From Local Hero to Global Hero

Submitted by Peter Astedt

I have stopped going to Swedish galas. Recently it was the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. You have never heard of the Polar Music Prize? I’m not surprised. To make it simple the fifth member of ABBA, Stickan Anderson left a big chunk of money to make a Nobel Prize for music. You get a Polar Prize for your good work in the music industry. And there are many famous artists that have gotten the prize like Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Max Martin, and BB King to mention a few.

In the beginning members of the music industry were invited also to the Gala. The problem has always been that the only real famous people have been that one big artist that won. A Gala with just one big artist and then a whole concert room full of nobodies. It’s not like the Grammy Awards in L.A or even better the Oscars where you really have famous people. Over the years they have tried to fix this problem by removing people from the music industry and replacing them with more famous people. Famous in that way that the general public in Sweden know who they are, not the global audience.

It became really clear this year. At the same time as the Polar Music Prize, one of the bigger distributors had a summer party on a rooftop in Sweden, and everyone who is anyone in the music industry in Sweden (some from abroad) where there. To be honest, no one remembered that the Polar Music Prize was that evening. Instead, this was the place where we met and did business. On Polar Music Prize were just the celebrities of Sweden, that in a global perspective are just nobodies. They got the Swedish King there, like anyone in the USA even knows that Sweden has a king. And famous artists were performing like Benjamin Ingrosso, Daniela Rathana and Anna Ternheim. Who you say? Even I ask, who are they? The people that were there were people that are no longer in the business, mostly old Swedish stars that have faded long ago. Imagine inviting Roseanne Barr to the Oscars or even better Vanilla Ice.

This is why I don’t go on Swedish Galas, it’s like having Christmas dinner with your redneck cousins from Ohio. It’s fun for about five minutes then you just wish you were out of there.

What you look at is though that nationally famous today is totally out. Either you are a local here in your hometown and are respected for that. The next step is to be on the global stage. If you are on the global stage you get invited to these big events that TV actually broadcast, not like Polar Music Prize where the local YouTuber was broadcasting.

Yes, Planet Earth has become smaller. Famous people are now famous in the whole world. If you are going to be in the jet set you can’t be that in the capital of your little country. You have to be it in the big Cities that count.

“It’s hard to get around in a six-foot town. When you’re ten feet tall, everything is so small. I’m always bumping my head, I’m way too long for the bed. Yeah, it’s hard to get around in a six-foot town.” – Six Foot Town – Big & Rich.