Jonas Erik Altberg, better known by his stage name Basshunter, is a Swedish singer, record producer and DJ. He began producing music under the stage name "Basshunter" in 2001.
He recorded six studio albums: The Bassmachine, LOL, The Old Shit, Now You're Gone – The Album, Bass Generation and Calling Time. In addition to his own music, he has written and produced for many artists. He also took part in the British seventh series of Celebrity Big Brother, the Swedish Fångarna på fortet and the British Weakest Link in 2010.
He won awards such as the European Border Breakers Award, the Grammi award for Best Ringtone of the Year in 2006, and the World Music Award. He was also nominated for the BT Digital Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and Rockbjörnen. According to 2014 Extensive Music label figures, more than six million Basshunter records have been sold.
Early lifeJonas Altberg was born the elder of two boys and raised in Halmstad, Sweden, and lived with his parents, Karl Göran Altberg and his late mother Gunhild Elisabet Altberg, and younger brother, Joakim, near Tylösand beach. His mother was a teacher and head of a secondary school. His father worked in a construction company. Basshunter first went to Kattegattgymnasiet secondary school, a technical school. However, he moved to Sturegymnasiet secondary school in Halmstad to study music. He also attended college but did not complete his program.
In 1998, he started singing in a choir run by his mother which birthed his passion for singing. He also sang in a rock band where he became acquainted with experimental music.
2001–2006: BeginningsAltberg began producing music under the stage name "Basshunter" as a reference to his musical style in 2001, after six months of using FruityLoops.
His first studio album, The Bassmachine, was released by Alex Music on 25 August 2004. In 2005, a remastered version of this album was released, with better sound quality. In 2006, Basshunter re-released The Bassmachine as The Bass Machine and he released his third studio album The Old Shit through his own web site. Basshunter's interest in music deepened as time went by.
He published his music mainly through the Internet and for several years he was a DJ in Swedish clubs. His EP "Welcome to Rainbow" was released on 1 April 2006. It included the single "Boten Anna", released later that May. In 2006, he moved to Malmö.
2006–2008: ''LOL''Basshunter initially published his song "Boten Anna" online in March 2006. Within twenty-four hours, the song was downloaded 37,000 times. With this success, Basshunter received several proposals from music labels. In April 2006, he signed with Extensive Music and Warner Music Sweden, and on 9 May 2006, "Boten Anna" was officially released as a single. By 8 June 2006, the song had been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. The German version of song was released as a single in 2007. The song peaked at number 1 on the Swedish singles chart, was number 14 on the Best of All Time list, and was certified platinum. It also made it to number 1 on the Danish chart, staying on top for 14 weeks, and was certified triple platinum selling 61,000 copies. It was also certified gold in Austria.
Basshunter's second studio album, LOL was released on 28 August 2006. He worked on an album through the three and half weeks. Ali Payami helped him with three songs. A red cover version was released on 1 January 2008, with the same Swedish songs from the original album, but with lyrics or just titles translated into English. The new release also included new tracks, including "Now You're Gone", "Russia Privjet", "The Beat", "Jingle Bells", "Beer in the Bar" and "DotA ". The special version of this album released in 2008 included the German version of "Boten Anna" and three music videos. The album peaked at number 5 in Sweden reached number 3 on the Danish albums chart, was certified double platinum, and placed at number 4 on the Finnish chart.
The second single "Vi sitter i Ventrilo och spelar DotA" was released on 13 September of the same year. The single peaked at number 2 in Finland, number 6 in Sweden, and number 7 in Norway and Denmark. It was certified gold in Denmark. His next single "Hallå där" was charted at number 51 on Swedish singles chart. The single "Vifta med händerna" featured the duo Patrik & Lillen and peaked on the Finnish charts at number 7 and on the Sweden charts at number 25. His fifth single, a remake of "Jingle Bells" was released on 13 November and peaked at number 9 in Norway, and number 13 in Sweden. The single also made it onto the Dutch and United Kingdom charts.
On 5 November 2007, a new version of the "Vi sitter i Ventrilo och spelar DotA" was released under the title "DotA", and charted on Germany's singles chart. This was different from the 2008 version from Now You're Gone – The Album.
2007–2009: ''Now You're Gone – The Album''On 29 December 2007, a re-recording of "Boten Anna" entitled "Now You're Gone" was released. "Now You're Gone" was made in 2006 by Bazzheadz. Basshunter wanted to translate "Boten Anna" to English but it was impossible to translate so in 2007 he made his version of "Now You're Gone" featuring Bazzheadz. It was the initial release for Hard2Beat Records' label. The single charted at number 1 in the United Kingdom, where it stayed at the top for five weeks It sold an excess 667,000 copies in the United Kingdom and was certified platinum. It also charted on UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade. "Now You're Gone" also stayed at the top for five weeks in Ireland, made it to number 2 on the Swedish chart, and number 3 in New Zealand. On the French singles chart, "Now You're Gone" peaked at number 6, selling 92,230 copies. "Now You're Gone" also charted at number 4 on the European Hot 100 Singles. The music video of the single was the third most viewed video on YouTube.
