The Government’s prize for extraordinary services to Swedish music exports in 2018 has been awarded to composer and producer Ludwig Göransson. The Government’s 2018 Special Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music exports has been awarded this year to Thomas Johansson, Live Nation. The commendation for achievements of particular importance to the internationalisation of Swedish music has been awarded to Musikmakarna and Ulla Sjöström.
The winner of the Government's Music Export Prize was presented during a ceremony at the International Press Centre. The prize is awarded each year to Swedish music creators who have contributed to export success and to spreading a modern and positive image of Sweden abroad.
"This year's recipient of the Music Export Prize, Ludwig Göransson, is a clear example of how the Swedish music industry has created opportunities for people to boundlessly experiment and develop their talent and musicality to reach the absolute top world elite as music practitioners," says Minister for Foreign Trade Ann Linde.
Ludwig Göransson became the 22nd winner of the Music Export Prize with the following citation:
"From Linköping to Los Angeles. From playing the drums so much to Metallica as an eight-year-old that he injured his thumb to basking in the limelight of pop music and popular culture. This composer and producer found his way early on to film music because it was full of opportunities. Because it was possible to mix and experiment so boundlessly with styles and rhythms – as he did last year on cinema screens across the world in 'Black Panther', 'Creed II' and 'Venom'. The same thing happens in his music. The incredible song 'This is America', which combines hiphop, gospel, trap, afrobeat and more, took almost three years to complete with Childish Gambino. It is an important and much discussed song about today's United States. In musical terms, it is an excellent declaration of who this boundless musician from Östra Götaland really is. He is certainly worthy of his nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. As well as the three Grammys he won."
Sweden had several major and important musical ambassadors in 2018, but no one shone as brightly and clearly as this year's Music Export Prize winner – Ludwig Göransson.
The Special Prize for long-standing contributions to Swedish music exports went to Thomas Johansson, Live Nation, with the following citation:
"This year's winner of the Special Prize has had a key position in Swedish music exports ever since he founded the concert company EMA Telstar in 1969. The fact that right from its inception EMA Telstar brought foreign superstars and undertakings to Sweden opened international doors that gave him a leading role in export contexts as well. In the early 1970s, he and EMA had primary responsibility for ABBA's tours when they became global stars, and since then he has been directly and indirectly involved when leading Swedish artists have been exported to the world's stages. He fully managed the world tours of Europe and Roxette. With the title Chairman International/Nordics in the company that is now called Live Nation Sweden, he has also regularly worked behind the scenes in recent decades for contemporary Swedish export artists such as the Cardigans, Peter Jöback and Zara Larsson. Fifty years after that first global endeavour, Thomas Johansson is still an essential part of building Swedish music exports."
The commendation for achievements of particular importance to the internationalisation of Swedish music was awarded to Musikmakarna with the following citation:
"In recent years, the Swedish and international music industry has been on pilgrimage to Örnsköldsvik where, under the slogan 'It all starts with a great song', a community songwriter programme has been fostering tomorrow's songwriters for 20 years and created a well-deserved reputation as a nursery for unique talents. Hitmakers such as LÉON, Agrin Rahmani, Joy & Linnea Deb, SKOTT, SHY Martin & SHY Nodi, and many more, have received the tools they needed to create brilliant careers as music creators.
Tireless work led by real enthusiasts with a passion for music, and Head Teacher Ulla Sjöström who never compromises her vision, have given Sweden not only its first songwriter programme but also major international musical success. In addition to raising an entire occupational category to unimaginable heights, the school has also made a major contribution to gender equality in the Swedish music industry."