Progressive Umeå: The People

A whole bunch of creative and talented people have been born, and live their lives in and around Umeå. Below are some examples.

If you want to know more about how it is to study and live in Umeå – go here and read more about Umeå students.

Dennis Lyxzén

Dennis_Lyxzen_Foto-Andreas-NilssonDennis Lyxzén was born 1972 in Vännäs, just outside Umeå. Dennis is a Swedish songwriter and musician, best known as the lead vocalist for the Swedish hardcore punk band Refused. Lyxzén was voted the sexiest man in Sweden in 2004 by Elle Magazine.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.


Refused_Foto-Pelle-Sten-WikimediaCommonsThe band was formed in Umeå in January 1992 with Dennis Lyxzén, David Sandström, Pär Hansson and Jonas Lindgren as members. They became famous for their revolutionary texts that dealt mainly with Marxism, animal rights and so-called straight-edge, a life free of alcohol and other drugs.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson, born 15 August, 1954 in Skelleftehamn, was a Swedish journalist and writer, known for his commitment to combatting right-wing extremism and racism. Before he died in 2004, he had completed three crime novels, known as the Millennium series. The first, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was published in August 2005; number two, The Girl who Played with Fire, was published in June 2006; and the third, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, was published in May 2007. By June 2011, the books in the Millennium series had together sold 60 million copies in 50 countries.

Stieg grew up in Umeå, living here until he was in his twenties. The main character in the Millenium series, Lisbeth Salander, has a lot of “Umeå” in her, and she is said to be inspired by a woman Stieg knew locally.

Marta da Silva

Marta-da-Silva_Foto-Allan-Patrick-WikimediaCommonsMarta Vieira da Silva, born 19 February, 1986 in Dois Riachos, Alagoas, is a Brazilian football forward who today plays for the Tyresö FF (Ladies) of Damallsvenskan. She is also a member of the Brazil women’s national football team. It was during her years in the soccer club Umeå IK that her career really took off. She has been chosen as the world’s best female soccer player five years in a row (2006-2010).

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Umeå IK

Umeå IK is a prominent Women’s Association football club based in the city of Umeå. The club was established in 1917 as a general sports club, and started competing in women’s football in 1985. In 1996 the team reached the premier division, the Damallsvenskan, but was relegated the following year. In 1998 they were promoted again, and since then have stayed in the league. Umeå IK has won seven Swedish championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), and they have also won the UEFA Women’s Champions League twice, in 2003 and 2004, and were runners up in 2002, 2007 and 2008.


Meshuggah_Foto-Shadowgate-from-Novara-WikimediaCommonsMeshuggah is an extreme metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. Meshuggah’s line-up primarily consisted of founding members, vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, and rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström, who joined in 1992. The band has gone through a number of bassists, with the position currently being held by Dick Lövgren since 2004.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Sahara Hotnights

SaharaHotnights_Foto-Anders-Hedberg-Magnusson-WikimediaCommonsSahara Hotnights is a rock band from Robertsfors. Their style incorporates elements of garage rock, power pop and punk. The band formed some time around 1991/1992 out of “boredom”. While in Australia, Josephine Forsman bet on a horse named Sahara Hotnights and used the name for the band. Around 1995, they won a “battle of the bands” contest, and were rewarded with a chance to record their songs in a studio. Their debut EP, Suits Anyone Fine, was released in 1997 to immediate success and critical acclaim in Europe.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Lisa Miskovsky

Lisa_Miskovsky_Foto-By Mattias-Olsson-WikimediaCommonsLisa Miskovsky (born 9 March, 1975 in Holmsund, Umeå) is a Swedish musician. Her mother is Finnish and her father is from the Czech Republic. Lisa Miskovsky quickly reached the Swedish rock music charts with her debut album Lisa Miskovsky and single ““Driving One of Your Cars”“, with Swedish releases in 2001. Following this release, she won two awards; one for Best Swedish Newcomer, and the other for Best Swedish Female Artist of the Year. She followed up her musical success with the album Fallingwater, released in 2003, which quickly climbed to number one in the Swedish pop charts, even reaching platinum sales.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Anja Pärson

AnjaPärson_Foto-Christian-Jansky-WikimediaCommonsAnja Pärson, born 25 April, 1981, is a Swedish former alpine skier who today lives in Umeå. She is an Olympic gold medallist, seven-time gold medallist at the World Championships, and twice overall Alpine Skiing World Cup champion. She has won a total of 42 World Cup races. After her bronze medal in the team event in the World Championships 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Pärsson broke all records as the best of all time in modern history with 13 World Championship medals.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

Tove Styrke

ToveStyrke_Foto-Athyllis-WikimediaCommonsTove Styrke is a Swedish singer, songwriter, pianist, and model. She rose to prominence as a contestant on Swedish Idol 2009, finishing in third place. After Idol 2009, she started a solo career as an electropop singer and songwriter. She released her debut album Tove Styrke in 2010. The New York Post included Tove Styrke in its list of “10 Artists to Know in 2011”.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.