Motoboy biography

Praised for his wide-ranged voice and stylish originality, OSKAR HUMLEBO aka MOTO BOY has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation in Sweden.

Short bio

The northern born and raised, now Skåne based artist has since his debut in 2007 released three studio albums and three EP's, has composed music for theatre, sung a role in a baroque opera, toured as guitarist with The Cardigans and The Ark and has opened for among others Whitney Houston and Smashing Pumpkins.

The fourth MOTO BOY studio album, recorded in Berlin with producer Niko Stoessl (Dave Gahan, Grau) will be released in early 2017.

"It's not a game if there's nothing to lose"

Long bio

Conformity has never been OSKAR HUMLEBO aka MOTOBOY's trademark. Since his debut in 2007 he has released three acclaimed studio albums and three EP's, has composed music for theatre, sung a role in a baroque opera, toured as guitarist with The Cardigans and The Ark, performed with symphonic orchestras and has opened for among others Whitney Houston and Smashing Punpkins.

Aged sixteen OSKAR HUMLEBO set out from home in northern Sweden to make a career in music. Ten years later and still no break, he decided to perform his last show. For this supposedly last show he decided to "fuck all" and do exactly what he wanted, no compromises, including dressing up in a red leather jacket, putting on lipstick and with his pointy blackmetal guitar sing a cover of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu.

“It became eerily quiet in the room, even the bartenders stood there staring, some people were crying openly; it took me some time to realise they all actually loved it.”

Martin Thörnkvist, owner of record label Songs I Wish I Had Written attended that show and soon after approached OSKAR HUMLEBO with a record deal. What was supposed to be the end instead became the start for MOTO BOY.

In the same spirit of DIY he began recording the songs for his debut album alone in a studio in rural Sweden. Released in the first week of 2008 it's daring and evocative sound struck home with people throughout the Scandinavian countries, getting rave reviews and leading to a non stop tour of 200+ shows in Europe and North America.

"My debut was in a way a break from all norms and rules for me, I wanted to do it with absolutely no compromises or regards for consequences, just music, the way I wanted music to be.."

Another album "Lost in the call" was recorded on the road and released in 2010 with subsequent touring. 

"It was really 3 years of non stop touring and eventually something had to give."

What eventually gave in was his voice and he was forced to take a break from touring. During this break, in 2012, he was invited to score and participate in the theatre production of "LUBIEWO-KÄRLEKSÖN" at Gothenburg City Theatre.

Following this inspired digression into theatre OSKAR HUMLEBO relocated to Berlin to finalize his third album "Keep your darkness secret" in Birthmark studio at Funkhaus Berlin. Together with Austrian producer Niko Stoessl (Dave Gahan, Grau) he took the next step in his musical career with bigger, darker productions. The result was a sensuous and explosive collection of songs such as " Someday", "Too young to know" and the title track "Keep your darkness secret".

After what was understatingly a troubled process, including a flooded studio resulting in a years worth of work lost, finally in March 2014 the third studio album was released, followed in the fall by the EP "Black Lillies", featuring apart from the title track covers of Cocteau Twins and Suede songs.

Even before touring had ended OSKAR HUMLEBO had started work on another theatre score, a massive four hour production of "FAUST" with Gävleborgs Folkteater and Gävle Symphonic Orchestra. A dark, morbid and beautiful play performed at a repurposed industrial site.

"In a way the two theatre productions with the studio album "Keep your darkness secret" in between was one long process, they all followed the same line of thought and sound, dark, gritty, climactic and fragile. It was kind of the darkness following the initial years of light and naivety."

2015 saw OSKAR HUMLEBO's first real break from MOTO BOY since 2006. A world tour as guitarist with Swedish pop legends The Cardigans followed by the critically acclaimed EP "SECRET" with his second musical project PIKKO, premiered by NOISEY (VICE) and hailed by GAFFA as "equal to Swedish electro duo The Knife".

Another studio session in Berlin with producer Niko Stoessl in february 2016 inspired and initiated the recording of the fourth MOTO BOY album, this time with Niko heading the production. The album, due in early 2017, promises a great step up and forwards for MOTO BOY, with the sound and vibe of musically progressive Berlin vividly present in the songs. Though still with MOTO BOY's unmistakable voice and distinctive songs, this album again breaks with norms and rules, this time not only those of the contemporary musical world but also with MOTO BOY's own legacy.
The first single, "Everybody's running from something" was released in November 2016.