Parenting and music - in sweet harmony?
Five beautifully singing Skellefteå dads have charmed the music world.
We know that Dad Harmony knows their voices. But what are they really like as fathers?
And how do they combine the life of a musician with pick-up, drop-off and bedtime stories?
"Sorry for the late reply. A bit hectic right now".
Getting hold of Dad Harmony in the fall of 2023 is not very easy, it turns out when Skellefteå-Tidningen texts the group to get an interview. The life puzzle, you know. Because it has been at least full up for the group lately. They have played for sold-out houses in Stockholm and Gothenburg, been on Nyhetsmorgon in TV4 and Morgonstudion in SVT. Now they have just started a Christmas tour in 14 locations around Sweden.
- "It's great fun, really. Then there's the matter of finding enough time, as you may have noticed. Some of us have taken time off from our jobs on Friday afternoons. It's a lot," says Tomas Vidmark.
He is one of five musicians in the group, which also consists of Peter Vidmark, Sebastian Åkesson, Adam Stenlund and Michael Åberg. The success began, somewhat unplanned, with a clip on Tiktok in June last year.
- The idea was just to send a video to a colleague. I shot the video in Tiktok. When I was about to send it, I realized that I couldn't download the video without publishing it. So that's what I did. Then it took off the first night," says Tomas Vidmark, who sings one of the middle voices in the group.
By now, that clip has been viewed over 20 million times. And Dad Harmony has continued to take social media by storm. There are over a million followers, mainly in the US, Germany, Japan and France. So how do they themselves explain this huge and rapid success?
- "I think we are quite ordinary people. Singing a genre of music - a capella - that might not be very familiar to the average person, but we make it very mainstream. We try to keep it quite simple and stick to very well-known songs. Then I think it's a combination of our voices and the sound we have," says Tomas.
Then there's the matter of fatherhood. Everyone in the group has two children each - 10 children in total - and fairly full calendars. The group usually tries to rehearse in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed, but most of the videos feature the kids.
- It was natural for our children to be there when we made the videos. As a parent, you feel that your children are the most important thing you have. I think we all see ourselves as pretty playful dads. Who all have a love for music. We also want the kids to enjoy the music and appreciate it," says Tomas.
What do the children say about the success?
- They think it's fun. But I don't think everyone has really understood it. Most of them are under six years old," says Tomas.
Sebastian Åkesson, who sings the bass part, chimes in:
- "My daughter Milla, the oldest of the children, also thinks it's fun. But she can also question why we have to meet and practice so much. She also wonders why only Michael sings solo," he says.
And what do your partners say?
- They think it's great fun and are very supportive. But of course it's challenging for them. We have to be away a bit more. Especially now that we are starting to perform concerts. It's not always fun to hear your partner walking around and working on a single part at home over and over again.
The fact that it works at home is essential for the music career to continue, says Sebastian.
- It only works as long as you have your family with you. That's why you're grateful that you can make it work. But there are probably times when they wish you had stayed at home," he says.
Lullabies according to Dad Harmony
- I have tried to sing a lot to my children since birth. I'm not a fan of the classic lullabies. Byssan lull is too depressing. I've probably mostly sung pop ballads, like Whitney Houston.
- There have been a lot of lullabies. I had a favorite that I think is called Sagan om lilla Sofi. But my daughter thought it was so sad that she started crying! I wasn't allowed to sing it anymore.