Erik Hassle

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Erik Hassle
Erik Hassle image.jpg
Background information
Birth nameKaj Erik Persson Hassle
Born (1988-08-26) 26 August 1988 (age 31)
Salem Municipality, Sweden
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active2005–present
LabelsTEN (Sweden)
Roxy (Sweden)
Island (UK)
Universal Republic (U.S.)
Associated acts

Kaj Erik Persson Hassle[1] (born 26 August 1988), better known as Erik Hassle, is a Swedish pop singer and songwriter. His career started in 2008 with his first single, "Hurtful", which eventually reached No. 11 in Sweden and peaked at No. 2 in Denmark.[2] His most successful single to date, "No Words", reached the Top 10 of the Global and U.S. Spotify Viral Chart and achieved Gold certification in both Sweden and Denmark.[3][4]

Hassle, who signed to Island Records in 2009,[5] has released four albums, most recently Innocence Lost in January 2017.[6] Aside from solo work, he has cowritten a number of songs for other singers, including Shakira and Rihanna's "Can't Remember to Forget You".[7] He won a Danish Gaffa award and two Swedish awards, a Grammis and a P3 Guld.[8][9][10]

Saluted as "the new, young Robbie Williams"[11] upon his international debut, Hassle has been described as "a voice steeped in simmering sultry soul, a funked-up sense of international swagger, and unbridled lyrical honesty."[3]

Early life[edit]

Hassle was born in Salem Municipality, Stockholm.[12] He was raised in the village of Bie near Katrineholm, where local musicians gathered in his parents' village theater.[5] He grew up listening to Swedish punk and American soul and realised his love of music early after listening to Wilson Pickett. He was introduced to British New Wave at Rytmus, the musical secondary school in Stockholm attended by Robyn and Tove Lo (whom he would later support on her North American tour[13]), where he met his manager at the age of 17. He signed a deal with the Swedish music company TEN Music Group in 2007, becoming their first signed artist. The label would later be credited with reviving Swedish pop music.[14][15][16]

He was one of the finalists in the talent contest Metro Music Challenge in 2008. He wrote music and self-produced videos, spreading them online via X5 Music, YouTube and Myspace.[5]

Music career[edit]

2008–2010: First releases and recognition[edit]

Hassle released his first single, "Hurtful", in September 2008. It would become a sleeper hit over the years, eventually reaching No. 11 in his native Sweden and peaking at No. 2 in Denmark.[2][17]

In March 2009, when he did not have an album out yet, Hassle signed for Island Records in London for worldwide rights excluding North America and Sweden, where the Swedish label Roxy Recordings had already signed Hassle for two albums.[5] The Guardian picked up the story, calling him "the Stockholm wunderkind," comparing him to Frankmusik, Keane and Ross Copperman, and wondering if he was "the new, young Robbie Williams."[11] In August, he published his album Hassle, which debuted at No. 2 and stayed in the Swedish charts for 10 weeks.[18] He immediately released his second single, "Don't Bring Flowers", which peaked at No. 25 in Sweden.[19]

Together with Ellie Goulding, Hassle released an acoustic version of Robyn's "Be Mine!".[20] In late 2009 he embarked on touring outside of Sweden and released "Hurtful" in the UK on 2 February 2010. It debuted at No. 59 and fell off the charts the following week. He reworked and re-released his debut album as Pieces in the UK. It failed to chart in the UK Albums Chart. The album's lack of success was later described as "the greatest pop injustice of the last several years."[21] Popjustice placed it at No. 11 of its top albums of 2009.[22]

On 19 January 2010, Hassle appeared at the Danish X Factor finals and the P3 Guld gala,[23] where he was awarded the prize for "Newcomer of the Year 2009".[9] He won the Newcomer Prize at the Swedish Grammis in the same year.[8] Finally, he won the 2010 Danish Gaffa Prize for the International Newcomer of the Year.[10] He toured with Mika, Broods,[24] and .[25]

