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Basshunter
Basshunter, who is dressed in white, sings into microphone while standing in front of people and blue background
Basshunter performing in Halmstad (April 2008)
Born
Jonas Erik Altberg

(1984-12-22) 22 December 1984 (age 38)
Halmstad, Sweden
Occupation
  • Singer
  • record producer
  • songwriter
  • DJ
Years active 2001–present
Works
  • Discography
  • songs
  • videography
  • performances
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • programming
Labels
  • Extensive Music
  • Warner Music Sweden
  • Ultra
  • Broma 16
  • Warner Music Japan
  • 3 Beat
  • Dance Nation
  • Ministry of Sound
  • Warner Music Germany
  • Alex Music
Signature
Basshunter signature 1.png

Jonas Erik Altberg (Swedish pronunciation: Script error: No such module "IPA".; born 22 December 1984), known professionally as Basshunter is a Swedish singer, record producer, songwriter and DJ.

Basshunter has recorded five studio albums: The Bassmachine (2004), LOL (2006), Now You're Gone – The Album (2008), Bass Generation (2009), and Calling Time (2013). In addition to his own music, he has written for El Capon, Mange Makers, and Lana Scolaro. He has taken part in the seventh series of the British reality television show Celebrity Big Brother, episodes of the Swedish game show Fångarna på fortet, and an episode of the British television quiz show Weakest Link.

Basshunter has won awards such as a European Border Breakers Award (2008), a Musikförläggarnas pris in category Newcomer of the Year (2006), and a Telia award for Best Ringtone of the Year (2007). He was also nominated for a BT Digital Music Award, an MTV Europe Music Award, and a Rockbjörnen among others. According to Svenska Dagbladet figures published in 2009, more than 3 million Basshunter records have been sold.

Early life

Jonas Erik Altberg was born in Halmstad on 22 December 1984, as the son of Gunhild Elisabet (died 2016), a teacher and school principal and Karl Göran Altberg, who worked for a construction company. He has a younger brother; the family lived near Tylösand. At a young age he started singing in a choir his mother ran. He also sang for two years in a rock band, where he became acquainted with experimental music. He attended Kattegattgymnasiet [pl; sv] secondary school, a technical school with a focus on computer technology, but moved after two years to Sturegymnasiet [pl; sv], a secondary school in Halmstad with a music specialization. He finished secondary school in 2005, after which he attended college, but did not complete his education.

Career

2001–2006: Beginnings

Altberg began producing music under the stage name "Basshunter", a reference to his musical style, at the age of 17, after six months of using the software program FruityLoops. He described the name as commercial and powerful.

In 2004, Basshunter was chosen in an online poll and performed live for the first time at a rave party in Älmhult. Alex Music released Basshunter's first studio album, The Bassmachine, on 25 August 2004. In 2005, a remastered version of this album with improved sound quality was released. In 2006, Basshunter re-released The Bassmachine as The Bass Machine and also released his first compilation album through his own website. Basshunter's interest in music deepened as time went by. He recorded a YouTube video, entitled Basshunter Tutorial, showing his recording process in Fruity Loops. The track from the video was covered over 200 times.

Basshunter published his music mainly through the Internet for free download on platforms such as chat channels and gaming websites. He was registered on online communities like Efterfest, LunarStorm, Nattstad, Porrigt, Playahead, Skunk and Trance.nu. For several years he was a DJ in Swedish clubs.

2006–2008: LOL

Basshunter Hity Na Czasie 2007
Basshunter during Hity Na Czasie at the final of Tall Ships Races, Szczecin, 5 August 2007

In March 2006, Basshunter published his song "Boten Anna" online and within twenty-four hours, it had been downloaded 37,000 times. Basshunter's single "Welcome to Rainbow" was released on 1 April 2006; it included the track "Boten Anna". With this success, Basshunter received several proposals from managers and music labels. Swedish DJ and party organizer Joakim Jarny contacted Basshunter via Internet Relay Chat and Jarny was soon overwhelmed by hundreds of requests from club owners in Sweden, Norway and Denmark who wanted Basshunter to perform at their clubs. Jarny contacted his friend Henrik Uhlmann at Extensive Music and in April 2006, Basshunter signed with Extensive Music and Warner Music Sweden. On 9 May 2006, "Boten Anna" was officially released as a single. By 8 June 2006, the song had been downloaded over one million times. In that year, he moved to Malmö, where the headquarters of Extensive Music are located.

