Music Lovers and Soul Surfers gathered on the last Friday of March for a casual after-work get-together at Swedish Consul Lina van der Weyden’s home. The occasion was an informal celebration of artist Meja’s new album “Urban Gypsy,” her seventh so far. She is in LA to record in collaboration with famous musicians and producers Jeff Barry and Jed Leiber--a release is planned for fall 2008.
Some 120 guests crowded around the pool to enjoy new and familiar songs performed acoustically by Meja and her band: Martin Landquist, Johan Carlsson, Rickard Nettermalm and American songwriter, Jed Leiber on keyboards. Among the guests were notable Swedes like film director Jonas Åkerlund with son in tow, photographer Stefan Andersson with wife Angelina Jolin, and rocker Jamie Meyer.
Meja Beckman released her first solo album “Meja” back in 1996, followed by “Seven Sisters” a couple years later. The album included the hit song “It’s all about the money.” These first two albums reached triple platinum status in Japan where her debut album sold nearly one million copies. Meja is now one of the bestselling Swedish artists in the world. Her latest record “Mellow,” a jazz Bossa Nova album recorded with Brazilian flavor in which Meja sings some passages in Portugese, is especially popular in Brazil.
Intimately involved with the writing and production of her music, Meja writes poetry and short novels, and takes photographs as well. In addition, her website posts interesting semi-abstract art. She grew up in a family of musicians and artists; for Meja creativity is the most important thing in life. “The writing is my force in life and I have come to realize…I just love it,” she says.
An oversized photograph of Meja welcomes visitors to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. And she is in good company: The King and Queen of Sweden, Greta Garbo, Björn Borg and Carl von Linné are other familiar faces greeting travelers upon arrival. Wonderful to see that an international star of Meja’s caliber still hugs you with a warm smile, giving a stranger like me the impression of an old friendship.
By Anna Connell