A Swedish songwriting company is turning the tables by trying to confect their own pop singers, reports Hannah Karp in The Wall Street Journal (3/22/14). Until now, it’s been the other way around: Pop stars such as Katy Perry, Pink and Jennifer Lopez hire the most successful songwriters to increase their chances of scoring hits. One such songwriter, Arnthor Birgisson, founded Aristotracks, a songwriting company that hopes to use its tunes to make a star of Kim Cesarion, whose voice apparently recalls Michael Jackson.
Kim was working in a shoe store when he was discovered and has since been outfitted with "dozens of songs to showcase" his "delicate falsetto." The Aristotracks team is creating "a new, competitive international sound," and a "cool, fashion-minded style" while also working on Kim’s stage presence. "His single, Undressed, has been streamed more than 20 million times on Spotify and has topped sales charts in Australia, Scandinavia and Poland. It isn’t yet available in the US," but Kim is now in L.A. to record some tracks that will "resonate with US listeners."
Aristotracks also "will share in his concert-ticket sales, sponsorships and other revenue streams … The strategy spotlights the shifting economics for songwriters in the digital age." Songwriters previously "had a safety net" because "every writer on an album earned a percentage of the overall album sales." With digital and streaming, they now depend on making every song a hit because how much they get paid depends on how many times their song gets played. Artistotracks is also developing a female singer, Tiaan, who is said to sound like Sade.