Sweekman Artists

Incredible Rising Young Stars

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Jan 03, 2019

Sweekman Artists recently signed musical performers Ela Dawn and The Painter to their label.

After spending 10 years developing talent in their Sarah Kelly Music School studio in Market Street, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Sarah Kelly and Swedish music producer Jonas Ekman formed Sweekman Artists, a record label to celebrate and expose their top tier talent. Subsequently, Sweekman inked a coveted music label distribution deal with AWAL Music Recording Company, owned by The Kobalt Music Group, America's second largest music publishing company. 

Sweekman recently signed musical performers Ela Dawn and Gedeon Bustamante “The Painter” to their label. The Woodlander recently caught up with these 2 young rising musical stars at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion to learn more about them. 

Ela Dawn

From Jakobstad, Finland, Dawn is a 25-year-old self-taught pianist, inspired by her musical father, who at the age of 15 began taking voice lessons, but eventually went on to study education in college. About a year ago, however, she decided to leave her kindergarten teaching job and, instead, invest all her time and energy in her music. To jumpstart her career, she moved to The Woodlands to study at The Sarah Kelly Music School. 

“It was my first experience living away from home,” says Dawn. “I was lucky to be surrounded by an incredibly inspirational group of people at the school.”

Dawn’s enchanting and ethereal voice has a special quality to it that feels like you are in on a secret when you hear it. After attending hours of songwriting classes and voice lessons, she recorded and released 3 new songs including “Black Waters”.  This song tells the story of retaining hope while rebuilding something broken and was inspired by a tempestuous teenage friendship. Dawn hopes her music can give strength to people as they deal with life’s inevitable struggles. 

Additionally, Dawn now helps with The Sarah Kelly Music School’s songwriting program—a revolutionary songwriter development model that has been coined by Mike Clink (Grammy co-chair, Guns N’ Roses’ producer) as “the future of music”, making it possible to collaborate with multiple upcoming songwriters.

Dawn has performed locally at The Red Brick Tavern, Dosie Doe’s Big Barn and The Crush Wine Lounge. 

Listen to “Black Waters” on Spotify.

The Painter

Originally from Monahans, Texas, The Painter was homeschooled by his mother who started each day by singing. An opera performance major at Odessa College, he left in 2011 to follow in his father’s footsteps and study ministry at Impact Now School of Ministry in San Antonio. Upon graduation, Impact Now hired him as a Creative Arts Director where he taught seminary courses and theater production. In 2015, he moved to The Woodlands to train with Kelly and Ekman. After a year of intense singing and songwriting instruction, The Painter was hired to teach voice instruction at The Sarah Kelly Music School. 

You may recognize The Painter and his deep, bold and honeyed operatic voice from his local performances at Dosey Doe’s Big Barn and the Red Brick Tavern. He’s also performed at Jandros Garden Patio in San Antonio, Cabin Creek Coffee and Tea in Amarillo and Sugar Brown’s Coffee in Lubbock while on a recent tour that also took him through Dallas, Laredo and McAllen. 

“Disposable” is his latest song release. It’s a very important song to him about a past heartbreak when he felt unworthy of love and disposable—like a paper cup or plate (the first lines of the song). 

“I wanted to create a safe space in my music where people can talk about tough things that are difficult to talk about,” said The Painter. “I want to take people on a journey and remind them that they are not alone, and they can heal.” 

When asked why he calls himself “The Painter”, he explains it’s all about creating imagery for the mind with his music.

Listen to “Disposable” on Spotify.

Both artists’ unique voices have attracted the attention of music recording top industry players Casey McGinty (Vice President of Capitol Records CMG), Tobin Hyman (talent producer for NBC’s “The Voice”) and Jeremy Hunter (produces for Taylor Swift, Kesha and Tori Kelly).  

In January of 2019, The Grammy Awards will celebrate music’s finest through a system of tiered nominations and voting from its industry players. Last year, an impressive 23 original songs from The Sarah Kelly Music School were included on the Grammy’s pre-nomination ballot. 

Students, like Dawn and The Painter, travel from all over the country and world to The Woodlands to have the chance to study with Kelly and Ekman whose inexhaustible and intoxicating energy permeates everything they do. Together, The Sarah Kelly Music School and Sweekman Artists have put Ela Dawn, The Painter and The Woodlands on the music industry map!