What keeps us going is the excitement we feel when we hear a great song and the knowledge that it can be found just around the corner. – Ola Håkansson, Founder
TEN Music Group is an independent ”360-degree company” which includes recording, publishing, songwriting, artist development and production arms. Inspired by Motown, Sonet and other great record companies, the idea is to sign the most talented Swedish artists and launch them on the international market.
We had a dream – would it be possible for a small Swedish independent music company to establish itself in the biggest market in the world? We knew it would be a challenge. When Icona Pop, one of our first signings, had an international hit with ‘I Love It’, It proved to us that it is possible.
Ola Håkansson (Founder and CEO) has always been an integral figure in Swedish pop, first by being part of the band Ola & The Janglers – the first Swedish pop band to enter Billboard top 100 – and later by the group Secret Service. After his career as an artist he founded Stockholm Records (a joint venture with Polygram), a record company that discovered international acts such as The Cardigans and A-Teens.
Today, TEN Music Group’s artist roster consists of acts such as Zara Larsson, Icona Pop, Benjamin Ingrosso, Felix Sandman, Erik Hassle and Niki & the Dove and producers/songwriters such as Benjamin Ingrosso, Etta Zelmani, Louise Lindberg, Philip Holmgren, and YARO. Remaining small and independent has proved to be crucial factors in the success of aligning our artists, producers, songwriters and staff to work harmoniously together.
Central to us at TEN is to focus on the ‘long-haul’. When we come across something we strongly believe in we will nurture it for as long as it takes.
Reference: Snapes, L. (2015) Financial Times – Ten and Rising: The Independent Record Label Reviving Swedish Pop Music