Swedish Indie music and the Nation Branding of Sweden

From Sweden with Love:

Swedish Indie music and the Nation Branding of Sweden

Master thesis – MA Euroculture
Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany
Deusto University, Spain


Swedish contemporary music has been gaining popularity abroad. Sweden is the third biggest music exporter in the world, only second to the United States and the United Kingdom. Swedish Indie music, which refers to the contemporary type of music coming particularly from Sweden, is garnering a large number of loyal fans from different parts of the world. This could be tracked in the numerous music blogs solely devoted to Swedish Indie, clubs, commercials and advertisements on television, Hollywood movies and college radio. Perceptions of Sweden, of the country and its culture, then are becoming more and more widespread through Swedish music. The main objective of this study relates to this: to examine the role(s) of Swedish Indie Music in the way Sweden is portrayed and perceived as a nation.

The thesis aims to explore the phenomenon of contemporary Swedish Indie music and to find out how it contributes to the promotion of the image of Sweden as a nation. On one hand, it explores the success of Swedish music and on the other, it tries to grasp what this means for Sweden and how it influences the perception of Swedish culture and identity to the outside world. It intends to find out how Swedish music, particularly Swedish Indie music, plays a role in how Sweden is effectively and positively represented as a nation.

The study was done in cooperation with the Department of Analysis and Coordination of the Swedish Institute and includes a quantitative study of Swedish indie listeners’ perceptions of Swedish culture. It also includes interviews with the Shout Out Louds, Sound of Arrows and Speedmarket Avenue.