In May 2010, "Hurtful" was picked as Single of the Week in iTunes Store.[26] In August, Hassle released an extended play (EP) entitled The Hassle Sessions: Volume One, consisting of cover songs. His English version of the single "Alors on danse" by Stromae was made available through Spotify.[27]

2011–2014: Songwriting success[edit]

The mini-album Mariefred Sessions was the result of a collaboration between Erik Hassle and Joakim Berg and Martin Sköld from the Swedish band Kent. Mariefred Sessions was released in Sweden on 23 March 2011.[28][29] Hassle moved to Los Angeles in 2013.[1]

Hassle was a co-writer for Shakira's single "Can't Remember to Forget You" featuring Rihanna. It released worldwide in January 2014 and reached top ten charts in various countries such as Spain, France, Germany, and Switzerland. The single also debuted in the U.S. at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[7] It was the first official track written by Hassle and sung by another artist.[30]

Hassle released his next EP, entitled Somebody's Party, via TEN Music Group and RCA Records on 4 March 2014 after a two-year hiatus. The EP was a collection of 6 tracks heavily influenced by R&B. Hassle released "Talk About It," featuring Chicago based rapper Vic Mensa, as his comeback single. Other featured artists on the EP included Tinashe in the song "Innocence Lost." The EP was inspired by the hardships of being in a relationship and Erik's own personal heartbreak.[30]

2015–2016: "No Words" and collaborations[edit]

While visiting his home country, Sweden, Hassle began working on "No Words." In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Hassle shared that he wrote the song while experiencing a heartbreak. The single was released in April 2015 and received additional publicity when it headed off Taylor Swift's list of "Songs that would Make your Life more Awesome".[31] "No Words" went viral, reaching the Top 10 of the Global and U.S. Spotify Viral Chart and achieving Gold certification in both Sweden and Denmark.[3][4] It was described as "an uptempo, disco-tinged confection of sighing strings and funk guitar"[32] and hailed as "a return to Hassle's unabashed melodic melancholia."[33] In October, Erik Hassle peaked at number 14 on Billboard's Next Big Sound.[34]

Hassle co-wrote and provided vocals for the single "Emergency" by fellow label mates and Swedish pop-duo Icona Pop. The single was officially released in May 2015, reached the number one spot in the U.S. Dance Club Songs, and was featured in FIFA 16.[35] He toured across North America supporting Twin Shadow.[36]

Over the years, Hassle collaborated with many artists, including Groundislava on his single "Flatline",[37] Broderick Batts on "¯\_(ツ)_/¯",[38] Kungs on Omi's "Midnight Serenade",[39] Gorgon City on "FTPA",[40] Bondax on "Love Me Blind",[41] and Snakehips on "Cruel".[42]

2017: Innocence Lost[edit]

Hassle released the album "Innocence Lost" via TEN Music Group and RCA Records on 27 January 2017. The 12-track album includes the single "Missing You" produced by John Hill.[6] The LP was executively produced by Daniel Ledinsky and features the guest vocals of Tinashe and Vic Mensa, producers Eshraque "iSHi" Mughal and Dave Sitek, with additional production from SOHN, Oskar "Sikow" Engstroem, Billboard, Gorgon City and Al Shux.[3]

Hassle's singing has been compared to Michael Jackson,[43] Prince,[24] and Frank Ocean.[44] He has been described as "a huskier-voiced Justin Timberlake singing over The Knocks’ choicest beats."[45]

Personal life[edit]