"Boten Anna" peaked at number one on the Swedish singles chart and reached number 13 on the Swedish Best of All Time list, and was certified platinum. It also reached number one on the Danish singles chart, staying there for 14 weeks, and was certified triple platinum for selling 61,000 copies. It was also certified gold in Austria. "Boten Anna" was covered twice by Dutch duo Gebroeders Ko, whose "Boten Anna" [nl; pl] bootleg charted at number three in the Netherlands, right after Basshunter's version. The next cover called "Sinterklaas boot (Boten Anna)" [pl] reached number two. An official German-language version was released in 2007.

Basshunter's second studio album LOL was released on 28 August 2006. He worked on the album for three-and-a-half weeks, during which Ali Payami helped him with three songs. Basshunter described it as a connection of vocal music with hard dance and hard trance music; Basshunter's use of vocals is a significant departure from his earlier works. An American version of LOL was released on 1 January 2008, with the same Swedish songs as the original album but with lyrics and some titles translated into English. The new release also included new tracks, including "Now You're Gone", "Russia Privjet", "The Beat", "Jingle Bells", "Beer in the Bar" and "DotA (Club Mix)". A special version of this album was released in 2008, and includes the German version of "Boten Anna" and three music videos. LOL peaked at number five in Sweden, number four on the Finnish chart and number three on the Danish albums chart, and was certified double platinum in Denmark.

The second single from LOL, "Vi sitter i Ventrilo och spelar DotA", was released on 13 September of the same year. The single peaked at number two in Finland, number six in Sweden, and number seven in Norway and Denmark. It was certified gold in Denmark. His song "Hallå där" charted at number 51 on Swedish singles chart. The album's third single, a remake of the Christmas song "Jingle Bells", was released on 13 November and peaked at number nine in Norway, and number 13 in Sweden. The single also made it onto the Dutch and United Kingdom charts. The single "Vifta med händerna", which features the duo Patrik & Lillen, peaked on the Finnish charts at number seven and on the Sweden charts at number 25. On 5 November 2007, a new version of the "Vi sitter i Ventrilo och spelar DotA" was released under the title "DotA"; it charted on Germany's singles chart. This is different from the 2008 version from Now You're Gone – The Album.

2007–2009: Now You're Gone – The Album

Basshunter Point Gamma 2008
Basshunter during Point Gamma at École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, first time in France, 7 June 2008

On 29 December 2007, a re-recording of "Boten Anna" entitled "Now You're Gone" was released. "Now You're Gone" [pl] was originally made by Mental Theo in 2006 under the alias Bazzheadz. Initially, Basshunter tried to translate "Boten Anna" into English but it turned out to be very hard to keep the "hock" and the story so in 2007, he recorded his version of "Now You're Gone", which features DJ Mental Theo. It was the initial release for Hard2Beat Records label (later Dance Nation). The single charted at number one in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number one for five weeks. It was the first Swedish song to reach number one in the UK since "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. "Now You're Gone" sold in excess of 667,000 copies in the UK and was certified platinum there. It also charted on the UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade list. "Now You're Gone" also stayed at the top for five weeks in Ireland, made it to number two on the Swedish chart, and number three in New Zealand, where the single was certified platinum. On the French singles chart, "Now You're Gone" peaked at number six. "Now You're Gone" also charted at number four on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.

The next single "Please Don't Go", a cover of the KC and the Sunshine Band 1979 song, was released on 19 May 2008 and reached number six on the Swedish singles chart. The third single "All I Ever Wanted" was released on 29 June 2008 and peaked at number 2 in the UK, where it sold about 400,000 copies and was certified gold. It reached number one on the Irish singles chart. The single "All I Ever Wanted" was certified gold in New Zealand and charted at number 10 on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.

