Having cut his teeth playing with sought after Swedish band The Sonnets, Stockholm-based musician Per Magnusson now arrives under the new guise of Sportsman to present his perfectly elegant, sumptuous brand of modern, heartfelt R’n’B.
A self-proclaimed “pop melody whore”, Sportsman is a project which embraces unforgettable hooks, soaring vocal lines and soul-filled bass-lines, an outlet which serves not so much as a reference for Magnusson’s inspirations as a way of transporting his listeners to the source of the sound.
As a part of The Sonnets – a Malmö-based blue eyed soul pop quintet – Magnusson and his bandmates quickly attracted support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Dazed & Confused and Vogue Italia. Successful releases and an impressive tour schedule saw the band whisked to far flung destinations. So when the time arrived for a moment of reflection upon the adventures endeavoured with the band, Magnusson embarked upon a soul-searching voyage, and it was in Kenya that the inspiration for his new project would be blown into his path.
“I saw a leopard in a tree. I played football with the local kids,” he reveals. “I hung around the streets of Mombasa. After seeing so many amazing things and the exhaustion it brings, I spent two weeks on a beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean. That’s when it dawned on me. I wanted to make music that sounded like the scenery in front of me. Dark as the looming clouds in the sky, but with the same glowing edges. The name was found on a pack of cigarettes in the sand. »Sportsman«.”
With sought after Swedish producers– Johan Cederberg (HNNY) and Victor Holmberg (1987) – brought on board, the initial, romantic and evocative vision of the project was able to be brought fully to life. Working alongside the pair, as well as featuring a guest appearance from Those Dancing Days’ Linnea Jönsson, Sportsman hasn’t turned out to be a purely solo effort as much as a solo vision executed by one inspired individual and a handful of carefully selected kindred spirits.
Art and the heart were given the opportunity to collide on Magnusson’s debut single ‘Rally’, a duet performed with girlfriend Jönsson, a Swedish singing starlet in her own right. “I am so happy she wanted to sing on it,” says Magnusson of the collaboration. “I think it’s brilliant that people get to hear her voice again. Objectively, I think she has the most beautiful voice there is. And it seemed like a romantic thing to do, a memory to share and keep.”
“Music, to me, has always been an excuse to escape,” Magnusson explains. “Escaping to a world just a little bit more enchanting than the every-day-toiling-routine.”
Sportsman’s ‘Usher’ EP is due for release on 18th November via Best Fit Recordings
1. Champagne (Reprise)
2. Vivid Memories
4. Rally (ft. Linnea Jönsson)