Hassle's mother is a singer and his father is a studio owner.[11] He has three brothers and a sister.[1]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
  • Released: 19 August 2009
  • Label: Roxy
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Released: 22 February 2010
  • Label: Island
  • Formats: CD, digital download
16 154 35
We Dance
  • Released: 4 July 2012[50]
  • Label: Roxy
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Innocence Lost
  • Released: 27 January 2017
  • Label: TEN, RCA
  • Formats: Digital download
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
iTunes Festival: London 2009
  • Released: 31 July 2009[51]
  • Label: Island
  • Formats: Digital download
The Hassle Sessions: Volume One
  • Released: 15 August 2010[52]
  • Label: Island
  • Formats: Digital download
Taken EP
  • Released: 4 October 2010
  • Label: Roxy
  • Formats: Digital download
Mariefred Sessions
  • Released: 23 March 2011
  • Label: Roxy
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Somebody's Party
  • Released: 3 March 2014[53]
  • Label: TEN, RCA
  • Formats: Digital download
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album


2008 "Hurtful" 11 2 59 30 Hassle /
2009 "Love Me to Pieces"
"Don't Bring Flowers" 25 11
2010 "Standing Where You Left Me" 32 Taken EP
"Taken (Still in My Blood)" 55
2011 "Nothing Can Change This Love" The Hassle Sessions: Volume One
"Are You Leaving" Mariefred Sessions
"Stay Away"
2012 "Stay" We Dance
"Back Under Water"
2013 "Talk About It" Somebody's Party EP
2014 "Pathetic" 38
2015 "No Words" 83 16 Innocence Lost
"Natural Born Lovers" Non-album singles
2016 "If Your Man Only Knew" Innocence Lost
2017 "Missing You"
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

Notable guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Alors on danse" (featuring Erik Hassle)[59] 2010 Stromae Cheese
"FTPA" (featuring Erik Hassle) 2014 Gorgon City Sirens
"Emergency" (featuring Erik Hassle) 2015 Icona Pop Emergency

Songwriting credits[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Album Credits Written with:
"I Think I Love You" 2013 Ulrik Munther Rooftop Co-writer Ulrik Munther, Gustav Jonsson
"Pac Man"
(featuring Erik Hassle)
Elliphant A Good Idea Featured artist/Co-writer Ellinor Olovsdottir, Theodore Krotkiewski, Timothy Deneve
"Can't Remember to Forget You"
(featuring Rihanna)
2014 Shakira Shakira Co-writer Shakira Ripoll, Thomas Hull, Jonathan Hill, Daniel Alexander, Robyn Fenty
"Girls" Beatrice Eli Die Another Day Beatrice Blennberger, Daniel Alexander, Daniel Ledinsky, Saska Becker
"Happy Idiot" TV on the Radio Seeds David Malone, David Sitek, Tunde Adebimpe, Jaleel Bunton, Daniel Ledinsky
"Endless" Zara Larsson 1 Daniel Ledinsky, Gustav Jonsson
(featuring Erik Hassle)
Gorgon City Sirens Featured artist/Co-writer Kye Gibbon, Matthew Robson-Scott, Jonathan Coffer, Daniel Ledinsky
"I Want You" Nick Jonas Nick Jonas Co-writer Jacob Cruz, Nicholas Ruth
"Emergency" 2015 Icona Pop Emergency EP Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Eric Frederic, John Theodore Geiger II, Thomas Peyton, Luca Citandini, Gianfranco Bortolotti, Diego Leoni
(featuring Erik Hassle)
Bondax Non-album single Featured artist/Co-writer Adam Kaye, George Townsend, Casey Barth, James Knapp
"Midnight Serenade"
(featuring Erik Hassle)
OMI Me 4 U Omar Samuel Pasley, Daniel Ledinsky
"Black Wedding" 2016 Adiam Black Wedding Co-writer Adiam Dymott, Daniel Ledinsky, David Sitek
"Quiet Desperation" Adiam Dymott, Daniel Ledinsky, David Sitek
"My Girl" FO&O FO&O Samuel Kvist, Daniel Ledinsky, Timothy Caifeldt
"Love Me Long"
(featuring Major Lazer & Gyptian)
Elliphant Living Life Golden Ellinor Olovsdottir, Andy Price, Thomas Pentz, Philip Meckseper, Windel Edwards
(featuring ZAYN)
Snakehips Non-album single Oliver Dickinson, James David, Cass Lowe, Zayn Malik
"Bigger" Adiam Black Wedding Adiam Dymott, Daniel Ledinsky, David Sitek
"Follow Me" Adiam Dymott, Daniel Ledinsky, David Sitek, Katheryn Guerra
"Make That Money Girl" 2017 Zara Larsson So Good Zara Larsson, Markus Sephermanesh, Victor Mensah, Daniel Ledinsky, Ajay Bhattacharaya, Jonathan Hill
"With You"
(featuring Wrabel)
Kygo Kids in Love Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll, Stephen Wrabel, Drew Pearson
(featuring Erik Hassle)
RKCB RKCB-Sides EP Featured artist/Co-writer Casey Barth, James Knapp
"Unless It's with You" 2018 Christina Aguilera Liberation Co-writer Christina Aguilera, Eric Frederic, John Theodore Geiger II, Thomas Peyton, Gamal Lewis
"New Love" 2019 Backstreet Boys DNA Jacob Troth, Elof Loelv
"Orange Trees" Marina Love + Fear Marina Diamandis, Oscar Gorres, Jakob Jerlstrom

