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  • David Bentley

NMR Introducing – Ingrid Fröderberg (Sweden)

Here’s something a bit different, and something I’ve been waiting for, for a while now.

Three years ago I attended a small boutique festival in Gävle, Sweden. Amongst the various performers, some of whom have featured already in NMR (SoLBLoMMa, Johanna Brun, Anna-Karin Berglund, Åsa Larsson [who will be in next week with a new single], David Lehnberg, Comminor, Melby etc) was a local teenage singing group, Helges All-Stars (all of whom are very good by the way). Not knowing they were singers (I got it in my head they were a dance troupe) I hadn’t paid much attention to them. I later discovered Helges is the descendant of a keep-the-kids-off-the-streetsocial project started several decades ago and that, inter alia, they are responsible for discovering Zara Larsson.

About halfway through the evening the festival organiser (who was one of those who got Helges up and running all that time ago) shouted, “Come with me, you have to hear this girl”, who had apparently performed one song earlier.

The girl was the then 12-year old Ingrid Fröderberg, less than 5ft tall, and probably weighing about five stone. When she clambered on stage I thought there must be some mistake.

What then followed was one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. She has a voice you would not believe could possibly emanate from such a slight figure if you didn’t hear it with your own ears. And the song she’d selected to cover could not have been more difficult, even for a seasoned pro, with its complex breathing and phrasing requirements and little idiosyncratic inflections.

(The 12 year old Ingrid) - centre

That song was Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’ and she absolutely killed it. By the time she finished it word had got out and the building Helges were performing in was packed. I can’t recall such a response from an audience, there were tears flowing down many adult faces, including Johanna Brun’s and I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that. It is an emotional song anyway but the delivery, especially the phrasing, was out of this world.

I’ve kept tabs on Ingrid since then, I know she’s performed at, and won, several talent shows throughout Europe, not only in Sweden, but she’s still young and I’m sure protective parents have been keeping her under wraps and quite right too. She’s 16 now and Zara Larsson was similarly protected until she was 16 so perhaps we will hear more of Ingrid now.

As it happens a video has just surfaced of Ingrid, now blossoming into a young woman, performing in the ‘Golden Voice’ online Maltese singing competition. It’s the first I’ve seen for a while. The song here is a Swedish version of ABBA’s ‘The winner takes it all.’ It’s clear how she has the ability to sudden explode the vocal and sustain it; one of the more difficult skills, and she has also learned how to ‘belt’. I’m sure there are plenty of metal bands who would take an interest in this video if they knew of it.

The only difficulty I have is that I don’t think this song really tests her. I’ve got a list of songs a mile long that I’d love her to tackle. So I’ve appended here a couple of videos, of Ingrid and Beyoncé performing ‘Listen’. (Remember that Beyoncé is lip-syncing to a studio version here while Ingrid is performing live to recorded music, outside on a blustery afternoon on Spain’s Costa Daurada).


Close your eyes and figure out who is who.

We will of course keep you up to date on Ingrid’s progress, as an adopted Wunderkind.

No social media links obviously.


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