The next single, "Please Don't Go", was a cover of the KC and the Sunshine Band song from 1979. The single was released on 19 May 2008 and reached number 6 on the Swedish singles chart. The third single "All I Ever Wanted" was released on 7 June 2008 and peaked at number 2 in the United Kingdom where it sold 400,000 copies and was certified gold. It reached number 1 on the Irish singles chart. His single "All I Ever Wanted" was certified gold in New Zealand and charted at number 10 on the European Hot 100 Singles.
Basshunter worked on Now You're Gone – The Album for two and a half weeks before releasing it on 14 July 2008. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1. Additionally, the album sold of 376,017 copies in the United Kingdom, and was certified platinum. It also topped in New Zealand and was certified platinum there. Now You're Gone – The Album was charted at number 2 in Ireland and reached number 6 on European Top 100 Albums. The single "Angel in the Night" was released on 8 September 2008 and charted at number 10 in Ireland and number 14 in the United Kingdom. It was also charted in Sweden.
The fifth single from the album, "I Miss You", is a dance remake of a Westlife song and was released on 14 December 2008. The single appeared on the British, Swedish, and German charts. On 5 April 2009 the single "Walk on Water" was released as well as a deluxe edition of the album featuring all the tracks from the original album in addition to remixes of "I Miss You" and "Angel in the Night" by Headhunters, along with a 7th Heaven remix of "Walk on Water" and an Ultra DJ's remix of "Please Don't Go". "I Can Walk on Water" was renamed "Walk on Water".
2009: ''Bass Generation''His fourth studio album, Bass Generation, was released on 25 September 2009. The Double Disc version includes remixes of some of his singles, such as the Swedish version of "Without Stars" and "Camilla". In early September 2009, prior to the album release, the track "Numbers" was released to the public as a free download via Basshunter's official Bebo account. Bass Generation reached number 2 in New Zealand and number 16 in the British and Irish charts. It sold 60,000 copies and was certified silver in the United Kingdom. The single "Every Morning" from the album was released on 18 September 2009. It reached number 13 on Swedish singles chart and number 14 in New Zealand. It peaked at number 17 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. "I Promised Myself", a cover of a Nick Kamen hit was released on 29 November 2009.
2010–present: ''Calling Time'' and ''The Early Bedroom Sessions''The single "Saturday" was released on 5 July 2010, reached number 14 on the New Zealand chart and was certified gold. It also charted in the United Kingdom and Ireland. On 20 April 2011, the next Basshunter single named "Fest i hela huset" was released. Basshunter recorded it in the Swedish Big Brother series. The single charted at number 5 on the Swedish singles chart. His single titled "Northern Light" was released in August 2012 and the next single, "Dream on the Dancefloor", was released on 18 November that year. The first of the two planned albums, The Early Bedroom Sessions, was released on 3 December 2012. It consisted of songs from The Old Shit, The Bassmachine and demo songs.
On 13 May 2013, his sixth album Calling Time was released. In the version released in Ireland and in the United Kingdom, the track "Saturday" was replaced by "Open Your Eyes". The album charted at number 25 on the American chart, Dance/Electronic Albums. On 20 June 2013, the single "Crash & Burn" single was released. The last single from the album was the title track "Calling Time", released on 27 September.
On 26 June 2013 Basshunter announced that he was retiring from singing and focusing on DJing, producing, and songwriting. He met new artists and invited them to sing on his songs. He claimed that "it's so much more interesting and different when someone else is singing in a song he has written". He made the decision after his exhaustive four performances in four days.
On 20 November 2013, the single "Elinor" was released. On 25 November 2014, Basshunter announced that a new album was put together. In 2015, he wrote "Mange kommer hem till dig" for Mange Makers band. On 19 October 2018, the single "Masterpiece" was released. "Home" was released on 27 September 2019. The next Basshunter single "Angels Ain't Listening" was released on 29 May 2020.
RemixesBasshunter has remixed songs for a number of artists. In 2007 he released remixes of singles "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" by Verka Serduchka, "Du hast den schönsten Arsch der Welt" by Alex C., "Ieva's Polka " by Loituma, "Calcutta 2008" by Dr. Bombay, and in 2008, Alina's song "When You Leave ". In 2014, Basshunter remixed "Sex Love Rock n Roll " by Arash.
