Voz Vibrante

writes to the best singers in the world

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Dear Beyoncé

Yesterday I was in a kind of elevated mode the whole day.

The day before my band Timbuktu & Damn! had our tour premiere in Stockholm. It was the first day of summer and 17 000 people with warm faces joined up with us. My body was totally relaxed and communicated with ease. Funk, dance, smiles, connection. Love for my fellow musicians.

On the train back to Malmö I saw your Lemonade film with tears in my eyes, blown away by the completeness of this work of art. The color scale, the words heavy like lead, the songs in context with the story, the situation for women over generations.

Every time you release an album I want to sneak in and be in the creative process of making that album, always envious with your collaborators. Like back in 2004 when I did these renditions of your music, just for the joy of working with the best voice.

But this time the feeling of wanting to be in the essence extended to when I later that night performed with Malmö City Theater. I’ve written the music for a play by Liv Strömquist and Ada Berger on female aging. It is a humoruos take on the roles women are supposed to fill; good mother, sex symbol, careerist, evil step mother. And how to dare to meet with your dark side in order to become whole. Like we tell in the sumarian legend of Inanna. The ruler of heaven and earth, who finally reconnects with her sister, the ruler of the underworld.

I always want to be where the sausage is made. And yesterday I could fully appreciate that my bandmates, the theater cast and writers, you and me, we are all making sausage in different places of the earth but with the same ingredients; Stories and sorrows, melody and harmony, joy, anger, the beauty of the human body and the complex ways it can express human experience.

Yes I want to make a song with you every day. But how beautiful to be part of the thousands of people communicating through art to heal each others wound, to understand oneself and each other or just trying to make another person feel joy and dance.


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I dig where I stand


1993 a band took form in my friend Clemens’ bedroom. Drums, keys, guitars, amps, five guys, a PA system. We crammed it all into that tiny space. Hiphop, the sound of my childhood, had been totally off my radar for years. Now it felt like an unwritten story. Dr Dre was paving the way at the time. But we felt like Prince or George Clinton, taking all the music we loved and scribbling it down in this newfound diary. Everyday we were funkin’, only we didn’t know how. The band became our academy. The basic research. When we split up some years later we had evolved into musicians.
We lived in the quintessential collective daydream that a young person commit to only once; The struggling band. The last song we released was ”Faggot Brain” on a label we called Delusions of Grandeur. Very accurate.

I haven’t made music with singer Diplomatic since. For 17 years.

I still relapse into daydreaming, where I picture myself among big stars. What if this, what if that. And then I connect again with my own reality; My friends, the Scanian soil. Everyday I compose, produce, arrange, conduct, perform, explore. Maybe my contribution to music is happening where I’m standing right now. Not in a daydream far away.

Last month me and Diplomatic met again in the studio a did a track. The process was fluent. We ended up with a song that sounded just like our old band Poetized. Only with some 20 years of life later. And Diplomatic as poetic as ever.




