Johan Bejerholm, is a Swedish music producer, songwriter, engineer and artist.(1)
Born in Warsaw July 5th 1966 and adopted by Swedish parents in 1967, he grew up in Malmö, Sweden. He graduated from Lund University in 1989 with a master’s degree in Systems Engineering. Johan lives in Lomma, is married and has three children.
His first instrument was the piano, which he started to learn at the age of 6. At the age of 12, he asked his parents for a drum kit, but got a guitar instead. That soon became his main instrument and in 1980 he joined the band Plasma with Johan Stentorp, Stellan Colt and Mårten Mulder.(2) They had some success but eventually disbanded in 1985. Then, as singer and guitarist, he started several bands over the second half of the eighties, called Pumping Velvet, Youbroke (with Nalle Colt on the guitar) and Bandama. In the nineties he played in a disco cover band and later in a rap metal cover band. The last gig was at his own wedding in 1997 where, playing “Killing in the name of” by Rage Against The Machine, he ended his onstage career. In 2018 he reconnected with some of the members of Plasma to form XOPlasma where Johan sings and plays the guitars and keyboards. Roland Svensson plays the bass and Lars Kalthoff plays the drums. So far this has been a strictly studio-focused project.
As an artist playing in a band, he got increasingly interested in the recording process and especially in music production. That led to him starting his own studio and production company, World Studios, registered as a privately owned business in 1989.(3) The company is still fully active and has fostered many successful artists over the years. The very first release from the studio in 1989 was “Kitchentable” by Mango Chutney, written by Björn Gärdsby and produced by Johan under the pseudonym of Jean De Rien.(4) In the early nineties, the focus was on finding new talent and delivering a final package to record labels worldwide for licensing. Among the artists he developed were Treble and Bass(5), The Trampolines(6) and The Family Tree.(7)
Around 1993, Johan felt he was spending too much time in the office and not enough hours in the studio, where he loved to be. He stopped doing the whole packaging and marketing bit to be able to concentrate fully on the recording studio work, becoming a “gun for hire”, and has remained so until this day. The changes in the music industry has led to him spending more time mixing and mastering. File transfers and other wonders of the digital age, means that he now has the whole world as his field of work. With clients from as far away as Los Angeles, Tokyo and even from New Zealand, Johan works mainly with pop and dance oriented music, sometimes with an ethnic vibe, but also rock music. He also does some sound for film, i.e. Äta sova dö (8) and the odd commercial. Having had the studio premises in different locations in central Malmö over the first 25 years, he relocated the studio to Lomma in 2014, where he has lived since 1996.
Johan has worked on four songs in the Eurovision Song Contest. One as a songwriter, 4 as producer. “Always” by Arash and Aysel (9) came in at number 3 in ESC 2009.(10) He has also had many songs in the competitions for making it to the ESC, especially in Malta. In 2005 he had his first song there, “Love Is The Reason” (11), performed by Natasha and Charlene in the Maltese ESC final. Since then, he has had a song in some ESC qualification competition almost every year. 2011 meant going back to Malta with the song “No Surrender” cowritten with Johan Stentorp and performed by Fabrizio Faniello. Fabrizio went again in 2012 with “I will Fight For You” cowritten with Robert Uhlmann and Niklas Edberger. Then in 2013 with “Love-O-Holic” with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. He has had songs competing in Belgium and Albania as well.
He has had 3 songs as a songwriter in Melodifestivalen. The first one was “Still Believe” in 2003, co-written by Johan Bejerholm, Jonas Sahlin and Emil Heiling.(12) In 2015, “Guld och gröna skogar” written by Johan Bejerholm, Johan Deltinger, Anderz Wrethov and Elin Wrethov and performed by Hasse Andersson became an unexpected success. It has almost 40 million streams on Spotify making it one of the most streamed songs in Swedish language ever. It was already a national treasure by the summer of 2015 and won best song of the year at Guldklaven (13)(14) and later a Grammy award(15). It has been certified 5 times platinum by IFPI. In 2019 stage legend Jan Malmsjö competed in Melodifestivalen with “Leva Livet”(16).
Music for the young at heart
Johan has worked on many songs by children artists, mainly from Denmark. MGP, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, is big business in Denmark. Actually, it gets a lot more attention and sales than ESC for adults does. Johan has produced and co-written many MPG songs over the years for young aspiring artists and some have gone on to record albums where he got to write and produce songs. The first and greatest so far has been Anne Gadegaard, who won the competition in 2003 with Arabiens Drøm”(17). Johan went on to produce 4 albums for her where he naturally got to co-write some of the songs. Anne’s albums all went gold or platinum(18) in the Danish Charts(19). He also produced and co-wrote the Swedish entry in Junior ESC in Minsk 2010 “Allt Jag Vill Ha” with Robert Uhlmann, Thomas G:son and Arash(20). He has also competed with a dozen songs in the funny TV-show Mini-MPG on Danish Television that started to air 2016, where his songs have won in 2016, 2018 and 2020.(21)
Johan has worked on many songs by Arash over the years as songwriter, co-producer and musician. “Temptation” was number one on Swedish Radio and number two in sales in 2005(22). The song was adapted to a Russian version and it won two Grammy Awards in Russia in 2006. “Broken Angel”, “One Day” and “Pure Love” are among Arash’s top tracks, and combined they are approaching a billion views on Youtube alone.
