“My Back Pages” is presented to you by Nick Mawson & Jim Chamberlain of West Coast Music
Magazine. Here we take the opportunity to look back at some our favorite articles and features from our
past issues and bring you our new monthly mix of our favorite west coast, funk & midnight disco tracks
from playlists that we have featured in the magazine over the last three years.
NORTHERN LIGHTS: The Rise of Nordic Westcoast Music I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Westcoast AOR currently resides in the Nordic countries. But why are the Northern Europeans seemingly so good at music that originates from the other side of the world, on the west coast of America?
There’s no doubt that fundamentally west coast music has had for many years a far reaching influence.
With its polished production, smooth delivery and outstanding musicianship at the heart of its appeal, it
is not just that its great music, but its ‘music’ that reflects a feeling of hazy summer days, coastal
highways, laid back lifestyles, city bars, L.A. beaches and a certain easy going vibe that we don't
experience in Northern Europe. All of which might well appeal to us , as we are more used to freezing
winters, drizzle and summers that seem to last no longer than about two weeks!
In an attempt to help explain this trend I asked William Sikstrom for his thoughts. “Many of my friends
that enjoy this type of music are Christians, not everyone, but many. We have a lot of great gospel
musicians, like Per-Erik Hallin, Roland Utbult, Licence and Salt and this might be one reason why many
people are familiar with this genre.” There is no doubt that there is a strong link between Contemporary
Christian Music (CCM) and west coast music, with many acts crossing effortlessly from one genre to the
other. But is Sikstrom influenced by just American artists or have other Nordic artists had an equal
amount of sway on his own music? “Yes of course, Ole Børud, Per-Erik Hallin, Andreas Aleman, Peter
Friestedt. These are artists I've been listening to all my life and I'm sure I've been influenced by them in
different ways”. So, there is a lineage from the past to the present crop of acts coming through.
Kenneth, from bluedesert.dk website has another take on it, “Scandinavia has a strong
singer/songwriter culture and several U.S. bands had a big influence on Nordic musicians in the 70’s and
80’s. If you look at Toto, Scandinavia has always had one of their biggest fan bases. It is also interesting
to see that some west coast acts like Michael Ruff can still come back year after year to packed venues.
We have also seen several big acts, from Scandinavian countries, that went to Los Angeles in the 80’s to
record albums, such as Ted Gardestad (Sweden), Mauro Scocco (Denmark) and Thomas Helmig
(Denmark).” In truth, there probably isn’t a single answer to explain this phenomenon, but whatever the truth is, the vibrancy of the west coast genre in the Nordic countries appears set to continue for a long time to come.
And it does give us the perfect excuse to explore and reflect on just a few of the great Nordic artists that
have emerged over the years…
Check out some of the artists we included in our feature in Issue 2, it’s well worth checking out if you
missed it first time around from our back issues selection at: musicfromthewestcoast.com
Nick Mawson (Editor)
01.Andreas Aleman - I Knew It Was You
02.Soweco - Soul Searching
03.William Sikstrom - Running out of time
04.Ole Borud - Maybe
05.Newtone - Wish I Sang Like Marvin Gaye
06.The Norwegian Fords - Surfing On The Sun
07.Daniel Andersson - Glamorous Hollywood
08.PS - Saturday Night
09.Mezzoforte - DayBreak
10.State Cows - Lost in a Mind Game
11.Fra Lippo Lippi - Stitches and Burn
12.Peter Friestedt - Cheyenne
13.Tom Hansen - My Lady feat. John JR Robinson & Peter Friestedt with Kenneth Eriksen
14.Lava - Cruisin
15.Westpoint - Face To The Sea
16.Per-Erik Hallin - Don't You Put It Off Until Tomorrow
17.Corin & Edman - Keeping You On My Mind