PhilanthropyIn 2008 and 2010 he appeared on the charity event Cash for Kids. He also appeared at the Musikhjälpen charity event in 2008.
In February 2012, Norton Hill School's Quantock House organized a 20-hour charity sleep-over with repeatedly playing Basshunter's "Now You're Gone" non-stop collecting more than £2,000 in the event for Time is Precious and for Cancer Research UK charities. It was repeated in 2015 with the same results.
TelevisionIn 2009, he was a guest of Red Bull Rivals and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Starting in 2010, Basshunter took part in the seventh series of British Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother as a housemate and finished in fourth place in the finale. He also appeared in the Swedish Fångarna på fortet and in the British Weakest Link in 2010.
Video games and filmsBasshunter finished second place in a Swedish StarCraft tournament. He appeared during the Danmarks Bedste Gamer in 2008 and during The Gathering in 2019.
In 2009–2011, Basshunter produced seven videos. In 2011, he appeared in the film Playing Mortal Online with Arnold!, where he invited people to play the video game Mortal Online. Basshunter appeared also in Arash's music video for "Melody".
Contests and social mediaIn 2009, he organised the Basshunter Artwork Competition where participants created their own designs for the Bass Generation album. In 2014, he organized the 1st Bass Challenge. Participants made their own tracks based on a samples pack. In a 2017 Twitter poll, 92% of 57,814 voters said they would like Basshunter to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; 8% supported Theresa May.
Musical style and live performancesBasshunter defines his music as eurodance. He says his music is cheerful, full of energy and very melodic, stating that it does not sound like other types of music, and adding that producers and artists display their own identity in their works. He feels he is passionate about basslines as a musician and uses them in his music. He added: "If you listen to a song on the radio, you can definitely tell whose music it is. When you listen to my music, you can tell it is Basshunter." In 2020 he described himself as quite emotional producer after a few years break from producing music.
As influences, he mentions listening to DJ Balloon, Rocco and bands Warp Brothers and Snap!. He also listened to many underground tracks that had never been released, or had not been widely known by the general public as well as German and Dutch techno music, reggae, funk and blues music, particularly music of Ray Charles. The first release he bought was a single "The Way" by Fastball in the 1990s. Basshunter work has influenced Avicii and Bladee.
The first computer he used was Atari ST. After achieving commercial success, he bought software to produce his music. He also contemplated creating video blogs rather than just online uploads. About 95% of his music is created with digital audio workstations, including FL Studio, Logic Pro, Logic Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, and Virtual Studio Technology plugins. He also plays the guitar.
Basshunter considers his fan base very important for his career and knows that many of his non-Scandinavian fans actually prefer his songs in Swedish. Writing in English may be an advantage for reaching international audiences, but he has also said that he likes the challenge of writing songs in English.
Basshunter tried to present his live performances as improvisations. He performed at many festivals including Elämä Lapselle, Hity Na Czasie twice in 2007 and 2009, Youth Beatz, Allsång på Skansen, Hull Pride, Stoke Live, Nottingham Pride, Europa Plus Live, Emmabodafestivalen, and Nallikari Summer Party.
In 2006, Basshunter performed during the Norway Cup. In 2009, he performed during the New Year's Eve party for the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and his family. He appeared on BBC Switch Live and in 2014 performed on Sochi Medals Plaza during the awards ceremony of Winter Olympic Games. Basshunter performed at many tours like Bass Generation Tour, New Zealand Tour, Dance Nation Tour, Calling Time, and UK/Ireland Tour 2015.
Personal lifeBasshunter is a fan of video games such as and Eve Online, as well as guitars. His mother, Gunn-Hild Altberg, died in 2016. He has Tourette syndrome.
During his time on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother he was in an intimate relationship with Ekaterina Ivanova. After being a couple for three years, Basshunter married Tina Makhia Khayatsadeh on 19 January 2017. The wedding took place in the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in the presence of singers Arash and Margaret, Jan Thesleff, Sweden's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and Jonas Siljemark, the chief executive officer of Warner Music Sweden, his manager Henrik Uhlmann and Basshunter's brother Joakim.
On 10 December 2010, Basshunter was charged by Fife Constabulary over a sexual assault allegation on two female fans during a party at a nightclub in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He was released on bail. His manager insisted at the time that the allegations were "totally untrue". Basshunter pled not guilty to two charges of sexual assault against the two women at the hearing at the town's Sheriff court on 12 January 2011. On 14 June 2011, he was found not guilty with the sheriff describing the two accusers as "neither credible nor reliable" and their testimony as "riddled with inconsistencies and improbabilities".
- The Bassmachine
- The Old Shit
- Now You're Gone – The Album
- Bass Generation
- Calling Time