European Border Breaker Awards 2016

European Border Breaker Awards

A Decade of Border-Breaking Nordic Newcomers!

Jan 2016
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The 2016 edition of the EBBA Awards (European Border Breaker Awards) have just taken place in Groningen in the Netherlands as part of this year’s edition of emerging band showcase, Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival.

The EBBA Awards show was hosted by UK musician and TV presenter Jools Holland, and for over a decade, the Awards have shone a spotlight on European artists who have successfully spread their music across national borders. With a strong tradition of highlighting Nordic winners, we’re thrilled to announce that two more artists have joined the prestigious ‘Nordic Hall of Fame’ of winners, with both Aurora [NOR] and Seinabo Sey [SWE] scooping prizes as this year’s winners!

Over the years, several Nordic artists have returned home from Eurosonic Festival with a shiny award in their luggage. So as lovers of new music, we decided to take a closer look at some of the Nordic winners of this upcoming-artist award from the past decade! They broke through with style, but who managed to stay in the spotlight?


Seinabo Sey [SWE]

Off to a flying start, Seinabo Sey has already captivated audiences in the US in 2016, performing tracks from her recently released debut album Pretend before heading to the EBBA Awards to dazzle the crowd with a truly memorable appearance. Seinabo is certainly an artist that has been making waves throughout the Nordics over the past year, and 2016 promises to offer even more – stay tuned to the Nordic Playlist to find out about her latest news!

Aurora [NOR]

Norwegian songstress Aurora was already causing ripples in 2014, but 2015 was the year when those ripples turned into a tidal wave. To sum it up, as well as touring throughout Europe and captivating crowds with tracks such as ‘Runaway’ and ‘Running With The Wolves’, Aurora was selected as the voice to soundtrack the UK’s John Lewis Christmas Advert, she created her own Nordic Playlist and announced the much anticipated release of her debut album, due to land in March. Deserving of a European Border Breaker Award? We think so.



Since MØ won the EBBA for her album No Mythologies to Follow, things couldn’t have gotten much bigger for her. The last couple of years have seen extensive touring across the world and the song ‘Lean On’, which she released in early 2015 together with Major Lazer and DJ Snake, became the most streamed track on Spotify ever. Curious to hear more? Then check out MØ’s very own Nordic Playlist here

Todd Terje [NOR]

Todd Terje was awarded a well deserved EBBA for his debut album It’s Album Time back in 2014. The Norwegian Disco King might have kept us waiting for the highly anticipated album to finally arrive, but it was well worth the wait! And our guess is that it’ll be soundtracking our lives for a long time to come!

Tove Lo [SWE]

Sweden’s Tove Lo won an EBBA for her album Queen of the Clouds, which was also released in late 2014. Since then, Tove has not only toured the world, conquering countries and hearts along the way, but she’s also been nominated for a Grammy and features on the latest Coldplay album!


Lukas Graham [DEN]

Denmark’s Lukas Graham continues to build on the momentum of his debut release, most notably with his 2015 single ‘7 Years’, which even saw the vocalist and band land a guest appearance on the show of US TV legend Conan O’Brien! A full album arrived in 2015, completing the promises made when Lukas Graham won their EBBA back in 2014.

Icona Pop [SWE]

With their album This is… Icona Pop and their chart-smashing hit ‘I Love It’, Sweden’s Icona Pop kickstarted their career with some serious fireworks back in 2013. Since then, the duo has relocated from Sweden to New York and even reached such heady heights as to tour with Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. Want to know more? Then check out their hand-picked Nordic Playlist here!

Ásgeir [ICE]

Ásgeirs much loved debut album Dýrð í dauðaþögn was so popular, that a completely translated version was released in English in 2013, going on to climb charts in Belgium, The Netherlands, the UK, France and Australia. he then headed across the pond to make waves in America, before returning to Europe to bring his mesmerising live show to audiences throughout the continent. Find out more about his journey so far as well as his favourite Nordic artists in his very own Nordic Playlist!

