2Stripes Music
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  • December14th

    ”Now is a good time to bring in “world music” – people are embracing good music no matter where it’s from.”

    picture US and European artists continue to be smitten with Sweden’s studio artisans given their unerring knack for knocking out hit songs shows no sign of abating. The latest in a long, distinguished line of Swedish hitmakers is producer iSHi, who after tearing through the UK charts with a string of hits for Tinie Tempah (UK No.1, US Top 20), Tinchy Stryder (UK No.1) and Professor Green (UK No.1) – including Tinie’s ‘Written In The Stars’ featuring Eric Turner – has now become omnipresent in top studios stateside having recently worked with Shakira, Usher, Ne-Yo and Lupe Fiasco on upcoming releases.

    In this exclusive interview, iSHi talks to HitQuarters about the influence of Sweden’s hitmaking legends, his UK and US breakthrough with Tinie Tempah about how he nurtures new songwriting, production and artist talent at his own publishing and production company.

    *Note: All artists and industry figures are linked to their contact and credit info where appropriate.

    How did you first get involved in music production?

    I started in school playing piano and drums – drums when I was 11 and piano when I was 15. I grew up listening to hip-hop, R&B and dance music.

    My first productions were Swedish hip-hop acts when I was like 18. Later on I did the music for The Lick TV show [on MTV UK] in 2001, I started working more in England – mostly co-writes. I was trying to find my new sound. I moved to New York in 2003 and was there for three and a half years back and forth…

    Click here to read the whole interview.

    interviewed by Kimbel Bouwman for Hitquarters.com

  • December12th

    Swedish songwriters are up in arms after politician Annie Lööf suggested illegal downloads be legitimised for private use.

    Swedish House Mafia perform at T in the Park in Scotland
    Downbeat … bands such as Swedish House Mafia stand to lose out if illegal downloading is made permissable. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features.

    Considering the size of its population – nine million – Sweden has consistently punched above its weight in the music arena, particularly when it comes to songwriting. Max Martin, Shellback, RedOne, Ishi, Swedish House Mafia … barely a week goes by when there aren’t at least a few songs in the UK and US top 10 written by a Swede. Now Swedish songwriters are up in arms after their minister for trade and Centre Party leader, Annie Lööf, came out in favour of legalising illegal downloading “for private use”, in an effort to “increase freedom on the internet”.

    In a TV interview Lööf, who names Margaret Thatcher as her role model, was asked if she thought file sharing for private use should be illegal. “The Centre Party has had a clear view on this since 2005. I’ve now been marketing it,” she responded. “We don’t like file sharing – it’s illegal – but we’re pushing for people being allowed to download for private use.”

    This statement prompted a group of more than 150 songwriters – organised via Facebook and calling themselves UniSon – to write an open letter to Lööf, published in all major Swedish newspapers. “Our work has enabled the Swedish music phenomenon,” reads the statement, referring to the fact that Sweden is one of only three countries in the world whose music export exceeds their import (the other two are the US and the UK). “But our remuneration doesn’t come from concert tickets, merchandising, sponsors or lucrative advertising deals. Us songwriters make our living solely from STIM royalties generated from decreasing record sales, which have now been replaced by mere hope that streaming services such as Spotify will one day generate money – even for those who don’t own shares in these companies, but fill them with content.”

    The UniSon statement explains that out of 60,000 STIM members (STIM is the Swedish equivalent of the UK’s PRS for Music, the collection society for composers) only 250 earned more than £17,000 before tax in 2010. It calls Lööf’s statement an attack on the human rights of the culture sector. “We demand that you and the Swedish government shall act in a way that gives all professions the same basic chance to make a living and that the government resist the opportunistic eagerness to distribute things for free at the cost of others, be it physical or intellectual property,” it reads.

    “If the government starts to question the basic democratic right of ownership, surely even people outside of our work force would be worried about what the next step would be. Do you, for example, think patented innovations and medicines should be spread without any compensation for those who created them? Who then do you, the minister of trade, suppose would pay for progress and development? The taxpayer?”

