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On Friday, September 1, “Smekmåad” (Honeymoon) competes in “P4 Nästa”. Photo: Staffan Westerlund View original picture , opens in new tab/window

They go to the finals in the music competition P4 Nästa

Published: 30 August 2023

Back pain and an unplanned move to Luleå for university studies brought Anton Zaar and Moa Berglund together. Now on Friday, September 1, they compete together under the name "Smekmånad" (Honeymoon) in the final of P4 Nästa – one of Sweden's biggest music competitions

Their competition entry “Läker nog ändå” (Heal anyway) was the first song they wrote together.

“Among the songs we've done together, it's my favourite. It is about things that we both have experienced.  It is the one we have received the most credit for among our friends, perhaps because it stands out compared to much else that is played on Swedish radio with its slightly more pop-rock sound”, says Moa Berglund.

In total, over 900 contributions were received for the competition management. Of the 25 regional winners, eight entries have progressed to the final, which is decided live in Västerås. Smekmånad represents Norrbotten. The winner, who is chosen by a professional jury and by the audience who can vote by texting and calling into the program, will get to play live in the cage at “Musikhjälpen” in December and at “Sjung i P4 för Världens barn” in October 8.

“At first I didn't realise how big this is. Second only to Melodifestivalen, P4 Nästa is Sweden's biggest music competition in terms of audience numbers”, says Anton Zaar.

Anton Zaar, who has worked for many years as a nurse in the ambulance service in Stockholm, had no plans to move north.

No plans to move

“I applied to the nursing education at Luleå University of Technology because I thought the entire education was distance learning”, says Anton Zaar.

When it turned out that large parts of the training had to be carried out on site in Luleå, the only option was to sell the villa in Stockholm and move up. The mistake turned out to be a stroke of luck. He is very satisfied with the education. He thinks it is easy to have a personal contact with the teachers and that they are good at adapting to the students' needs.

“I had a hard time at school and acquiring theoretical knowledge while growing up. But thanks to all the support I have received from the teachers in the nursing program, it has gone well, I have only had one re-examination in two years.”

The studies were all very well, but the most fortunate thing about the move to Norrbotten was meeting with Moa Berglund from Älvsbyn, who has studied to become a physiotherapist at Luleå University of Technology. His back was sore from his job as an ambulance paramedic. Thus, Anton Zaar booked an appointment at a physiotherapy clinic.

“Actually, I should have gotten a colleague of Moa, but she didn't have time and referred to Moa instead.”

Tattooed with G-clef

At Moa Berglund's reception, the music radio was on all the time. Her arms are covered with tattoos depicting G-clefs, notes and other attributes associated with music. Anton Zaar wondered silently if she might share his interest in music, but it was only when he heard her humming a song on the radio that he became sure; she hummed too well not to have recorded her own songs. He found a Moa Berglund on Spotify and wondered if it was her. When the answer was yes, he asked if she wanted to record some songs in his studio.

“Me and Anton complement each other very well. Anton is good at producing and I find it easy to express myself in words.”

Their songs often begin with Anton Zaar providing the framework for the music. Then Moa Berglund starts working on the text.

“We work on the text in dialogue. I also wrote the lines that I sing. But I proceed from what Moa has written before.”

According to Anton Zaar and Moa Berglund, the secret behind their success is the good musical personal chemistry in the studio. But after many hours in the studio together, their feelings for each other deepened. They are a couple, not just on stage. This summer they got engaged, so it probably won't be too long before the Smekmånad (Honeymoon) duo goes on their honeymoon.