Pitch perfect: Swedish vendor stars on covers album to boost street paper sales

A formerly homeless vendor has joined some of Sweden’s top musicians to create a unique covers album for her street paper.

Der Ordnar sig VIII [It’s gonna be OK… volume 3] was launched last week by Gothenburg paper Faktum to boost sales for its vendors.

Faktum vendor Jasmin Carlsson performs her song on Faktum's new album with Swedish pop singer Joel Alme and actor/musician Tomas von Brömssen.A number of well-known Swedish artists were invited to cover songs chosen by Faktum vendors. The result sees much-loved tracks, such as Halo by Beyoncé and Depeche Mode’s Dream On, reimagined in an eclectic mix of styles, including country, jazz, opera, synthpop, spoken word and A Capella.

But the undisputed star of the album is Jasmin Carlsson, who has been a vendor at Faktum since 2010.

Jasmin’s vocals appear on Only a Homeless, a cover of Bob Dylan’s Only a Hobo, rewritten and co-performed by Swedish pop singer Joel Alme and actor/musician Tomas von Brömssen.

The 46-year-old has been a musician for 25 years but said she was never able to pursue it as a profession. “I have always loved to sing and this was an amazing opportunity. I think we all did it very well,” she added.

The 12-track album forms part of the magazine’s March edition, which can be purchased from vendors across Gothenburg for 150SEK [£12.50] instead of the usual 50 SEK cover price. They will buy their copies for 75SEK (£6.20) and keep the profits.

Jasmin also performed Only a Homeless live at a press launch for the record last month, alongside Alme and von Brömssen. The pair altered Dylan’s original title and lyrics to put a more positive spin on an issue faced by many Faktum vendors.

Jasmin added, “I’m very proud that Faktum is able to produce high quality projects like this record, and do really good things with them. Selling the record with the magazine helps me put more food on the table every day.”

This is the third fundraising record released by Faktum since 2014. In a twist for 2016, it features covers of songs picked by vendors from the past 15 years, to coincide with the street paper’s upcoming 15th anniversary.

Faktum’s director Ãse Henell said vendors have been looking forward to the special edition since December. She hopes this year’s record will rival the success of previous releases, which sold a combined 8000 copies in the past two years.

“For some vendors the record makes a big difference in income,” said Ãse. “It helped one of our vendors take a holiday for the first time in many years. They rented a small cottage for a week in the south of Sweden last summer. For another vendor, it meant she could buy train tickets to visit her son in Stockholm.”

Faktum’s musical March edition features Kikki Danielsson on the front cover. Danielsson has represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest twice. She gave Avicii’s chart-topping single Hey Brother a country twist especially for the fundraising album.

Other contributing artists include synthpop band Silent Wave (covering Beyonce’s Halo), opera singer Rickard Söderberg and the Göteborg Wind Orchestra (Bjork’s Hidden Place), and rising Swedish pop starlet Linnea Henriksson.

While Jasmin’s track stands out on a personal level, Ãse says the albums as a whole is “thought-provoking, energetic, beautiful and powerful.”

She added, “We’re lucky to make the record with the most famous musicians in Sweden, so it´s good quality. It is very important that everything we do has high standard and that’s reflects the magazine as well. We are very proud of it and so are our vendors.”

The record follows Thank God It’s Friday, a candid calendar exploring what Faktum vendors get up to after work. It was launched by Faktum in January to boost vendors’ sales.