Anders Gustav Nelsson was born on June 10th, 1946 of Swedish missionary parents studying English and Mandarin in Berkeley, California, USA.
Before he was one year old, the family had moved to Changsha, in the Hunan province of China, where Nelsson spent the first two years of his life.
The family moved to Hongkong in 1950, after a brief visit to their native Sweden.
Starting in the late 1950s, Nelsson became involved in the music industry in Hongkong, both playing in bands and arranging performances, while still attending King George the Vth School.
By the age of 16, he had started writing songs, and worked part-time after school with a local record company and booking agency called Orbit Records, owned and operated by British jazz singer Gery Scott and her band-leader husband Igo Fischer.
“I did everything from running to the Cable & Wireless office to send telegrams to delivering vinyl 45 rpm singles to local record shops,” Nelsson recalls. Nelsson also often manned Hongkong’s first record bar which was also owned and operated by Orbit Records, gaining a valuable insight into the retail end of the record business.
The Kontinentals, a band in which Nelsson sang, played the bass, and wrote songs, eventually recorded two singles for Orbit Records and his career in the music business was well on it’s way.
In 1965, Nelsson was drafted into the Swedish military and he spent that year in his native Sweden, both performing his service to King and country and playing with various bands.
He eventually decided to return to Hongkong and once ‘home’ again he quickly formed a new band and recorded for the leading local label, Diamond Music. He also wrote for Hongkong publications, including The Star newspaper and it’s sister publication Fabulous Young Hongkong.
In 1973, he formed his most successful group, MING, and signed a three-year contract with EMI Records.
He had promised himself to switch from performing to working behind the scenes, writing and producing, by the age of 30 so in 1976 (after three successful albums and many hit singles), he disbanded MING and was offered the post of A&R Manager at EMI Hongkong Limited.
After three years, during which he signed and produced many successful acts, including Gracie Rivera, he left to start his own music publishing and production company, The Melody Bank, and talent agency, The Entertainment Company, with partners Perry Martin and Terry Geary, respectively.
The Melody Bank produced a large number of jingles for advertising, film soundtracks for Hong Kong films, and songs for local artists, including George Lam, Alan Tam, Rowena Cortes and Kenny B.
The Entertainment Company managed Hongkong popstars Rowena Cortes, Louie Castro and Ellen Ng Ha-ping, as well as Anders Nelsson himself, and during this time he appeared in many Hongkong films and TV dramas.
Nelsson ended up owning both the companies 100%, but in late 1989 he accepted an offer to join BMG Pacific Limited as Managing Director. The Melody Bank’s studio operations and publishing catalogue were sold to BMG at that time and The Entertainment Company was sold to another Hongkong company.
After completing his three-year contract with BMG (where he ran both the record and publishing companies), and during which he signed the multi-national label’s most successful Cantopop artist to date, Ekin Cheng, and spearheaded the successful promotion of Kenny G to superstar status in Asia, Nelsson left and regained control of The Entertainment Company.
Among the first major promotions by the company, in conjunction with Australia’s Duet
Productions, were hugely successful concerts by Elton John and Kenny G.
Many successful concerts followed, but eventually fierce competition among Hongkong promoters, combined with escalating costs, forced Nelsson to put the company into voluntary liquidation in early 1995.
He joined The Media Bank Group (owned and operated by the well-known Hongkong family headed by Sir John Swaine) immediately after this, and worked his way up from Managing Director to Regional CEO. (Among his more notable achivements at this time was the signing of Swedish band FreeBee which sold close to 250.000 units in Asia of their first album.) He was also executive producer of the major Handover Concert “Celebrate Hongkong” in mid-1997, when Hongkong was handed back to China
In mid-1999, after being hard hit by the Asian economic recession, The Media Bank’s activities were suspended and Nelsson spent the rest of 1999 honing his computer skills and studying the internet. He started his own music production, music publishing, and PR companies in the Summer of 1999.
(Anders Nelsson Productions, Anders Nelsson Music & Anders Nelsson PR).
Through these companies he is currently acting as consultant to several high-profile Hongkong-based companies and a multi-national record company.
He also works as producer and presenter for RTHK, Radio 3, the Hongkong-government-run radio station.
Anders Nelsson is fluent in English, Swedish and Cantonese.
See other sections of his website (www.andersnelsson.com)for more detailed information about Anders Nelsson’s personal and professional achievements.