I can’t claim to know much about rap in Sweden outside of Yung Lean, but I do know that the country is a straight up factory for pop-music writers and musicians (I swear there’s a new Swedish pop import every season of the year…Skott, Sigrid, it’s hard to keep up). I’m not sure if it’s in their genes or what, but the Swedes know how to write music that sticks in your brain like glue and that’s been the case since ABBA was dominating the charts with “Dancing Queen” during my younger days.
After hearing rap newcomer Dalona’s “Lovely”, it seems like that rule doesn’t just apply to pop though. His debut single combines a super natural, swagged out flow that takes cues from the new generation of American rappers like Travis Scott with melodies that only a Swede could deliver. The beat’s icy synths and his auto-tuned sing-song vocals are a hypnotic one-two punch that’s more infectious than anything I’ve heard stateside. I may be a hip-hop old head who was right in the mix of LA’s 90s underground sound, but I have a serious appreciation for what the younger crowd is doing and know talent when I hear it, and Dalona is a massive one in the making. Sweden just might have their next major export on their hands!