Basshunter worked on Now You're Gone – The Album for two-and-a-half weeks before releasing it on 14 July 2008. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number one sold 376,017 copies in the UK, and was certified platinum there. It also topped the album chart in New Zealand and was certified platinum there. Now You're Gone – The Album charted at number two in Ireland and reached number six on the European Top 100 Albums chart. The song "Angel in the Night" was released as a single on 8 September 2008; it charted at number 10 in Ireland and number 14 in the UK. It also charted in Sweden. After nine months of 2008, Basshunter became the 11th-best-selling singles songwriter in the UK according to data compiled by Official Charts Company.

The album's fifth single "I Miss You" is a dance cover of a Westlife song and was released on 14 December 2008. The single appeared on the UK, Swedish, and German charts. On 5 April 2009, the single "Walk on Water" was released, as was a deluxe edition of the album that includes all of the original album together with remixes of singles; "I Can Walk on Water" was replaced with the single version and renamed "Walk on Water".

2009: Bass Generation

Basshunter Gibson Guitar Studio 2009
Basshunter at the beginning of his show at Gibson Guitar Studio, London, 24 September 2009

On 25 September 2009, Basshunter's fourth studio album Bass Generation, was released. The Double Album Version includes remixes of some of his singles, and the tracks "Without Stars" and the Swedish version of "Camilla". In early September 2009, prior to the album's release, the track "Numbers" was released as a free download via Basshunter's official Bebo account. Bass Generation reached number two in New Zealand, and number 16 in the UK and Irish album charts. It sold more than 60,000 copies and was certified silver in the UK.

The track "Every Morning" was released as a single on 18 September 2009; it reached number 13 on Swedish singles chart and number 14 in New Zealand. It peaked at number 17 in the UK and Ireland. "I Promised Myself", a cover of a Nick Kamen hit, was released on 29 November 2009.

2010–2013: Calling Time and The Early Bedroom Sessions

The single "Saturday" was released on 5 July 2010; it reached number 14 on the New Zealand chart and was certified gold there. It also charted in the UK and Ireland. On 20 April 2011, the next Basshunter single "Fest i hela huset", which was recorded during his time in the Swedish Big Brother series, was released. The single charted at number five on the Swedish singles chart. His following single "Northern Light" was released on 14 May 2012 and the next single "Dream on the Dancefloor" was released on 18 November that year.

Basshunter's compilation album The Early Bedroom Sessions was released on 3 December 2012. In 2012, Basshunter moved to Dubai and he also lived in Mallorca for six months. Extensive Music also moved to Dubai.

On 13 May 2013, Basshunter's fifth album Calling Time was released. In the version released in Ireland and in the UK, the track "Saturday" was replaced with "Open Your Eyes". Basshunter recorded more than 30 tracks for Calling Time and selected the final fifteen; he said he tried to grow as an artist with an album that has classic Basshunter sounds and music he has not released before. The album charted at number 25 on the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart. On 20 June 2013, the single "Crash & Burn" was released; it charted on the Russian airplay chart. The last single from the album was "Calling Time", which was released on 27 September.

2013–present: Singles

On 26 July 2013 Basshunter announced he was retiring from singing to focus on DJing, producing, and songwriting. He met new artists and invited them to sing on his songs. He made the decision after four exhaustive performances in four days. On 20 November 2013, the single "Elinor" was released. In 2014, Basshunter announced a new album was in work. In 2016, Basshunter returned to recording; he said he would not release a new studio album but would focus on recording singles in accordance with prevailing trends in music industry. Almost after five years since his last single, on 19 October 2018, the single "Masterpiece" was released; it did not appear on major national charts. Since then, he has released three more singles: "Home" (2019), "Angels Ain't Listening" (2020) and "Life Speaks to Me" (2021); a tribute to Avicii. His latest single "End the Lies" is a collaboration with Italian duo Alien Cut [it].

