So you might be wondering how I got from ABBA to Thomas Di Leva, but Di Leva represents a big step in my integrating into Sweden process. He is the first very Swedish celebrity that I recognized on TV. Now, I know, if you know anything about Thomas Di Leva, you know this is no great feat. Di Leva looks like a magician from the 80's and wears skirts and dresses everywhere he goes. But I was pretty happy with myself, since I am am still terrible at recognizing famous Swedes. Dancing With the Stars in Sweden looks like 'Random People learning to Dance' to me.
So what does Thomas Di Leva do and why is he famous? That is a pretty good question. Usually after recognizing Di Leva on the screeen, I prompty change the channel. I am pretty sure he is a singer of some sort. And that he has a rather long career. I cannot name a single song he wrote/sings – but I am sure that I have heard one now and then on P1-4 (God bless Swedish national radio) on a road trip. I will venture a guess and say that he probably makes some New Agey kind of music of sorts. I guess this not just based on his outfits, but also due to the few times that I have heard him speak it usually involves 'soul, beauty, soul, zen, fluffy clouds, guru, blah.'
If you are in Sweden at the moment, you can catch Di Leva in one of the many 'Keep Swedish Celebrities Famous' TV shows– Så Mycket Bättre on Channel 4. If you don't know much about Swedish music this show is a bit like watching paint dry – but if you are making an honest effort to assimilate, oops I mean integrate, then this show cannot be missed. From the little that I have watched, they seem to take a handful of Swedish artists from diverse genres and have them sing each other's music. After watching it you can say to your Swedish colleagues things like 'I really loved Di Leva's interpretation of Petter's bastardization of Cornelius' 'Old, Smelly Shoes' didn't you?' (disclaimer: now I am just showing off what little I think I know about Swedish music – I have no idea if this moment in TV history has or will happen and I'm not even sure that 'trasiga skor' was initially a Cornelis song – but what the hey).