Jonas Anderson is known in Thailand as “the farang [white guy] who sings in Thai”. Originally from Sweden, Jonas Anderson has earned wide-spread popularity and acceptance ever since bursting onto the Thai music scene in the year 2000, singing the unique and challenging local style of music known as lookthung – Thailand’s version of country or folk music.
Have a Listen
ฝรั่งคลั่งไคล้ | Farang Klang Klai
กวางขาวอยู่กลางเขา | Kwang Kao Yoo Klang Kow
Jonas Anderson moved to Thailand from his home country of Sweden at the tender age of nine, with his parents who decided to relocate here on a community development mission focused on education in rural areas. Once arriving in Thailand this Swedish family soon moved to Nakorn Rachasima or “Korat”, the largest province in the populous northeastern region of Thailand known as “Isan”. This was where Jonas first began to absorb the language and culture of Thailand as well as the unique nuances of the Isan culture.
Growing up Jonas Anderson always had a penchant for singing, performing and connecting with audiences, especially in a culturally diverse environment. In his late teens he started out performing in support of various of social causes and was active in charity work using the effective medium of music and performance. He formed a group together with Christy Gibson and other young performers who shared the same vision and together they would conduct youth awareness campaigns through music and drama on topics such as drug prevention, AIDS prevention, safety, peer relations, etc. They also used music therapy as a channel of comfort and emotional healing in reaching out to the sick, disabled, aged, orphans and underprivileged using a repertoire of original material composed especially for these activities as well as Thai pop favorites.
A pivotal moment in Jonas’ career was when he was discovered by famous TV personality Khun Wittawat Suntornwinet, owner and host of the top rated variety TV show , “At 10” or “Tee Sip”. Khun Wittawat saw Jonas singing a popular lookthung song at a New Year’s eve party and consequently invited him to appear on his show. Once the TV show was aired Jonas attained instant nationwide recognizability. This was further amplified when he featured on the country’s premier nationally televised live concert called “Wetee Thai” which paved the way for Jonas Anderson to launch a professional music career.