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Album Director
2010 "Hurtful"
Pieces Phil Griffin
"Don't Bring Flowers"
David Dawoodi
2013 "Talk About It feat. Vic Mensa"
Innocence Lost Alexander Dahl
2014 "Pathetic"
Ray Brady
"Innocence Lost"
Erik Hassle
2015 "No Words"
Ellis Bahl
"Natural Born Lovers"
Non-album singles Dano Cerny
Joachim Johnson


  • 2010 Danish GAFFA-priset – International Newcomer of the Year
  • 2009 Swedish Grammis – Newcomer of the Year
  • 2009 Swedish P3 Guld – Newcomer of the Year


  1. ^ a b c Rebecka Ljung (29 June 2015). "Erik Hassle: "Glad att alla överlevde"". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Erik Hassle: Diese Schwedengranate läutet einen funky Sommer ein" (in German). Klatsch-Tratsch. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d BWW News Desk (27 January 2017). "Erik Hassle to Release 'Innocence Lost' on RCA Records, Today". Broadway World. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks". Daily Mail. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Claes Olson (11 March 2009). "Erik Hassle i världsavtal med Island Records" (in Swedish). Musikindustrin. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Music News Desk (27 January 2017). "Erik Hassle Releases 'Innocence Lost' LP Today". Broadway World. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b Bianca Gracie (24 June 2015). "Erik Hassle Talks 'No Words' Single, His Upcoming LP & Feeling Melancholy: Idolator Interview". Idolator. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b Alexander Erwik (16 January 2017). "Grammis 2009: Och vinnarna är..." (in Swedish). Finest. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Alla nominerade och vinnare 2010" (in Swedish). P3 Guld. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Her er samtlige GAFFA-Prisen-vindere 1991–2014" (in Danish). GAFFA. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Paul Lester (23 March 2009). "New band of the week: Erik Hassle". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  12. ^ Fredrik Eliasson (22 May 2015). "Erik Hassle peppad inför radiospelning". Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  13. ^ Mary Bonney (14 July 2015). "Tove Lo and Erik Hassle Announce Fall Tour". LA Music Blog. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Ten and rising: the independent record label reviving Swedish pop music". Financial Times. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Erik Hassle's Visa Problems Turned Out to be, Well, a Hassle". Interview. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  16. ^ "New Music Friday: 13 new releases to hear now". Entertainment Weekly. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Erik Hassle – Hurtful – Music Charts". Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Erik Hassle: Hassle (album)". 30 October 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Erik Hassle: Don't Bring Flowers After I'm Dead (song)". 6 November 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Erik and Ellie bring the sunshine". Popjustice. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  21. ^ Sam Lansky (22 October 2013). "Erik Hassle Kicks Off His Comeback With 'Talk About It': Listen". Idolator. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  22. ^ "The Top 33 Albums Of 2009. (It's a list of albums.)". Popjustice. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  23. ^ Tine Louise Brunk (30 May 2011). "Erik Hassle til Fed Fredag" (in Danish). Gaffa. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  24. ^ a b Mary Bonney (15 April 2015). "Featured Artist: Erik Hassle". LA Music Blog. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  25. ^ "Danish songstress MO ready to break out in America". Los Angeles Times. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  26. ^ " News | Erik Hassle – Single of the Week on iTunes". 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  27. ^ "Stromae: Alors on danse feat. Erik Hassle". Spotify. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  28. ^ Catarina Nitz (23 February 2016). "Erik Hassle livar upp gammalt danshak" (in Swedish). ekuriren. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  29. ^ Anders Dahlbom (22 March 2011). "Erik Hassle – Mariefred sessions" (in Swedish). Noje. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Erik Hassle To Release 'Somebody's Party' Ep On March 4th 2014". Contact Music. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  31. ^ Jason Lipshutz (7 October 2015). "Taylor Swift's Favorite New Songs: Phoebe Ryan, Frankie, Erik Hassle React to Surprise Co-Sign". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  32. ^ Michael Cragg (17 July 2015). "The playlist: pop – Hurts, Mabel, Erik Hassle and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  33. ^ Michael Cragg (23 December 2015). "The playlist: the best pop of 2015 – Carly Rae Jepsen, the Weeknd and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  34. ^ "Erik Hassle: Chart History: Next Big Sound". Billboard. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  35. ^ Brennan Carley (7 April 2016). "Erik Hassle Pays Tribute to Aaliyah on Impassioned New 'If Your Man Only Knew'". Spin. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  36. ^ Jamieson Cox (13 April 2015). "Watch the Video for Erik Hassle's Funky New Single 'No Words': Premiere". Time. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  37. ^ Peter Helman (8 September 2016). "Groundislava – "Flatline" (Feat. Erik Hassle)". Stereogum. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  38. ^ Danny Schwartz (23 August 2015). "Broderick Batts – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Feat. Erik Hassle [New Song]". HNHH. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  39. ^ Garrett Smith (23 March 2016). "OMI – Midnight Serenade Feat. Erik Hassle (Kungs Remix)". Your EDM. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  40. ^ Alexander Iadarola (30 September 2014). "Listen to a New Gorgon City Track Feat. Erik Hassle". Fader. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  41. ^ Henry Lewis (2 August 2016). "Bondax Interview: Something Good". Skiddle. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  42. ^ Cinzia Del Prete (10 August 2016). "Snakehips feat. Zayn Malik in Cruel: testo e video ufficiale del nuovo singolo". Opti Magazine. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  43. ^ Andrew Hampp (13 April 2015). "Erik Hassle Talks Funky New Single 'No Words': 'It's Like Dancing and Crying'". Billboard. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  44. ^ Chris DeVille (19 November 2015). "Here Comes Zayn Malik". Stereogum. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  45. ^ "Five Artists to Watch in May 2015". Spin. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  46. ^ a b c – Discography Erik Hassle. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  47. ^ a b c – Discography Erik Hassle. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  48. ^ a b c Chart Log UK – 2010 – Weekly Updates. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  49. ^ "Erik Hassle: Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  50. ^ "We Dance", press release by Universal Music Sweden
  51. ^ iTunes Festival: London 2009 EP, at iTunes
  52. ^ The Hassle Sessions, Vol. 1 EP, at iTunes
  53. ^ Somebody's Party EP, at iTunes
  54. ^ "Erik Hassle: Chart History: Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  55. ^ "Erik Hassle: Chart History: Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists". Billboard. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
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  57. ^ "Certificeringer marts – maj 2010" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. 31 May 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  58. ^ "Guld og platin i juni/juli" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  59. ^ "iTunes Music – Alors on danse – EP by Stromae". iTunes Store. Retrieved 8 July 2014.

External links[edit]