What is Ja Ja Ja’s philosophy?
Many of the bands we feature have never played a show in the UK before so it has become really special for both artist and fan. See, over in Scandinavia – Sweden especially – bands are used to being paid 1000 Euro for, say, a small club show. There's not that kind of money on offer over here, and any promoter that says different is lying. So if we can help a handful of bands to play in one of the world's most musically rich cities and give them exposure to the industry and fans who might not have the chance to see them. It can only be a good thing.
Each Nordic country is very different musically and of course that comes down to many different reasons – from environment, climate, politics, population – but one common thread that runs through the five regions is a pure and honest love for pop music, and I'm talking pop in any form. Each country has their own special way of writing melodies and hooks, their use of the English language perhaps – it has a certain naivety, playfulness. But ultimately it just clicks with me. There's something about that part of the world that just resonates.
Musically, it's one of the most important cities in the world. An aim for these bands is to be able to showcase their music in front of the industry – you can argue all you like but the fact remains that the majority of the UK industry is in London. That's just the way it is. Of course, they may already have success in their home country but our aim is to be a little helping hand in a, hopefully, fruitful international career.
If we were to do a special one-off show I'd love to host one at the Union Chapel in Islington. It's just a glorious setting – some of the best shows I've ever seen have been there. This month’s is at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, though, and you know what – I am really psyched about it.
Some of that, of course! It's honestly a great cross section of folks. For those thinking it's just industry folk stroking their chins over the latest breed of Swedish pop music, think again. We get Nordic music enthusiasts, ex-pats looking to hang with some like-minded folk, and students over studying in the UK. Then there are genuine fans of the groups and artists who would never normally get the chance to see said act in the UK. A real melting pot! Literally anything and anyone goes.
I want Ja Ja Ja to be a mainstay and trusted place for new and exciting Nordic music. There's a huge market and a huge lust for this kind of music and we're hoping to fill that void. I want people to get off on the passion that we put into it – there's nothing quite like turning somebody on to a new band; making their day. I get a real kick out of it. 2012 will see us hopefully host a few stages during festival season but I best keep schtum about that or else I'll end up jinxing things!