He has collaborated with the successful Danish band Michael Learns to Rock. Starting in 2003 he produced their song “Take Me To Your Heart”(23)., which still streams over 250 million times yearly. After that he mixed their live album and contributed as producer, musician and mixing engineer on many tracks, including co-writing the song “Traffic And Stars”.
Serhat from Turkey, has hired Johan for a lot of work, most notably for the production of Serhat’s entry in the ESC 2019, “Say Na Na Na”(24).
Tegomass from Japan had a number one hit and went gold both in Sweden and Japan with the song “Tanabata Matsuri”, written by Johan Bejerholm, Anderz Wrethov and Elin Wrethov(25). That song was produced by Johan Bejerholm and Anderz Wrethov(26)(27).
Johan has worked with a lot of Albanian artists from Kosovo and Albania, mainly as a mixing and mastering engineer. He has worked as a producer for Kosovo-Albanian artist Blero on over 50 tracks since his debut album in 2005(28). Other prominent Albanian and Kosovo-Albanian artists are Ledri Vula, Gjiko, Lumi B, Enca and Melinda.
The biggest international success out of Kosovo mixed and mastered by Johan is “Bon Bon” by Era Istrefi, which has superseded a billion streams(29).
He co-wrote the song “I’m Gay” for Stockholm Pride 2009 with John Dennis and Ulf Thuresson(30). That song went number one in the Swedish sales chart(31).
Other artists he has worked with include Basshunter, Gunther , Look Twice and Cameron Cartio.
- ^ “Johan Bejerholm”. Discogs.
- ^ “Plasma – Mammas Pojkar (1983, Vinyl)”. Discogs.
- ^ “World Studios – Företagsinformation”. www.allabolag.se.
- ^ “Mango Chutney – Kitchen Table (1989, Vinyl)”. Discogs.
- ^ “Treble & Bass”. Discogs.
- ^ “The Trampolines”. Discogs.
- ^ “The Family Tree (2)”. Discogs.
- ^ “Äta sova dö (2012) – SFdb” (in Swedish). Svensk filmdatabas.
- ^ “Malmötävlande större än Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ “Låtskrivarna gläds med Azerbajdzjan”. Sydsvenskan(in Swedish).
- ^ News, Eurovision; News, Participants; Participants, Eurovision (19 January 2005). “Eurovision Charlene & Natasha to sing Swedish – Maltese entry – ESCToday.com”. Eurovision News, Polls and Information by ESCToday.
- ^ “Malmöproducent tävlar i Melodifestivalen”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ “Tidigare vinnare”. Guldklaven.
- ^ “”Guld och gröna skogar” fick pris för bästa låt”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ “Hasse Andersson fick sin första Grammis”. HD (in Swedish).
- ^ “Hans låt om att att leva i nuet är med i nästa års mello”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ Würtzenfeld, Nils (17 January 2018). “Anne Gadegaard”. Dagens.dk (in Danish).
- ^ “Platin til Anne”. www.bt.dk (in Danish). 27 September 2004.
- ^ “Hitlisten”. Hitlisten.NU.
- ^ “Josefine tävlar för Sverige i Junior Eurovision Song Contest”. www.expressen.se (in Swedish).
- ^ “DRTV – Mini MGP 2020” (in Danish). DRTV.
- ^ “Radionytt » Nielsen Music Control Airplay Chart”. Radionytt (in Swedish). 22 June 2009.
- ^ “Michael Learns to Rock (2004 album)”. Discogs. 19 January 2021.
- ^ Worx, Music. “Say Na Na Na – Serhat, Johan Bejerholm, Wideboys, Mark Voss, Rico Bernasconi, Kon Cept”. Music Worx.
- ^ “Svenskt i topp i Japan”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ “Svenskt i topp i Japan”. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish).
- ^ “Japanska Tegomass guld för komponerande Malmö-trio”. Musikindustrin (in Swedish). 16 November 2009.
- ^ “BLERO”. nojestorget.se (in Swedish).
- ^ “Era Istrefi – Bonbon (Official Video)”. Youtube.
- ^ “Skånskt disco inviger pridefestivalen”. Sydsvenskan(in Swedish).
- ^ “swedishcharts.com – Swedish Charts – Singles Top 100 2007-08-09”. swedishcharts.com.