Artistry

Musical style

Basshunter defines his music as eurodance. He says it is cheerful, full of energy and very melodic, stating it does not sound like other types of music, and that producers and artists display their own identities in their works. He is passionate about basslines and uses them in his music. Basshunter likes to create songs in minor scales. He has at least five unknown pseudonyms under which he produces music in secret. He always takes his laptop on concert tours so he can spontaneously record ideas and return to them when he is back in his main studio. Basshunter composes music and writes lyrics himself, though sometimes his agent helps with the lyrics to find the right English words. He likes to write lyrics that audiences can identify with. In 2018 Basshunter said that the music industry changed in previous years and it is harder now more than ever to stand out from other artists because it is easier to produce music. He added that it is more important than ever to adapt and an artist has to create something that people haven't heard before and described it as a holy grail. In 2020 Basshunter described himself as quite an emotional producer after a few years break from producing music.

Avicii 2014 003
Basshunter influenced Avicii's music

As influences, he mentions listening to DJ Balloon [pl] and Rocco [de; pl], and bands Warp Brothers and Snap!. He also listened to many underground tracks that had never been released or are not widely known by the general public, as well as German and Dutch techno music, trance, reggae, funk and blues music; particularly the music of Ray Charles. He considers Ali Payami as one of the best music producers, songwriters and DJ's. The first music release he bought is a single "The Way" by Fastball in the 1990s. He is fan of Robbie Williams. Basshunter's work has influenced Avicii, Bladee, DCPA and Earmake. CMAT, Johan Gunterberg from De Vet Du, Nordpolen [af; fr; sv], Sanna Martinez-Matz [sv], Surf Mesa and Linda Thelenius like Basshunter's music. Stefán Finnbogason from Sykur and Throttle [de; es] listen to Basshunter's music.

The first computer Basshunter used was the Atari ST. After achieving commercial success, he bought software to produce his music. Around 95% of his music is created with software, including digital audio workstations such as FL Studio, Logic Pro, Logic Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, and Virtual Studio Technology plugins. He also plays guitar. He said stores buy an album for about 100 Swedish krona, of which he gets paid 12-13 percent. He said people think he listens to techno in his headphones all the time but he rarely listen to the music he produces, which gives him a wider perspective.

Basshunter considers his fan base to be very important for his career and knows many of his non-Scandinavian fans actually prefer his songs to be in Swedish. Writing in English may be an advantage for reaching international audiences but he has also said he likes the challenge of writing songs in English.

Live performances

Basshunter tries to plan the shows but actually presents his live performances as improvisations. In 2006, he performed seven times in one day, when he performed at shopping centres in Gothenburg and Malmö, and five nightclubs. He believes around 10% of Scandinavians or Swedes attend his concerts outside Sweden. Basshunter has performed at many festivals including Elämä lapselle (2006 and 2008), Hity Na Czasie twice in 2007 and 2009, T4 on the Beach (2010), Youth Beatz (2011), Allsång på Skansen (2012), Hull Pride (2012), Nottinghamshire Pride (2012), Emmabodafestivalen (2014 and 2017), The Gathering (2019) and Lundakarnevalen (2022).

In 2006, Basshunter performed during the Norway Cup. In 2009, he performed at the New Year's Eve party for the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and his family. He appeared on BBC Switch Live (2008) and in 2014 performed on Sochi Medals Plaza during the awards ceremony of Winter Olympic Games. Basshunter has performed on many tours, including New Zealand Tour (2009), Dance Nation Tour (2009 and 2010) and Australian Tour (2016).

Production, songwriting and remixes

Basshunter has remixed songs for a number of artists. In 2007 he released some remixes of singles; "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" by Verka Serduchka finished second in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007. "Du hast den schönsten Arsch der Welt" by Alex C. (featuring Yasmin K.) charted at number one in Austria and Germany. "Ieva's polka (Ievan polkka)" by Loituma also charted in Germany. He also released remix of "Calcutta 2008" for Dr. Bombay's compilation album The Hits. In 2008, Basshunter remixed Alina's song "When You Leave (Numa Numa)". In 2015, he wrote "Mange kommer hem till dig" for the band Mange Makers. The single charted at number three on the Swedish Heatseeker chart. In 2020 he wrote "Shut Up Chicken" for El Capon and "Charlie" for Lana Scolaro. "Shut Up Chicken" appeared on the Russian and Polish airplay charts.