    While I belong to the UniSon Facebook group and agree with the gist of what they’re saying, I did not write this letter myself. Personally, I think there’s some technical confusion and lack of understanding of basic economics in Lööf’s statement (which is a bit worrying when she’s in charge of the ministry of trade). Downloading for private use does not in itself need to be legalised – there are plenty of legal sites where one can download music, some of them in exchange for money, some in exchange for your email address or even given away by the artists and/or labels themselves.

    It appears she thinks uploading is wrong but downloading is fine. Yet, when it comes to torrent technology it’s one and the same. Besides, the basis for most trade is private use. It’s like saying it’s OK to take goods without paying as long as you don’t sell them on. I often hear the argument that intellectual property is different, as nothing physical is taken away from the owner. But something does indeed disappear when thousands – or even millions – of people download music without paying: demand.

    Lööf’s comments, as well as the UniSon response, has caused a media storm in Sweden, with some politicians picking unexpected sides. Columnist and member of the Left Party (formerly Communist Party) Jonas Lundgren thinks the lack of rights afforded musicians compared with, for example, inventors and scientists is absurd. One media commentator accused some of the songwriters who signed the letter of not “making real culture” because of their music’s commercial pop slant, and accused others of not being full-time songwriters.

    It’s worth noting that the UniSon letter does not say that all songwriters have the right to make a living from their craft, simply that they should have an opportunity to do so if their music is popular enough, and that legitimising illegal downloading as long as it’s for personal use skews the basic rules of trade.

    Since receiving the UniSon letter Lööf has tried to clarify that she has three opinions on the subject of illegal downloading: as part of the ruling conservative alliance she’s against illegal downloading; as the leader of the Centre Party she’s not; and as a private person, she says she would never download music without paying for it as she thinks it’s morally wrong and believes in “doing the right thing”.

    I’d like to think that what the Swedish minister of trade was trying to do with her statement was shift the focus of anti-piracy from the users to the enablers (as in the sites and cyberlockers trading illegally in copyrighted works). But that shift took place a few years ago – the latest example being the film industry’s legal victory in forcing BT to block Newzbin 2. Songwriters, however, don’t have the might, money or power to take on companies such as Rapidshare, Megaupload, The Pirate Bay and Grooveshark.

    What is interesting is that a leader of a party in the conservative alliance, who has Thatcher as a role model and whose position in the government is focused on trade, seems to view music as an ideological issue. She sees free access to all music as a human right that far outweighs the right of music-makers to determine what happens to their work or to compete in a market that offers them the chance to make a living from it. It sounds almost socialist. If it is, I can only assume that Lööf also believes musicians (and authors and film-makers and authors) should be wholly subsidised by the state.

    Source: The Guardian.

  • November23rd

    Swedish singer Newkid just went gold with the single “Jag Gråter Bara I Regnet”. The track is produced by Charlie Bernardo for 2Stripes Music.

  • November21st

    Ishi and Eric Turner just recieved their U.S Platinum plaques for Tinie Tempah’s single “Written In The Stars” in New York. Thank you for the support.

  • November1st

    iSHi is in Barcelona right now working with Ne-Yo and Shakira. On his last tweet iSHi wrote: “Session with Shakira & Ne-Yo was Amazing!! Can’t wait for you guys to hear this one.. Whooo !!”. Stay tuned for more news!

  • October23rd

    Professor Green‘s latest single “Read All About It” ft. Emeli Sande (produced by: iSHi & TMS) is now #1 on iTunes UK.

  • October17th

    Professor Green performs one of his tracks “At Your Inconvience” followed by Emeli Sande’s “Haven”. The two finish by collaborating to perform “Read All About It” (produced by iSHi & TMS).

  • September25th

    Written In The Stars is the official song for the Sky Sports Premier League intro. Check it out!

  • September25th

    Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner – Written In The Stars (produced by: iSHi) is the Official Song of the Major League Baseball.Check it out!

  • September19th

    RWD Magazine did an very interesting interview with iSHi. Producer iSHi talked about his musical background, his work with Sebastian Ingrosso (Swedish House Mafia), Game Over, Written In Stars & More. Click on the image below to read the whole interview.

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