Ana Johnsson at NRJ in the Park, 2006
|Birth name||Anna Lovisa Johnsson (Jonsson)|
|Also known as||
October 4, 1977 |
|Genres||Modern rock, alternative rock|
|Labels||Bonnier Amigo Music Group (Scandinavia)
Avex Group (Eastern Asia, excluding Korea & Mongolia)
Sony BMG (former)
Epic Records (former)
|Website||Official web site (Swedish)
Official web site (Japanese)
Anna Lovisa Johnsson (Jonsson), better known by her stage name Ana Johnsson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈana ˈjoːnsɔn]) (born October 4, 1977 in Gothenburg, Sweden), is a Swedish singer and songwriter, best known for the song "We Are" from the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack.
Johnsson reached the finals of the first Swedish series of Popstars, after which she and others formed the band Excellence. They recorded one album before Johnsson left to start a solo career. Her debut album, Cuz I Can, was released in April 2004 in Sweden, followed several months later by an international release under the name The Way I Am, containing several new songs. Her second album, Little Angel, was released in October 2006. Her musical career has since been on hold.
Johnsson was born in Gothenburg, Sweden to Rolph Johnsson and Carina G. but later moved to Sunne, a village in the province of Värmland. The parents - both architects - contributed to her big interests in design, she has studied economics and multimedia, and had the dream of being a graphic designer, but in the end music became her main focus. As a teenager she moved to Karlstad and later, as an exchange student in Minneapolis, USA. She took up skiing as a hobby and was a semi-professional snowboarder for a while. Back in Sweden she combined studies with jobs in a record shop and as nightclub croupier.
1999–2002: Beginnings and Excellence
Johnsson's singing talents became obvious when she was a teenager she moved to Karlstad and fronted cover bands named @groove and Soulcream together with her brother Petter, who played drums. The bands played cover versions of songs by among others Jamiroquai, Lenny Kravitz, Blur and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
She made her big breakthrough through the first season of the TV series Popstars. She made it to the finals, after which she formed the R&B girl group Excellence with Jenny Bergfoth, Malin Olsson, Johanna Landt, and Susanna Patoleta. They scored five top 10 hits in Sweden, sold platinum, and completed a sold-out tour. Johnsson left the band because it was not her style of music. Excellence briefly continued as a four-piece band, during which time they recorded the official Swedish 2002 Winter Olympics song "Vi ska vinna!" with Markoolio The group split up shortly after the single was released in 2002.
2002–2005: Cuz I Can and The Way I Am
After quitting Excellence, Johnsson started working as a solo artist. Johnsson chose 'Ana' as her stage name, to distinguish her personal life from her life as an artist, and because her real name "Anna" is a more common name. In the autumn of 2003, she released her first single, "The Way I Am". It became a radio hit in Sweden and Germany, and garnered her a nomination for the 2004 NRJ Awards. Further singles from her 2004 solo debut Cuz I Can were "Life" and "Cuz I Can". This album was only released in Sweden.
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Johnsson was approached by the head of Columbia Tristar during a cruise and was invited to contribute a song to the soundtrack of Spider-Man 2 (soundtrack). Her song "We Are" was the first single off the soundtrack, and was released worldwide to high acclaim, reaching the top 10 in several countries, including the UK, Germany and Japan. Her second solo album, called The Way I Am, was released internationally. It features songs from Cuz I Can, along with half a dozen new songs, and charted highly in nearly 20 countries. Album sales exceeded 500,000 and "We Are" alone was featured on five million sold compilations throughout the world. In Japan, her album sold over 100,000 copies, earning her a gold certification charting number #1 for four weeks in a row. Further singles released included "Don't Cry for Pain" which was co-written and produced by Max Martin, and "Coz I Can". In the summer of 2005, "Coz I Can" was picked as the official song for the German DTM racing series, where Johnsson also performed live.
In 2005, at the NRJ Music Awards, Johnsson won awards in the categories "Best Swedish Female" and "Best Swedish Song". In Sweden, Johnsson was nominated to all of the most prestigious domestic awards, including the Grammy Award. She won the 2005 Rockbjörnen award in the category "Best Newcomer" and the European Border Breakers Award for the album 'The Way I Am". She hosted the NRJ Radio Awards ceremony in 2006.
2006–2007: Little Angel
Johnsson's second album Little Angel was released in Sweden on October 18, 2006. The album did not make it onto the Swedish albums chart, despite both "Days of Summer" and "Exception" making it into Sweden's singles charts (peaking at number seven and ten, respectively).
"Exception" was used as the theme song to the Swedish thriller movie Exit. Johnsson also recorded the song "Fate" with the Finnish rock band Bleak and the Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen, on which Johnsson sang a duet with Bleak's lead singer. The song was used as the title song of the Finnish-Chinese movie Jadesoturi (Jade Warrior), and appeared on its soundtrack, which was released on October 11, 2006 in Finland. The movie premiered on October 13. A music video has also been shot for the song courtesy of Eyesonlymedia. On January 19, 2007, the song received the award for "Best Nordic Song" at the NRJ Radio Awards.