Nico & Vinz (Envy) [NOR]

This superstar duo in Nico & Vinz – previously known as Envy – put Norwegian R’n’B firmly on the map with their hugely successful hit ‘Am I Wrong’, which topped the charts not only in the Nordics, but in the US and UK too! They rounded off the year by releasing their album Black Star Elephant, and in 2015, curated a special Nordic Playlist as well as releasing a new EP entitled Cornerstone. Find out more about their journey so far in our exclusive interview!


French Films [FIN]

Imaginary Future, which earned Finnish indie outfit French Films their very own EBBA, was followed by a new release entitled White Orchid in 2013. The band returned in 2015 to offer up a brand new single called ‘You Are The Sun’ – a sample of new music to come from this esteemed band, so keep an ear out in 2016 to hear more of what they have in store.

Of Monsters and Men [ICE]

My Head is an Animal earned Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men instant success, and peaked on several charts in Europe and the US. This was recognised when the band were awarded an EBBA in 2013, and there’s been no stopping them since! Extensive touring over several continents followed the release of their debut album, and in 2015, they returned to reveal Beneath the Skin, as well as to catch up with the Nordic Playlist to discuss the record and to share their favourite artist recommendations.

Niki and the Dove [SWE]

Instinct, the only full-length release from the Swedish indie-tronica duo Niki and the Dove so far, was released back in 2012 and saw the group quickly labelled as a hot prospect for the future of edgy Swedish pop. More unstoppable singles followed, before the band embarked on a writing period which was broken in 2015 with the release of a brand new single entitled ‘Play It On My Radio’!

Nabiha [DEN]

Nabiha‘s 2011 record Cracks was re-released internationally under the title More Cracks, and went on to be awarded an EBBA in 2013. Since then, the Danish pop powerhouse has gone on to release another album entitled Mind the Gap along with several singles, and the latest, Animals, was released just a week ago!


Agnes Obel [DEN]

The album Philharmonics from 2010 did not only earn Danish musician Agnes Obel an EBBA back in 2012, but also went on to win no fewer than five Danish Music Awards in 2011. Since then, Agnes has found an adoring international audience, especially in the francophone countries, and released another album entitled Aventine in 2013.

Swedish House Mafia [SWE]

Producers Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso formed the group Swedish House Mafia, a collective who burst onto several charts in Europe and the US with their debut album Until Now. The group disbanded in 2013, but the members certainly didn’t disappear from the international DJ scene…


Miike Snow [SWE]

Sweden’s Miike Snow released their self-titled debut album, including the hits ‘Animal’ and ‘Black & Blue’ in 2009. The band have continued to expand on their earlier work and their latest singles, ‘Heart is Full’ and ‘Genghis Khan’ were released in the Autumn. Band member Pontus Winnberg is also familiar as a founder of another successful Swedish act – Amason, who recently curated the Nordic Playlist.

Donkeyboy [NOR]

Since their album Caught In A Life was released in 2009, Norway’s Donkeyboy have continued to capture attention within the Nordics, releasing two more albums – Silver Moon and The Hits, before unveiling their latest single ‘Lost’ in late 2015.

Aura Dione [DEN]

Her debut album Columbine landed back in 2008, earning Denmark’s Aura Dione both an EBBA as well as three Danish Music Awards! A new album entitled Before The Dinosaurs landed in 2011, and word is that Aura is now living in LA and preparing her next album – so stay tuned!


Jenny Wilson [SWE]

After winning her EBBA Award in 2010, thrilling Swedish artist Jenny Wilson went on to make the short film Beyond The Wasteland which premiered in Sweden and Denmark in 2012, before releasing her punch-packing latest album Demand The Impossible to critical acclaim in 2013. Find out more about this sensational artists by tuning in to her very own Nordic Playlist, right here!