Music videos

Music videos for "Now You're Gone", "All I Ever Wanted", "Angel in the Night", "I Miss You", "Every Morning", "I Promised Myself", "Saturday" and "Northern Light" were directed by Alex Herron. His series of music videos with Aylar Lie received media attention. "Now You're Gone" became the most-viewed YouTube video in the UK in 2008 and the third-most-viewed YouTube video of 2009 with 65 million views. The music video for "Saturday" charted at number one in Poland.

Other activities

Philanthropy

Serious request malmo 2008
Musikhjälpen-house, Malmö, 2008

In 2008 and 2010, Basshunter appeared at the charity event Cash for Kids. He also appeared at the charity event Musikhjälpen in 2008. In February 2012, Norton Hill School's Quantock House organized a 20-hour charity sleep-over with Basshunter's song "Now You're Gone" playing non-stop, collecting more than £2,000 in the event to raise funds for the charities Time is Precious and Cancer Research UK. The event was repeated in 2015 with the same results.

Television and media

In 2009, Basshunter was a guest of television shows Red Bull Rivals and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Starting in 2010, Basshunter took part in the seventh series of British Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother as a housemate and finished in fourth place. He also appeared in the Swedish television game show Fångarna på fortet and in the British quiz show Weakest Link in 2010. In 2011 Basshunter's profile on Facebook was the most followed page among Swedish musicians with over 1,7 million followers. In 2015 his profile dropped to 4th place with over 2.9 million followers. In a 2017 Twitter poll, 92% of 57,814 voters said they would like Basshunter to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; 8% supported Theresa May.

Video games and films

Basshunter finished second place in a Swedish StarCraft tournament. He played Counter-Strike at semi-professional level and his clan won two tournaments in Sweden. He appeared during the Danmarks Bedste Gamer in 2008 and during The Gathering in 2019. After achieving commercial success, he could not publish songs as free downloads and started producing vlogs for YouTube. He initially planned to release a continuation of LOL album titled either ROFL or KTHXBYE for free but was unable to after signing with a record label. In 2011, Basshunter appeared in the film Playing Mortal Online with Arnold!, in which he invites people to play the video game Mortal Online. Basshunter appeared in Arash's music video for "Melody". In 2021, he appeared in a promotional video, titled Basshunter Dota Revival for the Netflix series Dota: Dragon's Blood, performing "DotA" whilst playing Dota 2.

Personal life

During their time together on the British reality television show Celebrity Big Brother in 2010, Basshunter and Kazakhstani-born Russian model Ekaterina Ivanova began an intimate relationship. He began dating Tina Makhia Khayatsadeh in 2014, and they were married on 19 January 2017 at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in the presence of his brother Joakim, his manager Henrik Uhlmann, Iranian-Swedish singer Arash, Polish singer Margaret, Swedish diplomat Jan Thesleff, Warner Music Sweden chief executive officer Jonas Siljemark. The couple divorced after a year.

Basshunter has Tourette syndrome and has described himself as a spontaneous person, though he has also said he has a sensitive side.

Awards and nominations

During his career, Basshunter has won several awards including Musikförläggarnas pris (2006) and NRJ Radio Award (2007). His debut album LOL was nominated for Emma, Grammis and won the European Border Breakers Award. Single "Boten Anna" was nominated for Rockbjörnen and won Eurodanceweb Award and Telia awards. Basshunter's song "Now You're Gone" won an Eska Music Award and was nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award. "Every Morning" was nominated for International Dance Music Award.

Discography

  • The Bassmachine (2004)
  • LOL (2006)
  • Now You're Gone – The Album (2008)
  • Bass Generation (2009)
  • Calling Time (2013)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Basshunter para niños

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