Oskar Kappland

Gothenburg, Sweden

Red Marble


Behind the Music

The Outlaw Ocean is one of those remarkable pieces of investigative journalism that not only uncovers unheard narratives or untold stories but also exposes an entirely unknown world. Before reading the book, I had never given the topic of lawlessness at sea any thought. Sure, I knew about pirates and had watched “Captain Phillips,” but what Ian reported on is exceptional and cutting-edge. 

Every piece of art is a reaction to something. As such, the collection of songs I wrote for this project is a story that attempts to encapsulate all the emotions evoked in me from reading the book. It was pretty strange — over the course of reading the book, I found myself experiencing a range of emotions from each extreme, from despair to hope and outrage to submission. I hope that by bringing awareness to these issues through music and written word that we can begin a discourse on The Outlaw Ocean and put pressure on those best positioned to affect change.

Oskar Kappland
About Oskar Kappland

Oskar hails from the beautiful Swedish West Coast. Since turning 16, he’s had the privilege of living around the world in places like South Korea, India and California. He has this strange condition where melodies keep appearing in his head. The only thing he can do to cope with it is to bring them to life on the piano. Sometimes the melodies are happy, sometimes they are sad. Sometimes they include lyrics, most often they are solo piano. And finally, most importantly, sometimes they resonate with other people. Join the journey.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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