prayer walker

through the infernal

I´m a

candle burner

path eternal

soul blue eye

Joe Lynn Turner

International school of Helsinki

Central Park West deep inside of me

representing my country

I never did know

then moving on to Karlaplan

bus 94 through my hood at dawn

dungeons and dragons under parquet floors

Gyp Casino ran the record store



prayer walker

through the infernal

I´m a

candle burner

path eternal

soul blue eye

Joe Lynn Turner

when the truth

begins to show

We choose where we will go

prayer walker

night rockers

prayers walker

here come the night rockers

A knight under fire

with St Lars my squire

no guiding light home

only a burning desire

Cellblock H left me cold at night

with the national anthem

white noise 

 TV light


they call it

Crime City

but it´s really

Rock Island

and it used to be

on my hoodie

but where I´m from

I won´t really know

until our hearts begins to show

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The Focus

Lately I’ve been practicing basketball. When I indulge in a new activity I always find it rewarding to get the essence of how to improve in the art. I have noticed that when I feel the weight of the ball and focus on getting it over the rim into the basket my score rate improves.
But today I had a revelation. I did this really simple exercise where I tip the ball over my shoulder and catch it behind my back with the other hand. You can struggle with where to place your catching hand, how hard to tip over the shoulder and all kind of detail, but this time something beautiful happened. I suddenly had a profound feeling of the ball and the ball only. I could feel the path behind my back, and the exercise started to flow. When I then shot for goal I felt the course of the ball all the way into the basket.
I know from learning the bandoneon (the argentinian accordion) that the brain will figure out a map of where to put the fingers. On this instrument you can’t see the keyboard. You have to trust that your motor skills will find a way while you focus on the music.

Last year I had a chance to work as an actor in a TV show. I was overwhelmed by what I perceived as a nearly insurmountable task. I have no formal training in this art form and found a whole set of distractions and possible ways of maybe keeping the focus on set. All aspects of camera angles, where to stand, what level to keep the voice and what lines to say got me off balance.
One of the last days of shooting the actress Boel Larsson said ”Just focus on what the other actors are saying and the rest will fall into place”. This didn’t only solve my puzzlement with acting, but I took it back to my profession as a musician and I consciously tried that approach when improvising. I focused for instance on the drum playing while soloing on the organ and it opened up for a different kind of flow in where the music went.

Playing music, performing and dancing on stage is a thing I do a lot. Yesterday was a good day. We did two beautiful shows, Grinda and Uppsala, with Timbuktu & Damn!. The music and the reactions from the audience moved my hips without effort. I didn’t even consciously try to dance. The playing and dancing simply where vessels for energies floating in different directions. When I have flow, catching the music and molding it into movement comes naturally, but by examining the target of focus in other art forms I get tools for how to meditate better in the middle of the storm that a live gig can be. After 25 and more years on stages I’m still a novice when it comes to focus control.

Man, it would be great to hear LeBron James or Dwayne Wade contemplate on their relation to the basketball during a game. And where is the focus for my favorite actress Claire Danes when she’s doing a scene and the emotions flow effortlessly? How does Cory Henry perceive the music during one of his marvelous improvisations on the organ? When the musical ideas and harmonic possibilities just keep coming. There seems to exist commons aspect in all art forms when performed at a level that is elevated; A focus on the ball, a sense for the direction and an intake of the full scenario.


Dear Tinashe

Nois3.com posted an acapella of yours some days ago. You enchanted this Drake composition with heroic pop melodies and I felt an urge to add some weltmeister chords and big atmospheres to go with that.
I know nothing of your art nor your career but if you and I don’t get world famous when people hear this music I will fry this hat in butter and black pepper and eat it.

eat a hat

For me, this is the default feeling after finishing a new song; A profound delusion of grandeur. It’s the extension of the bubbly euphoria of creating new music. The next day you are back to being the same 41 year old piece of rotting meat, but right there in the epicenter of a composition you are the Bömb.
My wife told me that she once found her sister in front of the mirror. While she gently combed her long blond hair she sang ”They will fall in love with me”. Even if the sister got bullied for years for that episode, I think it’s a beautiful illustration of a fulfilling delusion.
What’s the drive behind these grandeuresque excesses? A longing to be liked? What if I really believed in a god. Then I could compose a Cantata to honor the god and then lean back and be fully content when I felt the divine liking.

devine liking

Instead every day I’m digging, exploring, deconstructing and re-building.

Dear Usher,
your new single was just released and there it is again; The rich harmonic possibilities. It’s like the overtones of your voice is telling much more than the music is doing. I just got to jam with that.

But what’s up with the lyrics on this one? Maybe you shouldn’t settle for a life partner on basis of what your dick is telling you. A little too much detail on your manly body functions aswell. You should consider finding another speechwriter.
Your sense of melody though. No one can take that away from you.

