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What in the World is Nordic House Music? You Might Already Know.

As time stretches on in Sweden, and particularly after a weekend trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, I have begun to notice a particular concentration of house disco music I’ve never heard before being played in both clubs and restaurants, alongside some music that is actually familiar! All the young people here in Scandinavia seem to instantly recognize every song, and as I’ve gotten used to this new vibe, I thought I would share a little about Nordic house music and some popular artists up here in the North that you might not have realized came from Scandinavia.

  • Many clubs/bars hire well-known DJs from the area who will play their own music, but it really depends on where you go. For example, one dance club in Copenhagen, KulturHouse, hires two DJs per night who “compete” to see who can get more listeners on their respective floors. However, other clubs will simply play the most popular house music available non-live. I will say, it is quite difficult to feel “in the know” when everyone around you can shout lyrics in Danish and you have no idea what to expect–it is still very much a great experience!
  • Swedish House Mafia is a group you  probably have already heard of. They are responsible for hits like “Don’t You Worry Child,” but have had innumerable other incredible successes. They are played quite consistently across various eateries, dance clubs, and public spaces in the Nordic lands. When their songs come on in the US, you might not have even known they were Swedish!
  • Avicii himself, as you probably know, was Swedish, and I was quite happy when I realized that his music was still played when we went out to different establishments in Copenhagen. Hearing his music felt familiar as an American, and made me feel included, but also made me realize the connection between the USA top charts and Swedish artists, who are responsible for many of the behind-the scenes beats and production we associate with famous American artists. 
  • If you want to try a chiller or potentially new vibe, I would recommend you listen to Tod Terje. He is a DJ from Norway who specializes in mellow beats that I’ve heard countless times in restaurants and cafes across Stockholm. My personal recommendation: Inspector Norse if you want to start with something that might sound vaguely familiar and soothing. 

Even across the ocean, I’ve noticed such familiarity in music and dancing. Most people seem to just want to have fun and listen to music they love–some of which I already have grown to love as well. However, it has been so fun and special to feel out the different vibes here and get a little more “in the know” of current happenings and musical events. Below, I’ve linked a public Spotify playlist of some artists under the collective Nordic House/Disco genre!

Natalie is a junior at Colby from Capitol Hill in Washington DC, but is currently abroad in Sweden! She is a Government major and an English minor here at Colby.
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