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In December 2006, it was announced that the song "Catch Me If You Can" had been selected as the official song for the FIS 2007 Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden, held early February. The song became the third single off Little Angel on January 17, 2007.
Little Angel was released in Japan on February 14, 2007 with two bonus tracks: "Falling to Pieces," which was included as the B-side on the "Days of Summer" single, and a new track called "If I'm Not Dreaming." A new Japanese official website was created for the release of the album in Japan. In a message on the official website, Johnsson stated that she will be doing some promotion in Japan in late January. A deluxe edition to the Japanese release also included a DVD, containing the music video for "Exception" plus promotional and rare videos and an acoustic performances. The album peaked at number 28 on the Oricon albums chart. The album has sold over 20,500 copies in Japan as of April 13, 2007. "Exception" was released as the first single in Japan.
In 2008, Johnsson became the face of Invercote! (Iggesund Paperboard), of which the communication campaign in part revolved around her song "Catch Me If You Can". Johnsson performed live in two of Iggesund's private displays. An EP was also made, which featuring the tracks "We Are", "Break Through Time" and "Catch Me If You Can".
On May 17, 2012, Ana Johnsson said in an interview that "new music is guaranteed, although I will not say when". Plans for going back into the studio to record a new album during the fall of 2012 were dismissed for personal life reasons, after which her musical career has been put on hold.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales and certifications|
|2004||Cuz I Can||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|The Way I Am||27||4||15||19||20||27||58|
|"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released|
An empty space indicates the song was not released in that country.
|2003||"The Way I Am"||—||82||Cuz I Can|
|"Cuz I Can"||—|
|"We Are"||4||7||21||16||28||6||16||2||28||8||The Way I Am|
|"Don't Cry for Pain"||19||70||—||39||—||—||—||—||83||—|
|2005||"Coz I Can"||—||—||—||73||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006||"Days of Summer"||7||—||—||—||Little Angel|
|"Fate" (with Bleak)||Non-single||Jadesoturi soundtrack|
|2007||"Catch Me If You Can"||—||—||Little Angel|
|"Break Through Time"||Non-single|
Movies and soundtracks
Johnsson's music has been featured in various movies, such as:
- 2004: Autobahnraser - A2 Racer - Song: "The Way I Am" and "Cuz I Can"
- 2004: Spider-Man 2 - Song: "We Are"
- 2006: Jade Warrior - Song: "Fate" and "Days of Summer"
- 2006: Exit - Song: "Exception"
- 2006: Brother Bear 2 (Swedish version) - Songs: "En helt ny dag" / "Welcome to This Day", "Tagit mig hem" / "Feels Like Home", "Då är det jag" / "It Will Be Me" 
Ana Johnsson also participated in the Swedish version of the Disney animated movies (although under the name "Anna Johnsson"):
- Brother Bear 2 (Swedish: Björnbröder 2) (2006) - as the voice of Nita 
- Tinker Bell (Swedish: Tingeling) (2008) - as the voice of Silvermist 
- Tinker Bell 2 (Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure) (2009) (Swedish: Tingeling och den förlorade skatten) - as the voice of Silvermist
In an interview published in issue 31 of Iggesund's Inspire magazine, Johnsson said that she would be moving to United States, take some time off, and start writing songs for a new album. She lived in San Diego, California from 2006 to 2010, after which she returned to Stockholm. She gave birth to her first child, a boy, on June 1, 2011, and had a second baby in January 2013.
Johnsson names Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Creed, Erykah Badu and Jane's Addiction as some of her favorite bands. She names Dave Grohl and producer Rick Rubin are some of her role models.
- Reges, Margaret. "Allmusic bio.". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "Ana goes solo (in swedish)". nt.se. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Ana Johnsson presents DTM's song in Hamburg". dtm.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Oricon Ranking News Service "you Taiju" オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」 (oricon rankingu jōhō sābisu youtaiju)" (in Japanese). Oricon Marketing Promotion. Retrieved 2007-07-20.[dead link]
- "Ana Johnsson radio interview (audio) May 17, 2012 (in swedish)". sverigesradio.se. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
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- "Ana Johnsson - The Way I Am - austriancharts.at" (in German). Media Control GfK International. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "norwegiancharts.com - Ana Johnsson - The Way I Am". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Disque en France" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- 【洋楽専用】オリコンチャートスレ (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Related Data". Recording Industry Association of Japan. 2005. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Ana Johnsson". Cafe.se. 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "(ΘωΘ)meryland(ΘωΘ) – LITTLE ANGEL ♪Ana Johnsson" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 287. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- - Björnbröder 2 - d-zine.se
- - Tingeling - d-zine.se
- - Tingeling och den förlorade skatten - d-zine.se
- "Barks Biography (in japanese)". barks.jp. Retrieved 2011-11-04.