The Real Group

The Real Group

(From left) Anders Edenroth, Emma Nilsdotter, Lisa Östergren, Morten Vinther Sørensen, Jānis Strazdiņš
Background information
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres A cappella, Vocal jazz, Pop
Years active 1984–present
Members Emma Nilsdotter (soprano)
Lisa Östergren (alto)
Anders Edenroth (tenor)
Morten Vinther Sørensen (baritone)
Jānis Strazdiņš (bass)
Past members Margareta Bengtson
Johanna Nyström
Peder Karlsson
Anders Jalkéus
Katarina Henryson
The Real Group
The Real Group together with Unduzo at the Zelt-Musik-Festival 2016 in Freiburg, Germany

The Real Group is a professional a cappella group from Sweden, consisting of five members: Emma Nilsdotter, Lisa Östergren, Anders Edenroth, Morten Vinther Sørensen and Jānis Strazdiņš.

The group's members compose or arrange most of the songs that they perform. A large portion of the group's recorded songs are sung in English, with the remainder being almost entirely in Swedish. The group cites Bobby McFerrin as an early source of inspiration: "What we do may never have happened if we hadn't heard his [albums].".[1]

The Real Group has performed in more than 2000 concerts worldwide.[2] In 2002 The Real Group performed at the opening ceremony of The FIFA World Cup in Seoul. They performed live to the audience of 60,000. On 22 December 1993, to commemorate the fiftieth birthday of Queen Silvia of Sweden, The Real Group backed up former ABBA member Anni-Frid Lyngstad in a performance of the ABBA hit "Dancing Queen", using an a cappella arrangement that would later be released on the album "Varför får man inte bara vara som man är".

Member changes

The Real Group was formed in 1984, when its original members were students at the Swedish Royal College of Music. All had previously attended Adolf Fredrik's Music School (Swedish: Adolf Fredriks Musikklasser), a school in Stockholm known for its song and choral curriculum.[3] Margareta Bengtson had been the Soprano with the group since its inception but broke off from the group to work on her solo albums at the end of 2006. Johanna Nyström filled her spot for some time, until Emma Nilsdotter replaced her in 2008, and had her first appearance with the group in Kremlin Palace.[4] Johanna Nyström also filled in for both Margareta Bengtson and Katarina Henryson when they were on maternity leave or otherwise away.

Morten Vinther Sørensen joined the group in 2010 to replace Peder Karlsson, who shifted his focus to developing The Real Academy.

In 2015 Jānis Strazdiņš joined the group as the bass after Anders Jalkéus decided to retire due to health reasons.

On 19 January 2016 the Real Group announced Katarina Henryson would be leaving the group in summer 2016, to be replaced by Lisa Östergren.[5]

Vocal ranges of the members

Vocal ranges of previous members


Date of release
Thirteen tracks, 3 in Swedish and the rest in English. Recorded around one microphone, where the artists used tape on the floor to denote how far/close to position themselves to the mic.
Nothing But the Real Group
Twelve tracks, all in English.
Twelve tracks, all in Swedish.
Varför får man inte bara vara som man är
A compilation album originally targeted at the European market.
A compilation album originally targeted at the US market. Fourteen tracks: ten in English, two in Swedish, two with no lyrics.
Twelve tracks, all in Swedish.
March 19, 1996
Live in Stockholm
Released in Sweden under the title "jazz:live". Twelve tracks: ten in English, one in Swedish, one with no lyrics. All tracks are live performances in concert.
En riktig jul
Title translates: "A real Christmas". Thirteen tracks, all in Swedish.
One for All
Sixteen tracks, one in Swedish accompanied by Toots Thielemans on harmonica.
Commonly Unique
Thirteen tracks, all English.
Allt det bästa
Title translates "All the best". A best of album with twenty tracks, four of them previously unreleased. Eight tracks in English, ten in Swedish, one in Spanish, one with no lyrics. Three tracks are live performances in concert.
Twenty-two tracks, all in Swedish. Swedish folk songs, all choral in their musical style. The performances were recorded without overdubbing and were directed by the well-known Swedish choral director Eric Ericson.
September 26, 2002
The Best - Tour Souvenir Album
Julen er her
Norwegian title translates: "Christmas is here". Fifteen tracks: three in English, nine in Swedish, two in Norwegian, one with no lyrics. Four tracks are live performances in concert. Includes a video clip of a live performance of "Clown of the Jungle", an a cappella arrangement of the soundtrack to a Disney short film by the same name.[6]
June 12, 2003
The Real Thing
Thirteen tracks: 5 in Swedish, rest in English. Only 2 tracks previously unreleased, a re-recorded version of "Dancing Queen", as well as "Song from the snow" created for a Korean movie. Also has an accompanying Video-CD as disc 2.
In the Middle of Life
Thirteen tracks: twelve in English and one with no lyrics. The Korean-market version contains two additional tracks in English.
June 25, 2008
Håll musiken i gång
Nine tracks, all in Swedish, three previously released. This album is a tribute to Swedish entertainer Povel Ramel, a long-standing fan of The Real Group and vice versa. The Real Group received Ramel's Karamelodiktstipendiet, a scholarship funded by Ramel, in 2002. Of particular notice is the last track, "Konditori Forgätmigej" written by Anders Edenroth. It is written in the tradition of Povel's style of music writing, an appropriate last farewell to an old friend. Margareta Bengtson joined the group in studio to record this album.
September 16, 2009
The Real Album
Twelve tracks: ten in English and two with no lyrics. Most of them are new.
The World for Christmas
Thirteen tracks: seven in English, four in Swedish and two with no lyrics. It contains the original song, composed and arranged by Anders Edenroth, The World for Christmas.
Live in Japan
Fifteen tracks: ten in English, five with no lyrics. Recorded live in April 2013 at Billboard Jazz Club in Osaka and Tokyo. Two songs, Catching the Big Fish and Lucky Luke, are composed by Morten Vinther Sørensen.
Three Decades of Vocal Music
Twentyone tracks: a collection of hits and memories of 30 years of career. The CD contains old records, like Mister Father, The Christmas Oratorio and Thousand Things, and new songs, like Scandinavian Shuffle, a tribute to Swe-Danes, and Mu Ruokto Lea Mu Vaimmus, a poem in Sami language by the Sami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, with music by Svante Henryson.



  1. "The Real Group Questions & Answers". Group web site content. Retrieved August 15, 2006.
  2. "The Real Group Questions & Answers". Group web site content. Retrieved August 11, 2006.
  3. "The Real Group". Musikverket (Swedish music web site. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
  4. The Real Group performs in Kremlin Palace, Russia. Group web site content.
  5. "YouTube Announcement of Katarina's retirement". TheRealGroupDotSE. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  6. The Disney short film Clown of the Jungle is typically broadcast on Swedish television on Christmas Eve, hence its appearance in this Christmas album.
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