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Dear Flora Matos

I was down with the band in Maputo, Moçambique, doing what we usually do; Playing funk for people. One night there was a party at Gonçalo Mabunda’s Arts Collective. That’s where we met. You and your friends had come from Sao Paolo to perform in Moç. We started a jam in the backyard. I instantly felt a musical connection. When I came back to the hotel I made a beat from the vibe I got from this meeting.
The next evening we met in your hotel room for a recording session. We wired my music through your TV. The 808 bass line distorted beautifully on that poor TV set.
Your friend translated a text you had explaining your love for uma morena. You wanted to know if I would approve of this concept on the beat. It was so poetic and so street in the same time. I had never-ending goose bumps knowing that this was poetry that would end up on my music.
We worked out the outlines for two songs that night.
Ever since we have tried occasionally to collaborate over the internet. Sometimes it feels like computers are the bluntest of tools. How I wish we could meet again to carve out more music.
When I saw a lofi clip of you performing in a club in Brazil I felt your kickassness again. I made a tune in sync with that clip. I fantasize how it would sound in a Sao Paolo nightclube. Big. And your voice on it. Maximum Respect.


Dear Jean Grae

I quite recently came across your music, via an old DJ Premier mixtape. I sat by the piano playing along to your song Keep Livin’ when my tears started falling. Sometimes music hits you that way. It has happened to me listening to for instance Tom Waits or Nina Simone. And last year I was touring East Africa with my band Timbuktu & Damn!. Somewhere over Ethiopia my colleague handed me his headphones with Kendrick Lamars track Sing About Me. I cried unstoppably. What’s that phenomenon evoking emotion? Is it the human being seeping out of the music and in to the listener?
I find some of your lyrics nearly unbearably sad. It’s a fine and rare facet of rap music that I appreciate a lot. It takes courage by the lyricist to write that way. But also a well developed poetic sensitivity.
I have a correspondance collabo with one of Sweden’s finest producers, Patrik Collén. He lives up North and I live in the South. It’s an exciting way to work. The first year we didn’t even talk by phone while getting maybe five or six tracks down, sending skeletons back and forth, adding flesh, skin, features.
This beat is a child of that relationship. I send it to you as a gift with a hope that we will one day work together.

Best Regards
Voz Vibrante

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Dear Missy Elliot

Dear Missy Elliot,
when your and Timbaland’s music first came around Sweden I felt such a relief; Finally the future is here. This is what I have waited for music to sound like.
I did several remixes of your songs in that period and gave to my DJ friends. Whether I did tango:



or my first attempt, an electro track:

your voice always glued the music together.

I love your voice. Even when you’re not singing yourself, like in:

there’s still that clarity of the song writing.
I recently wrote this really empty beat:

I figure it could be great with that amount of space for vocals. It would be lovely to hear you fill it up with your musical ideas. Please go ahead. The space is yours. 88 bpm baby.

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The Child Ruler

Everyday I wake up I am a child. Every time I start to write a new song, my knowledge of music seems to be a blank A4. As the music builds up, as I find possible paths to walk, I become a conqueror. A nubian king. Majestic. The child can not understand how it once was a king. The ruler soon forgets that he was just a clueless infant.

When I was 20 I went to a jazz camp on the Swedish west coast. The hosts were pianist Lars Jansson, bass player Lars Danielsson and drummer Anders Kjellberg. Their records are beautiful but far from dangerous. Seeing them perform live was another story. When they jammed at night they whirled up the spirits. They shook down the rafters. They went on balancing on the edge of a cliff with blood taste in their mouths. I was overwhelmed then, like a chest ache; I want to be inside the music. Inside. Where it fills up every cavity of your cell structure. Where it’s physical. Where you are the host animal to a parasite feasting on your vascular system. Where that parasite is also your horse to get you forward.

To approach music this way has been a deep source of joy for me ever since; To start from a blank mind. To get a picture of the music and dive in. To find a balance on the path appearing ahead of you and to rule from there. Your kingdom reaches only as far as your next step, your jurisdiction is only what direction to take.

For reference on the importance of balance and vertigo in creativity: