The Real Group

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The Real Group
The Real Group (ZMF 2016) jm59241.jpg
(From left) Anders Edenroth, Emma Nilsdotter, Lisa Östergren, Morten Vinther Sørensen, Jānis Strazdiņš
Background information
OriginStockholm, Sweden
GenresA cappella, vocal jazz, pop
Years active1984–present
Websitetherealgroup.se
MembersEmma Nilsdotter (soprano)
Lisa Östergren (alto)
Anders Edenroth (tenor)
Morten Vinther Sørensen (baritone)
Jānis Strazdiņš (bass)
Past membersMargareta Bengtson
Johanna Nyström
Peder Karlsson
Anders Jalkéus
Katarina Henryson


The Real Group is an a cappella group from Sweden. Members are Emma Nilsdotter, Lisa Östergren, Anders Edenroth, Morten Vinther Sørensen, and Jānis Strazdiņš. The group's members compose and arrange most of their songs. They sing in English and Swedish and cite American vocalist Bobby McFerrin as an inspiration.[1][2]

Background[edit]

The Real Group with Unduzo at the Zelt-Musik-Festival 2016 in Freiburg, Germany

The Real Group has performed more than 2000 concerts worldwide.[3] In 2002 The Real Group performed at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Seoul, South Kore to an audience of 60,000. On 22 December 1993, to commemorate the fiftieth birthday of Queen Silvia of Sweden, The Real Group backed up former ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad in a performance of the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen", using an a cappella arrangement that was released on the album Varför får man inte bara vara som man är.

The Real Group was formed in 1984 when its members were students at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. All of them attended Adolf Fredrik's Music School.[4] Margareta Bengtson was the soprano in the group at its inception, but she left to work on solo albums in 2006. Johanna Nyström filled her spot for some time until Emma Nilsdotter replaced her in 2008 and had her first appearance with the group in Kremlin Palace.[5] Johanna Nyström also filled in for both Margareta Bengtson and Katarina Henryson when they were on maternity leave or otherwise away. Morten Vinther Sørensen joined the group in 2010 to replace Peder Karlsson, who shifted his focus to develop The Real Academy. In 2015 Jānis Strazdiņš joined the group as the bass after Anders Jalkéus retired due to health reasons.

On 19 January 2016 the Real Group announced that Lisa Östergren would replace Katarina Henryson.[6]

Vocal ranges of previous members[edit]

  • Margareta Bengtson: F3-G5
  • Johanna Nyström
  • Peder Karlsson: E2-C5
  • Anders Jalkéus
  • Katarina Henryson: D3-C5

Discography[edit]

Date of release Title Notes
1987 Debut Thirteen tracks, three in Swedish and the rest in English. Recorded around two microphones onto 2-track tape, where the singers adjusted balance by controlling their distance from the microphone.[7][8] (Caprice)
1989 Nothing But the Real Group Twelve tracks, all in English (Caprice)
1991 Röster Twelve tracks, all in Swedish (Caprice)
1994 Unreal! (Town Crier)
1996 Ori:ginal Twelve tracks, all in Swedish
1996 Get:real
March 19, 1996 Live in Stockholm Released in Sweden under the title jazz:live. Ten tracks in English, one in Swedish, one with no lyrics. All tracks are live performances in concert. (Town Crier)
1997 En riktig jul Title translates: A Real Christmas. Thirteen tracks, all in Swedish
1998 One for All Sixteen tracks, one in Swedish, accompanied by Toots Thielemans on harmonica.
2000 Commonly Unique Thirteen tracks, all English
2002 Stämning Twenty-two tracks, all in Swedish. Swedish folk songs, all choral in their musical style. The performances were recorded without overdubbing and were directed Eric Ericson. (EMI)
2003 Julen er her Norwegian title translates: Christmas is here. Fifteen tracks: three in English, nine in Swedish, two in Norwegian, one with no lyrics. Four tracks are live performances in concert. Includes a video clip of a live performance of "Clown of the Jungle", an a cappella arrangement of the soundtrack to a Disney short film by the same name.[9]
June 12, 2003 The Real Thing Thirteen tracks: 5 in Swedish, rest in English. Two tracks were previously unreleased, a re-recorded version of "Dancing Queen" and "Song from the Snow" created for a Korean movie. (Dreambeat)
2005 In the Middle of Life Thirteen tracks: twelve in English and one with no lyrics. The Korean-market version contains two additional tracks in English. (FMC)
June 25, 2008 Håll musiken i gång Nine tracks, all in Swedish, three previously released. This album is a tribute to Swedish entertainer Povel Ramel, a fan of The Real Group and vice versa. The Real Group received Ramel's Karamelodiktstipendiet, a scholarship funded by Ramel, in 2002. The last track, "Konditori Forgätmigej", was written by Anders Edenroth in Povel's style. Margareta Bengtson joined the group in studio to record this album. (EMI)
September 16, 2009 The Real Album Twelve tracks: ten in English and two with no lyrics. (Lionheart)
2012 The World for Christmas Thirteen tracks: seven in English, four in Swedish, and two with no lyrics. It contains "The World for Christmas" composed and arranged by Anders Edenroth. (Universal)
2013 Live in Japan Fifteen tracks: ten in English, five with no lyrics. Recorded live in April 2013 at the Billboard Jazz Club in Osaka and Tokyo. Two songs, "Catching the Big Fish" and "Lucky Luke", were composed by Morten Vinther Sørensen.
December 1, 2017 Elements 16 tracks: thirteen in English, two in Swedish, and one in Latvian.

Awards[edit]

  • Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs):
    • 1995: Best Contemporary Cover: "Dancing Queen" from Varför får man inte bara vara som man är
    • 1995: Best Jazz Song: "Flight of the Foo-Birds" from Varför får man inte bara vara som man är
    • 1996: Best Female Vocalist: Margareta Bengtson
    • 1997: Live Album of the Year: Live in Stockholm
    • 1997: Best Original Pop Song: "Jag Vill Va Med Dig"
    • 1997: Best Jazz Song: "Waltz for Debby"
    • 1997: Best Female Vocalist: Margareta Bengtson
    • 1998: Best Holiday Album: En riktig jul
    • 2003: Best Classical Album: Stämning
    • 2003: Runner Up for Best Classical Song: "En vänlig grönskas rika dräkt" from Stämning
    • 2004: Best Holiday Album: Julen er her
    • 2004: Best Holiday Song: "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" from Julen er her
  • Other awards:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "The Real Group". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The Real Group Questions & Answers". Group web site content. Retrieved August 15, 2006.
  3. ^ "The Real Group Questions & Answers". Group web site content. Retrieved August 11, 2006.
  4. ^ "The Real Group". Musikverket (Swedish music web site. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
  5. ^ The Real Group performs in Kremlin Palace, Russia Archived 2008-06-18 at the Wayback Machine.. Group web site content.
  6. ^ "YouTube Announcement of Katarina's retirement". TheRealGroupDotSE. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  7. ^ "A history of TRG recordings". Archived group website content. Archived from the original on August 19, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "Comments on Debut". Singers.com. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  9. ^ The Disney short film Clown of the Jungle is typically broadcast on Swedish television on Christmas Eve, hence its appearance in this Christmas album.

External links[edit]