Decibel” – Medina

Låtskrivare: Joakim Sandström, Sami Rekik, Ali Jammali & Kawar Yousef

5. “Busy Doin’ Nothin'” – Ace Wilder

Låtskrivare: Alice “Ace Wilder” Gernandt, Linnéa Deb & Joy Deb

6. “Hela huset” – Veronica Maggio & Håkan Hellström

Låtskrivare: Veronica Maggio, Magnus Lidehäll, Vincent Pontare & Salem Al Fakir

7. “Legenden – feat. Phantomen” – Niello

Låtskrivare: Niklas “Niello” Gahn, Tom Liljegren & Alexander Ryberg

8. “Addicted To You” – Avicii

Låtskrivare: Tim Bergling, Joshua Krajcik, Mac Davis & Ash Pournouri

9. “Sergels Torg” – Veronica Maggio

Låtskrivare: Veronica Maggio, Magnus Lidehäll, Vincent Pontare & Salem Al Fakir

10. “Det kommer aldrig vara över för mig” – Håkan Hellström

Låtskrivare: Håkan Hellström & Björn Olsson