...and, coming on the heels of the South African pop update, here's an update on Swedish singer Ola.
He's been working on his third album for a few months now. I wouldn't say release is imminent--he's still in the process of recording--but he's talking about artwork with his "people," so it's not a matter of being intangibly distant.
Keep in mind that, with no formalized tracklist, what songs will make it onto the album isn't yet determined. We do know, though, that he's worked with:
Tony Nilsson--if Ola wasn't working with him again, he'd be absolutely insane. If it was up to me, he'd probably do the whole album with Tony. Heck, if it was up to me, everyone would have Tony write for their album.
KeiOne--I think he did Adam Tensta's "80s Baby," which I love, but I'm not familiar with him at all; it looks like he's worked more with R&B in the past.
Ishi--mentioned here recently because of his involvement in Måns Zelmerlöw's new album (he co-wrote "One Minute More," "Find Love, "Saved Again," and "Home"), but more famous for his work with Lazee.
Patric Sarin--I've got a big post dedicated to Patric that's been sitting as a draft for quite some time that I may have to dig out, but rest assured he's done more than his fair share of amazing brilliant songs over the years (Darin's "Desire" and "Insanity" and Margaret Berger's "Samantha," "Will You Remember Me Tomorrow," "Robot Song" are just the tip of the iceberg).
Dilba--Dilba and Ishi worked together for at least one song.
maybe Michael Garvin, who wrote the lyrics for Ola's "S.O.S." and who I wasn't familiar with but apparently also co-wrote "Waiting For Tonight" and Natalia's "I've Only Begun To Fight"
He's also mentioned that, given his record label's (very, very positive) response when he played it to them, there's a good likelihood the lead single will be a song written by Tony Nilsson, KeiOne, and Ola himself. There's a song written by Ishi that Ola thinks is a strong contender to be a later single.
Additionally, he's recorded a song he really likes which he said was called "Lead me the way" (sic).
The Ishi and KeiOne connections (and Patric Sarin, to a lesser degree) make me think maybe Ola's going for a slightly edgier sound, with just a little more of that urban electro sound in it, but I think his record label and management has a good sense of where he gets his popularity from and will keep him very much pop. Plus, Tony Nilsson's involved, and I still have absolute faith in him. I just hope his songs make up more of the album this time around. Ola has established himself as a "summer single" sort of artist and he's got a fall tour coming up, so maybe we could hear a single as early as late this spring.
Apparently in his free time he's been seeing He's Just Not That Into You with Sarah Dawn Finer and talking about the financial crisis with Dr. Alban. The tangled webs of celebrity lives...