Alphabeat [DEN]

The band behind the infinitely catchy single ‘Fascination’ took Denmark by storm in 2007 ,and their album Alphabeat earned them an EBBA in 2009! Their third album Express – None Stop came out in 2012, followed by a widespread tour and a series of successful solo projects that have shown the members in different lights to those seen before.

Ida Corr [DEN]

Another Danish winner at the 2009 EBBAs was Ida Corr, who received an award for begin the top selling Danish artist in all of Europe! The incredible singer has since released two albums Corr Values and Singled Out.

Lykke Li [SWE]

Sweden’s Lykke Li had a strong start to her career with Youth Novels back in 2008 and since then, has gone on to become more prominent and better than ever before. Her debut album was critically acclaimed, finding audiences in both Europe and the US, which earned Lykke Li an EBBA and led to a lot of touring, in Europe and beyond. Her follow up record Wounded Rhymes was released in 2011, followed by I Never Learn in 2014, which you can find out more about by tuning in to Lykke Li’s very own Nordic Playlist!


Sunrise Avenue [FIN]

Few Finnish acts have managed to repeat what Sunrise Avenue achieved – or in fact, few international artists have managed it either! After the release of their album On the Way to Wonderland, which earned the band an EBBA in 2008, the band played several sold out European tours and sold in excess of two million albums. The latest release is a best of album which landed in 2014, and went on to reach platinum sales status in Germany.

Dúné [DEN]

Denmark’s electronic rock outfit Dúné received an EBBA for the album We Are in There You Are Out Here in 2008. Shortly after three members left the band, however the trio has continued to successfully release music, the latest work being Wild Hearts in 2013.

Basshunter [SWE]

Internet phenomenon Basshunter was awarded an EBBA in 2008 for his album LOL <(^^,)>. After releasing four albums (!) and a remix album, the Swedish artist released his fifth album Calling Time in 2013!


José González [SWE]

José González‘s debut Veneer, which included his heart-wrenching cover of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ (remember those bouncing balls in San Fransisco?), was released internationally in 2005 and went platinum in the UK. His follow up In Our Nature was released in 2007 and after shifting focus to his band Junip for a few years, José returned with an album of his own, Vestiges and Claws, in 2015 as well as curating a Nordic Playlist to share his favourite Nordic artists and tracks.


Arash [SWE]

Arash won his EBBA in 2006 for the hit single ‘Boro Boro’ which made it to the charts in several countries throughout Europe. Since then, Arash has found an avid audience in many eastern-European and Asian countries, and went on to release his latest album Superman in 2014, featuring Sean Paul and T-Pain.


Redrama [FIN]

Everyday Soundtrack by Redrama was released in 2003 in the UK, and the quick rise of the Finnish rapper earned him an EBBA two years later. Since then his career has been characterised by collaborations involving many Finnish and Swedish rappers, in addition to his material in English. Among the more intriguing collaborations is the work with A.J. McLean from Backstreet Boys for the 2013 single ‘Clouds’. Find out more in his Nordic Playlist!

Ana Johnsson [SWE]

Swedish singer Ana Johnsson‘s 2004 release The Way I Am not only earned her a prestigious EBBA award, but the album even went on to reach gold sales status in Japan! The follow-up Little Angel was released in 2006, but since then it’s been quiet, although she’s left the door open for making more music in the future.

The Raveonettes [DEN]

Denmark’s The Raveonettes sure aimed for the stars after being awarded the EBBA Award as early as 2005! With seven albums now out and available for you to tune into, countless gigs under their collective belt and an amazing Nordic Playlist ready and waiting for you, they’ve sure kept in the spotlight!


Saybia [DEN]

The first Nordic act ever to get an EBBA was Denmark’s Saybia, back in 2004. The band earned the award for their first full-length album, The Second You Sleep. Lots has happened since then, but after disappearing from the spotlight for a few years, the band returned with No Sound From the Outside in 2015, followed by touring in their native Denmark as well as abroad.

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